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Earth Task Force Is Unstoppable

The Earth Task Force is a new program the Cottonwood Institute launched last year to give student who have completed our Community Adventure Program an opportunity to continue changing the world. Looking back on their accomplishments the past year, the Earth Task Force is unstoppable.

With the support of Cottonwood Institute Earth Task Force Mentor, Paige Doughty, New Vista High School teacher sponsors, Kate Hartman and Andy Stephens, and the Boulder Valley School District, students and staff meet twice a week to create events to raise awareness of the school’s environmental impact and to offer accessible solutions the school, teachers, staff, and students can take to reduce their environmental impact.

The results they are producing are simply amazing. Here are a few of their accomplishments last year:

  • Boulder Valley School District agreed to sponsor the Earth Task Force at New Vista High School to be the first pilot “Green Team” and hopes to sponsor similar sustainability initiatives at other district schools.
  • The Earth Task Force helped write a grant to The Earth Day Network and won a $32,000 solar panel system for New Vista High School, which was installed just before Earth Day 2010 by Simple Solar.
  • The Earth Task Force received a $2,000 grant from the Alliance for Climate Education to install low flow toilets in their school to help reduce water use at their school and Boulder Valley School District matched this grant with an additional $2,000.
  • The Earth Task Force received a $500 grant from the Alliance for Climate Education to host Boulder Valley School District’s first Environmental Summit to bring together BVSD school environmental clubs to share ideas, resources, challenges, and to gain inspiration from one another.
  • They successfully organized “Lights out Lunch,” “Local Lunch,” “Bring Your Own Coffee Mug,” “Alternative Transportation” events and 2 all school assemblies to raise awareness about local environmental issues and encourage their school community to take action to reduce their environmental footprint.
  • They have received positive media attention for their efforts, including: an article by Vanessa Miller from the Boulder Daily Camera, an interview by Nikki Kayser on the Dot Org show on 88.5FM in Boulder, and an article by Marisa McNatt posted to Earth911.com.
  • The Earth Task Force was recognized and acknowledged for all of their hard work and accomplishments. Two Community Adventure Program Alumni and Earth Task Force members, Zander Deetz and Aaron Fox, won the 2010 Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award by the City of Boulder Youth Opportunities Board and each member was recognized by the Boulder Valley School District by receiving Superintendent’s Honor Roll certificate.

This is an excellent example of how the Cottonwood Institute is inspiring a new generation of active community leaders who are environmentally aware, civically engaged, and who are empowered to make a difference in their community. Way to go Earth Task Force!

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