Sustainability

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In June 2018, the Sustainable Wheat Ridge (SWR) Committee published recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge, provide strong financial returns, and bring substantial benefits to public health, community cohesion, and livability.

Our goal of this page is to provide a platform for residents to engage with the Sustainable Wheat Ridge resident advisory committee and city staff regarding sustainability topics in Wheat Ridge. We will be updating this page regularly with new topics, resources and programs and will utilize resident feedback to inform the development of future sustainability program offerings. We look forward to hearing from the community!

The six focus areas of Sustainable Wheat Ridge are:

Green Building and Energy Efficiency

Renewable Energy

Solid Waste and Recycling

Transportation

Water

Communications and Engagement

Join the conversation by engaging with the tools below!

In June 2018, the Sustainable Wheat Ridge (SWR) Committee published recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge, provide strong financial returns, and bring substantial benefits to public health, community cohesion, and livability.

Our goal of this page is to provide a platform for residents to engage with the Sustainable Wheat Ridge resident advisory committee and city staff regarding sustainability topics in Wheat Ridge. We will be updating this page regularly with new topics, resources and programs and will utilize resident feedback to inform the development of future sustainability program offerings. We look forward to hearing from the community!

The six focus areas of Sustainable Wheat Ridge are:

Green Building and Energy Efficiency

Renewable Energy

Solid Waste and Recycling

Transportation

Water

Communications and Engagement

Join the conversation by engaging with the tools below!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - May 2022 - Grow a Garden…for Your Neighbor!

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    By: Laura McGarry, Sustainable Wheat Ridge member


    While many of the food shortages brought on by the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided, too many people are still struggling with food insecurity. In fact, according to Hunger Free Colorado 33% of Coloradans report that they are food insecure, and 44% of Colorado households with children report struggling to have regular access to nutritious food. Unfortunately, these are not just statewide statistics, with three Elementary Schools in Wheat Ridge having over 80% of students who qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program.



    What can we do about food insecurity in Wheat Ridge?

    If you’re a gardener living in Wheat Ridge, there is something that you can do to address local food insecurity—grow extra food in your garden to donate! Whether you are a new or seasoned gardener, 2022 is a great year to grow more food, knowing that you can donate to your neighbors in need.



    How to donate your extra garden veggies:

    • Step 1: Download the Fresh Food Connect App: Sign up as a gardener living in 80033.
    • Step 2: Grow lots of food!
    • Step 3: Donate your extra produce: Follow the donation instructions on the Fresh Food Connect app. and you’ll be able to donate extra produce in Wheat Ridge. The current drop-off site is the Family Tree located at 38th and Marshall. All food donated to the Family Tree is donated to families living in their shelter.


    Why use an app to donate food?

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge partnered with Fresh Food Connect to support food donations in Wheat Ridge for a few reasons:

    1. We hope to have more donation sites in the future, and the app is a one-stop shop for gardeners in Wheat Ridge to find information on these sites.
    2. The app helps Sustainable Wheat Ridge gather data about the food being donated; this data can be shared to gather more support for the program in the future.
    3. Using the app makes it easy for gardeners to track what they are donating—you get to collect and see your own donation data!


    I want to learn how to garden:

    Check out these awesome local gardening resources:

  • Sustainability Spotlight - April 2022 - Jefferson County Open Space Trails Partnership Program Grant Awarded to Wheat Ridge for Improvements to Clear Creek Trail and Bicycle Wayfinding Signage

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    As the weather warms up, pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders are becoming more numerous on Wheat Ridge’s parks and trails. Users of these facilities will experience an improvement to trails and wayfinding signage thanks to a grant recently won by the City of Wheat Ridge (CoWR). The Jeffco Open Space (JCOS) Trails Partnership Program is a grant program that provides supplemental funding to assist partners in implementing their priority trail projects within Jefferson County.

    The CoWR applied for and won the Trails Partnership Program grant from JCOS in February of 2022. The two organizations will work together to plan and implement more than $200,000 of improvements with work slated to be completed by February 2024, specifically

    • Replacing the 1,187 foot-long, currently asphalt trail section between Prospect Park and the West Bridge (south of Tabor Lake) with 10’-wide concrete

    • Replacing damaged concrete segments and improve the trailhead connection at the Otis St. trailhead and connection trail

    • Adding Wheat Ridge Greenbelt, Peaks to Plains (P2P), and Jefferson County Bikeway wayfinding and mileage signage, general safety signage, and other trail safety improvements.

