Tools and Partners for Greening Your School
Garden as Classroom Manual
This publication offers step-by-step instruction for starting a school garden as well as suggested lesson plans.
The BVSD Energy Dashboard offers real time energy data for every school. Energy dashboards — tools that show how much real-time power a building is using and how to use less — are becoming more common. And now, nearly all BVSD buildings are getting an interactive dashboard of their own. Contact the Energy Team for a demonstration of how you can integrate the dashboard into your classroom, for use with your green/environmental teams and more.
Calling all 6th grade teachers! Free energy efficiency take action kit
Xcel Energy is offering a free energy efficiency take action kit for 6th grade teachers. The kit comes with activities and materials that are aligned with standards. These items are designed to open students’ and parents’ eyes to the energy-saving potential of simple, easy-to-implement conservation practices. Go to thinkenergy.org/xcelenergy to learn more and sign up.
BVSD Green Purchasing Guide
Check out the Green Purchasing Guide for information on how to buy green for your school.
Turn off the Juice sticker
Request "Turn off the juice" stickers for your switches from firstname.lastname@example.org!
Get started at your school with the Sustainability Checklist.
Develop sustainability practices in the areas of energy, solid waste, water and transportation.
Safe Routes to
School Lesson Guides
Safe Routes to School Logo
Get lesson plans that align with State of Colorado content standards.
The eeVirtual Learning Database helps teachers navigate the sometimes overwhelming number of online resources available by increasing quality and accessibility. Content on the platform is designed to have the flexibility for students to complete assignments at home. The content is also available in Spanish for bilingual students. Multiple organizations have helped contribute to content to make the eeVirtual Learning Database a success.
State and National Partners
Center for Ecoliteracy
The Center for Ecoliteracy supports and advances education for sustainable living.
The Center for Green Schools
Mission- Create green schools for everyone within this generation.
Energy Kid! Learn about what energy is, where it comes from, and how we use it. Test your new knowledge with one of the many online games and activities. Determine your energy footprint using the Energy Calculator. There is also a section of lesson plans for teachers.
Energy Star’s interactive website allows younger students to explore the world of energy production and use. Kids learn about ways in which they can save energy at home and become more energy literate. There is also a section for parents and teachers, complete with lesson plans and games.
Did you know that 1 minute of idling produces more carbon monoxide than does smoking three packs of cigarettes? Learn about the impacts idling has on our fuel consumption and our air quality and then get involved by starting an anti-idling campaign at your school.
Green Schools Alliance ("GSA")
GSA's mission is to connect and empower preK-12 schools worldwide to lead the transformation to global sustainability.
Green Schoolyards Resource Hub
Children & Nature Network provides numerous resources.
Green Schools National Network (GSNN) is an organization that works with multiple stakeholders across the K-12 education space, including educators, government and non-governmental organizations and agencies, and other private partners. “GSNN provides K-12 teachers, administrators, leaders and professionals with evidence-based resources and tools to maximize financial and natural resources; improve the health and well-being of staff and students; and prepare students with the knowledge and skills for a sustainable future.” BVSD is a member of this network and all BVSD schools and teachers qualify for discounts to programming.
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council believes that “all students deserve to attend sustainable schools that enhance their health and prepare them for 21st century careers.” The Center for Green Schools puts sustainability at the forefront of the student experience. Through initiatives in the classroom and the community, the Center for Green Schools hopes to promote the health and well-being of students by understanding the challenges that K-12 schools face.
Across the country, schools are beginning to open back up and face the challenges that come with navigating safe learning environments through a pandemic. With safety and equity at the center of schools’ opening strategies, converting outdoor space into learning space is a cost effective way to keep students safe and engaged. “The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative supports schools and districts around the country in their effort to reopen. The Initiative seeks to equitably improve learning, mental and physical health, and happiness for children and adults.”
K12 Climate Action’s mission is to “unlock the power of the education sector to be a force toward climate action, solutions, and environmental justice to help prepare children and youth to advance a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable society.” To learn more about their work, please visit their website.
“The Colorado Energy Office is a non-regulatory department within the Governor's Office.” Its mission is to, “Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumer energy costs by advancing clean energy, energy efficiency and zero emission vehicles to benefit all Coloradans.” Some of their offerings include information about Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and information regarding the ReNew Our Schools Program. To learn more about other programs and initiatives, please visit their website.
The E Movement is a collective of teachers, schools, local governments, nonprofits, and someday parents and businesses collaborating to increase environmental literacy and build a stewardship ethic within today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders. This community wide effort provides Boulder County youth with the knowledge, care, skills, and connection to place required to become stewards of the environment. To guide these collaborative efforts, a set of E Guidelines were developed laying out a scaffolded, whole-child approach to environmental education. BVSD has been instrumental in developing and supporting the E Movement and the E Guidelines. Currently this program is being piloted within select Boulder County schools and classrooms. To learn more or sign up, please visit www.eMovement.org.
The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)
A non-profit organization whose mission is to educate high school students on the science behind climate change and inspire them to take action to curb the causes of global warming. We offer FREE multimedia assemblies and help students take action through carbon-reducing projects in their schools and communities.
Boulder County Parks & Open Space
The county government department that manages all aspects of our public open space land. The Education and Outreach division offers free educational programs about (and in!) the local environment.
Boulder County Sustainability
Boulder County is committed to the principles and concepts of Sustainability: Balancing a strong economy, protection of the environment, and social equity in order to achieve an improved quality of life for ourselves and future generations.
The City of Boulder's Local Environmental Action Division (LEAD)
LEAD provides leadership to achieve Boulder's goals of sustainability and environmental quality. Our mission is to engage and assist the community to reduce waste and energy use through education, services, and economic assistance. We develop city policy, offer educational programs and partner with citizens, businesses and other organizations to protect Boulder's environment.
The Cottonwood Institute
An award-winning 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado. The vision of the Cottonwood Institute is to inspire a new generation of 21st century leaders who are environmentally aware, civically engaged, and empowered to make a positive impact within their communities.
Eco-Cycle's School Recycling and Environmental Education Program provides recycling collection services, education and feedback to schools in BVSD. Student groups are welcome to contact us for help improving and increasing recycling at their school.
The Growe Foundation
The Growe Foundation helps elementary school students understand the connections between humans and the environment, and teaches them to make healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices. Ten BVSD elementary schools are currently participating in the Garden to Table Program. The website provides sample lesson plans for Grades K-5 that integrate the Garden to Table Program goals into the core curriculum.
Keep it Clean Partnership (KICP)
A partnership of Colorado communities in the Boulder and St. Vrain watersheds, and includes Boulder County; the cities of Boulder, Longmont and Louisville; and the towns of Erie and Superior. The KICP offers water education programs, community service projects, and is present at community events with outreach materials for the public. This includes programs offered in classrooms, as field activities, or speaker programs for groups.
University of Colorado's Environmental Center
CU's Environmental Center is the nation's largest and most accomplished student-led center of its kind. The center can help with communicating sustainability, running a zero waste event, changing behavior, working with volunteers, organizing events and conferences.
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
A non-profit organization that provides an opportunity for people to come together, learn about their environment, and take direct action to restore and care for the land. They offer a variety of in-class presentations and stewardship activities, service-learning field trips, as well as many leadership opportunities.