The Fruita 8/9 School's Sustainability Initiative started with with GT classes in the 2006-2007 school year and has spread its tentacles throughout the school. Now the program includes not only the recycling program which began then but has also expanded into building energy conservation, composting, replanting of the landscaping beds around the building, THE AFTERBURN energy blog and will soon include gardening, a greenhouse and a move to be the pilot program for District 51 as a zero waste school beginning in the fall of 2011.Nominated in December 2010 by Alpine Bank, Fruita 89's Sustainability Initiative was one of 44 nominees and applicants for the 2011 Colorado Sustainability Championships. With 50-499 employees, the school fell into the medium category and was, in March 2011, named a finalist to compete against the city of Golden, Colorado's Recycling Program and the Metropolitan District of Highlands Ranch, Colorado's PROS Team...a water reclamation entity. These two city government business entities each serving in excess of 90,000 residents, were competing against a teacher mentored yet student driven program in a school with only two grades situated 250 miles to the west of them.
The fact that student driven programs had, over a period of 4 years, identified and filled the needs of the school and the district and had demonstrated continued utility savings of 30% over the first year of operation had an energy blog that has been read by at least one person in all the countries on earth with the exception of just eight countries, had a successful composting and replanting program, and was moving toward greenhousing and gardening as well as becoming an Energy Star School in a building that was never meant to be, turned the championship choice in Fruita 8/9's favor.
The award, a clock made of recycled bicycle parts hangs proudly in the Fruita 8/9 office.