    The ultimate vision of planners is the development of the Peaks to Plains Trail, which through 65 miles of dedicated paved trail will connect downtown Denver to Loveland Pass, with Wheat Ridge situated at the core.

    Cycling is not only a means of transportation, but can be great for your health. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center highlights that it is a low impact activity and easy on your joints, builds muscle, relieves stress and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Many medical studies have shown that regular physical activity reduces anxiety and depression. You don’t have to wear spandex and spend thousands of dollars on equipment to reap these benefits. Commuters will enjoy the plethora of bike lanes within Wheat Ridge that connect to surrounding communities such as Pierce St or 32nd Ave. Hobbyists and those less comfortable with traffic will enjoy the dedicated paved trails, the crown jewel of which is the Clear Creek Trail. The trail hugs Clear Creek (all road crossings are via safe underpasses) as it connects Golden to Adams and Denver County trails via a well maintained, continuous paved trail. In between, trail users can find spurs for downtown Wheat Ridge, Olde Town Arvada, Midtown, Edgewater or the Tennyson business district. Link up with the RTD G-Line to expand your no car transportation options even further!

    For more information and maps of these trails, visit www.bicyclecolorado.org/ride-colorado/bike-maps-resources/

    https://www.rtd-denver.com/services/rail/rail-system-map



  • Sustainability Spotlight - March 2022 - When It Comes to Garden Clean Up, Procrastination Has Many Benefits

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    Winter is waning, and on the first warm days of early spring, we might be tempted to get out the rake, lawnmower, or pruners. However, consider a little procrastination. It will be easier on your back and help struggling bumblebees and other native pollinators.

    In fall, bumblebee colonies come to their natural end, and newly-mated queens hibernate underground, protected by blankets of vegetation or leaf litter. Leaving logs, leaves, compost heaps, and ground vegetation undisturbed for a few more weeks will protect sleeping queens until they are awakened by rising temperatures.

    Many moths and butterflies also overwinter under cover of garden litter. Other critters from salamanders, toads to turtles, birds, and mammals rely on leaf litter for food, shelter, and nesting material.

    Leaving leaves in your garden also means you get free fertilizer and mulch—better than you buy. Tree roots draw over a dozen plant nutrients up from the soil and deposit them in leaves. Expensive bags of store fertilizer usually have only three essential nutrients. Decomposing leaves also improve soil structure so that it absorbs and holds more moisture.

    Need another reason to leave that rake in the garage? Yard debris sent to landfills can end up as a greenhouse gas. In a landfill, buried organic matter undergoes anaerobic decomposition releasing methane. Landfills are a significant source of man-made methane. Even if your yard debris is taken to a composting facility, carbon dioxide is generated by cars and trucks used for transport.

    So be lazy this spring; leave those leaves in your garden beds. Your yard will be greener, with fewer weeds, and you just might see more bees, birds, and other wildlife. If you can’t resist a date with a rake, wait until late spring and mulch that garden gold into your lawn using a mulching mower.

    Further Reading

    To learn more about bumblebee habitat visit https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org

    Read a blog about Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

    Learn more about Nesting & Overwintering Habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects

    Wondering what to do in spring? Don’t spring into garden cleanup too soon!

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, improving energy and water efficiency practices, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - February 2022 - Coloradans, Our State is Too Beautiful to Waste

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    When you picture your home in Colorado, do you think of mountain vistas, wide prairies, and sparkling creeks? Do you think of fresh air, sunny skies, and clear starry nights? Maybe you think of prairie dogs, coyotes, mule deer, elk and magpies? So what actions will you take to protect our colorful Colorado?

    Colorado is beautiful, but it is also trashy. Over 84% of items we bring into our homes we send to Colorado’s landfills, which is higher than the national average of around 68%. Some landfill use may be unavoidable, but we should plan for the landfill as the last option, as these facilities have challenges. Here’s a list of a few landfill limitations:

    • Large source of greenhouse gas emissions
    • Emit gasses that decrease air quality for people who live nearby
    • Leak waste into groundwater
    • Expensive to manage and build
    • Limited years of operation and space (30-50 years) – landfills serving Wheat Ridge opened in the 1980s and 1990s
    • Not best use for land – average landfill is 600 acres
    • Social, environmental, financial impacts

    So, let’s take steps to manage our waste with two important steps:

    1. Waste reduction (preventing unnecessary waste in the first place)
    2. Waste diversion (keeping most items out of the landfill).

