In its efforts to recognize schools that prioritize sustainability, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbons Schools program are taking the Green Strides Tour through Colorado.
Andrea Suarez Falken, director Green Ribbon Schools Program visited several Colorado schools, including the Denver Green School, Heritage Elementary in Highlands Ranch, and Larkspur Elementary and Flagstone Elementary in Castle Rock.
"The idea is to bring more attention to our honorees, the great work they are doing, the resources that they are using, that all schools could be using," Falken told KUSA, a Colorado NBC affiliate. "Get the word out so that we have all schools moving in the same direction."
Douglas County was recognized for its practices in sustainability. The county has educational programs that include farms, solar panels, extensive recycling programs, and educational projects that promote being 'Green,’ according to KUSA.
Over the past seven years, Douglas County has saved more than $18.3 million in energy costs. A portion of that money gets sent back into the classrooms for upgrades in technology or operational needs within the buildings, said Lee Ann Westfall, the sustainability manager for Douglas County Schools.
"I think we're really honored and not only as a district, but I think it's really imperative for the students to see the impact of the work they are doing," Westfall told KUSA.