    Waste reduction is something that we all can help control. It includes reusing home goods and reducing what we buy. It can sometimes require extra effort, like bringing a napkin and silverware out with you or bringing grocery and produce bags. But, it is worth the extra effort to preserve what we love about Colorado’s natural beauty.

    Waste diversion, including recycling, can be challenging in Wheat Ridge. It includes composting food scraps and leaves, recycling glass and cans, or bringing Styrofoam blocks to a hard-to-recycle center.

    Hopefully, the resources below can help your household take steps to reduce waste and limit what goes to the landfill.

    A simple first step is to identify what you are throwing out, what you are already keeping out of the landfill, and where you need support/resources.

    Take Action

    Join a waste reduction challenge for residents of Wheat Ridge.

    • Step 1: Take stock of what you’re throwing out through a home waste audit using our handy waste audit guide.
    • Step 2: Share your findings from your audit.
    • Step 3: Pledge how you plan to reduce your waste this month!

    Visit our Solid Waste & Recycling webpage on the Wheat Ridge City website to watch a short video guide on conducting an audit! We’ve also posted the directions for how to conduct the home waste audit and where you can share your findings and pledge.

    Become a #WasteWarrior and commit to using the #LandfillLast.

    For those who aren’t ready to take the plunge on the home waste audit idea without some more background, let’s talk. You might be surprised with what you find, and we encourage you to share data and feedback in our waste audit survey.

    Check out the Wheat Ridge Recycling Resource Guide to find where you can recycle all sorts of hard-to-recycle items like electronics, Styrofoam, bike parts and mattresses!

    Remember the 5 R’s:

    REFUSE - Don’t buy or accept products that are harmful to the environment, or that you don’t need.

    REDUCE - Use less.

    REUSE & REPURPOSE - Use something you already have instead of buying new. Examples include refillable water bottles, reusable coffee mugs, and reusable grocery bags.

    Use something for other than its original purpose. Get crafty! Examples include using GOOS (Good On One Side) paper from home or office that only has print on one side for scrap paper, or think of all the incredible ways you’ve seen people utilize pallets.

    RECYCLE - Then, after you’ve done ALL the other Rs, consider how to recycle nearly everything you use: paper, plastic, metal, glass, electronics, clothing, and even food and yard waste can be recycled through composting.

    February Sustainability Updates

    • The City of Wheat Ridge is partnering with Resource Central to bring the popular Garden in a Box program back for 2022. The first 100 Wheat Ridge residents who purchase a qualifying garden from Resource Central will be offered a $25 discount. Sales of the gardens begin March 1, 2022, on the Resource Central website.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, improving energy and water efficiency practices, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - January 2022 - New Year's Resolutions

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    Happy New Year from Sustainable Wheat Ridge! Since we are all making resolutions to better ourselves in 2022, why not add a few to better or environment and sustainable community? Little actions by each person today can make a big impact on our future together, so we have compiled a list of things we can all start doing today to make 2022 and beyond more prosperous for our city and the world.

    Reusable resolutions to start the reusable revolution!

    • Bring reusable bags on errands – Tip (because we all forget from time to time): Keep 2-3 reusable bags in your car and cycle them out as you use them that way you don’t have to worry about grabbing them as you leave the house.
    • Reusable batteries – rechargeable batteries may have a slightly higher upfront cost but tend to have longer life off a single charge than alkaline batteries, saving you a lot of money over time. Couple that with reducing batteries in landfill waste it’s a true win-win for you and our environment.

    Keep the Love Local!

    • Eat locally – Choosing a local restaurant is a great way to not only try something new, but also helps our friends and neighbors. Many restaurants in Wheat Ridge are owned by people that live in the community and source their food options from our city and surrounding areas.
    • Shop locally – Not only will you be supporting a small business and helping those that live in our city, you can also work on fitness based resolutions at the same time. Walking or biking to a store near your neighborhood is heart healthy and reduces environmental impact from driving your car.

    Keep Going Strong in the Spring!

    • Grow your own food – growing your own vegetables and herbs is a great way to dress up any meal and it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, anything you can’t use can be given to friends, neighbors or a local food bank.
    • Carbon footprint reduction – Planting early season vegetables in the spring and later season plants in summer can increase your growing season and help your soil stay healthy. By adding you own kitchen waste compost will not only cut down on waste but can help reduce your sue of store bought and chemical fertilizers.

    We hope this tips and ideas help you kick 2022 off right and support your personal resolutions and possibly inspire some new ones!

    January Sustainability Updates

    • The City of Wheat Ridge hosted the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center on Wednesday, January 12. This event was attended by 25 individuals, including Mayor Bud Starker, city leadership and staff, and Wheat Ridge residents. The charging stations, located at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center and City Hall, cost $1/hour and are available for public charging.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, connecting local producers and consumers, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - December 2021 - Want to Make the Nice List?

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    It’s as easy as counting 1-2-tree. Buy a real Christmas tree this holiday season. They are more environmentally friendly than fake ones made of plastic. U.S. residents purchase about 10 million artificial trees each year, and 90 percent of them come from China. That’s a lot of carbon emissions, and most artificial trees end up in landfills where they remain for hundreds pf years since plastic doesn’t easily break down.

    You can help combat climate change by cutting down or purchasing a sustainably grown real tree. Yes, that’s right—well-managed forests can store as much carbon as unmanaged forests. We can cut more than 30 percent of the carbon emissions needed to slow climate change with natural solutions like restoring our forests (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine). Science shows when our forests are sustainably managed, they can also produce renewable resources like Christmas trees and other wood-made products.

    Buying a permit and cutting your own tree from a county, state, or national forest helps reduce wildfire risks and prepares our public forests for climate change. Buying a tree from a local tree farm supports local communities. It gives landowners the profits they need to keep their land forested. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, tree farmers plant 1-3 seedlings for every tree cut. That means more trees to combat climate change and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and healthy soil. Sustainable tree farmers typically don’t use pesticides or chemical colorants.

    When decorating your tree or home, be sure to switch to LED holiday lights. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), LED light strands are sturdier, last longer, and consume 70 percent less energy than conventional incandescent ones. It only costs $0.27 to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days with LEDs compared to $10 for incandescent lights. Even better, LED lights are significantly less likely to burn out or break than their incandescent cousins. Why is this? DOE has an excellent web page explaining how LED and incandescent string lights work. https://www.energy.gov/articles/how-do-holiday-lights-work. If you have older incandescent string lights, you can recycle incandescent string lights and LED string lights at SustainAbility. Use a timer to save electricity.

    The City provides tree recycling services until mid-February. Remove all ornamentation, tree stands, twine, lights, and garland. Yard waste and other debris will not be accepted. Drop-off sites are open daily from sunrise until sunset for Wheat Ridge residents at the following park locations:

    • Anderson Park – 4355 Field St.

    • Panorama Park - 3400 Fenton St.

    For more information, contact the Parks, Forestry and Open Space office at 303-205-755

    Gift Giving:

    • Support local business by purchasing gift cards, buying local, and ordering food to go. Many businesses have pickup options. Check out the new Eat Ridge page for more information.
    • Give something edible. Make a dessert or a healthy snack packaged in reusable mason jars.
    • Give products that will help your friends and family go green, such as reusable mugs, water bottles, bags or lunch containers.
    • Give something edible. Make a dessert or a healthy snack packaged in reusable mason jars.

    Gift Wrapping: Reuse newspapers, maps, posters, fabric, calendars, and cloth bags to wrap tape-free gifts. Twine and plant clippings can be used for decorating and closing packages. Shop locally, including thrift, consignment, and second-hand stores. For shipping, replace foam or bubble wrap with balled-up newspaper or magazine pages.

    Have a safe and sustainable holiday season this year.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, connecting local producers and consumers, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - October 2021 - High Energy Bills and Fixed or Low Income?

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    Written by: Rob Robinson, Sustainable Wheat Ridge member

    The Energy Resource Center (ERC) is dedicated to making homes safer, more comfortable and more affordable. The ERC helps families winterize their homes and reduce their utility bills. The savings are an average of 25% on utility bills for the homes and families served. They work with income-qualified homeowners and renters. ERC is nonprofit offering qualified people FREE services. ERC is recommended by the Colorado Energy Office within the Governors’ office and the Sustainable Wheat Ridge committee.

    Who qualifies?

    If you qualify for the income-qualified Energy Assistance Program – LEAP – or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you automatically qualify for free assistance from ERC. Other automatic qualifiers include: SNAP, TANF. About two thirds of the clientele are senior citizens, living on a fixed income. Low-income families make up a large portion of the rest of that clientele.

    If you are not enrolled in any of the preceding programs, to qualify your income has to be less than 60% of state median income guidelines. Scroll down on the ERC application web page here, and you will find a table that shows the low-income threshold.

    What services are available?

    ERC’s certified technicians evaluate the needs of the home and conduct a whole-home energy audit. These measurements then establish which services are needed and indicate the energy efficiency work to be done. This work may include a new furnace, water heater, refrigerator, insulation in the sub spaces, walls and attic, air sealing, weather stripping, air leakage and water saving measures, carbon monoxide and smoke detector installation, heat pumps, solar panels, new light bulbs and more -- at no cost to residents. ERC construction crews follow strict COVID-19 protocols.

    These services are provided for:

    • Mobile homes
    • Modular homes
    • Site built homes (single family, townhomes/condos, apartments)
    • Homeowners
    • Renters
    • Landlords

    How do I get started?

    You can apply on-line, here. Or you can contact the local ERC:

    Denver Metro Office

    953 Decatur Street
    Denver, Colorado 80204
    Phone: (720) 236-1321

    For more information, read the Colorado Public Radio article about ERC.

    October Sustainability Updates

    • The City of Wheat Ridge is partnering with Scraps Mile High again this year for the second annual Yard Waste Drop Off Weekend on Saturday, November 6 & Sunday, November 7 from 9:00a - 1:00p at Anderson Park in Wheat Ridge. Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit https://bit.ly/WRYardWaste2021.
    • Sustainable Wheat Ridge is looking for new members! Applications are open now and will remain open until Friday, November 5. For more information or to apply, visit https://bit.ly/SWRapplication.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, connecting local producers and consumers, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - September 2021 - Food Waste is a Worldwide Problem That Contributes to Climate Change

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    By: April Nowak, Sustainable Wheat Ridge member

    Nearly 40 percent of all food produced in the United States is wasted and the average American household is spending $150 - $200 per month on wasted food!

    Food waste is a problem for a number of reasons:

    1. When we waste food, we waste money and all the resources that it took to grow that food (energy, water, etc.).

    2. There are people who don’t have enough food and could benefit from that food we are not eating.

    3. Food tossed in the trash contributes to climate change.

    Most food tossed in the trash goes to landfills where it doesn’t biodegrade. In fact, food waste in landfills contributes to an increase in methane production, a potent greenhouse gas that is a major contributor to climate change.

    And, yes, food waste is an issue throughout our food production systems. Food is wasted at the farm/ranch (where it is grown), at the market (grocery store/restaurant), and in the kitchen. But, let’s think about what we can do in our schools and homes to reduce food waste where we have the biggest capacity to influence that part of the problem

    So, what can we do? Thankfully, there are options to save you money and contribute to a healthy community and environment.

    Review these steps you can take:

    • Make a meal plan
    • Make a grocery list
    • Use your freezer to save food
    • Donate excess food (freshfoodconnect.org)
    • Compost your food scraps

    Reducing food waste at the source is the first step. Make a strategy that works for you and your family. We suggest tracking your grocery bills and what is being tossed or donated. That way, you can measure your progress.

    Then, feed hungry people. Do you have extra food that you can donate to feed people? If you have extra food, try to donate rather than tossing it in the landfill.

    If you have food or scraps that are not good for eating, then compost those food scraps. This contributes to a healthier environment by preventing the release of greenhouse gases and building healthy soil. There are currently a few ways to compost food scraps in Wheat Ridge, from composting at home or using a food scraps service.

    There are lots of resources out there to learn about how food waste contributes to climate change and how to reduce food waste in your home.

    See all our resources below!

    Take Action

    Join a waste reduction challenge for residents of Wheat Ridge.

    • Step 1: Take stock of what you’re throwing out through a home waste audit using our handy waste audit guide.

    • Step 2: Share your findings from your audit.

    • Step 3: Make a pledge for how you plan to reduce your waste this month!

    Visit our Solid Waste & Recycling webpage on the Wheat Ridge City website to watch a short video guide on conducting an audit! We’ve also posted the directions for how to conduct the home waste audit and where you can share your findings and pledge.

    Become a #WasteWarrior.

    For those who aren’t ready to take the plunge on the home waste audit idea without some more background, let’s talk. You might be surprised with what you find, and we encourage you to share data and feedback in our waste audit survey.

    Donate Food

    Fresh Food Connect

    Denver Food Rescue

    Food Bank of the Rockies

    How to Prevent Food Waste

    Food too Good to Waste Home and Garden

    Reducing Food Wasted at Home

    Make an ‘EAT ME FIRST’ sign for your refrigerator

    For kids and at school – Food Waste Action Kit

    How to Compost Food Scraps

    Composting at Home

    Composting Onsite at Schools

    Compost Companies Serving Wheat Ridge (this is not an endorsement of these services)

    Scraps Mile High https://www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/1798/Scraps---Residential-Compost-Drop-off-Pr

    SustainAbility https://www.sustainability-recycling.com/compost

    Compost Colorado https://www.compost-colorado.com/

    Learn about Food Waste

    US Department of Agriculture Food Loss and Waste

    PBS News Hour - Video https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/almost-half-americas-food-go-waste

    Kiss the Ground - Video - The Compost Story

    National Resources Defense Council Food Waste

    Benefits of Composting

    September Sustainability Updates

    • The City is participating in Fresh Food Connect again this growing season to partner local growers with those in need of food assistance. Residents can download the Fresh Food Connect app on their phones to donate their excess produce to Family Tree - which provides the fresh food to those in our community experiencing homelessness.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, connecting local producers and consumers, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - August 2021 - Regenerate Wheat Ridge: Regenerative Urban Agriculture Project

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    By: Amy DePierre, Sustainable Wheat Ridge Co-Chair

    Regenerate Wheat Ridge is a collaborative urban agriculture project focused on boosting awareness and technical capacity for restorative and agroecological farming practices in Wheat Ridge. The City of Wheat Ridge (COWR) and the Jefferson Conservation District (JCD) were jointly awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant for this regenerative agriculture project through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

    What is Regenerative Agriculture?

    While there is not a single definition for regenerative agriculture, it is broadly understood to mean agriculture that utilizes farming, grazing, and land practices that restore organic soil matter and support healthy natural ecosystems.

    Practitioners of regenerative agriculture consider their farms or gardens as holistic, linked systems. Examples of practices used on regenerative farmland may include, yet are not limited to: composting, no- or minimal- tillage, cover cropping, perennial crops, native and multi-species planting, pollinator habitat, and rotational grazing. These adaptive, location-specific land management techniques can help to sequester carbon, reduce waste, decrease chemical use and pollution, save water, increase pollinator habitat, and lower ambient air temperatures while producing nutrient-rich food.

    Regenerate Wheat Ridge Goals

    Regenerate Wheat Ridge has two goals:

    1. To bring together farmers and landowners to identify opportunities, barriers, and actions needed to create new regenerative farms in Wheat Ridge.
    2. Connect the community to conservation practices already in place at Happiness Gardens, Wheat Ridge’s community garden, through a series of free educational workshops.

    Join the Conversation // Get Involved

    If you are a landowner or local food producer in Wheat Ridge interested in joining the ongoing conversation about producer-landowner partnerships for regenerative agricultural opportunities, please email Amy DePierre: amy.depierre@gmail.com

    Sign up for upcoming educational workshops and see notes from past workshops here:

    http://www.rootedinfun.com/302/Regenerative-Agriculture

    August Sustainability Updates

    • The City of Wheat Ridge is accepting new neighborhood applications for the Sustainable Neighborhoods program! The City will be accepting applications for the program until Monday, August 30, 2021. To find out more about the program and the application, click here.
    • The City is participating in Fresh Food Connect again this growing season to partner local growers with those in need of food assistance. Residents can download the Fresh Food Connect app on their phones to donate their excess produce to Family Tree - which provides the fresh food to those in our community experiencing homelessness.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, connecting local producers and consumers, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here!

  • Sustainability Spotlight - July 2021 - Summer Outdoor Watering

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    By: Christopher Bird, Sustainable Wheat Ridge member

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent of which is devoted to outdoor uses. As the weather warms up and drought conditions persist, water conservation is more important than ever, especially when it comes to outdoor watering.

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge has some tips to help improve outdoor watering habits and consumption!

    • Install a rain barrel to collect water (it has been a surprisingly wet season here in Colorado).
    • Install drip water efficient drip irrigation systems for your landscaping.
    • Consider switching landscaping plants to native plants that require less water for our alpine desert climate.
    • Set automatic sprinklers to water early in the morning or late at night to reduce loss from evaporation.
    • Maintain automatic sprinkler systems and check for broken sprinkler heads and underground pipe leaks.
    • If you do not have automatic sprinklers, set a timer on your phone to remind you to shut off your hose powered sprinklers.
    • Collect indoor water that you normally let run down the drain as you wait for it to warm up and utilize it for outdoor watering needs.
    • Remove dead/dying plants and weeds from landscaping that compete for available water.
    • Mulch flower areas and gardens to reduce water loss.

    Water conservation benefits us all and will help what you pay out of pocket for water usage. If you would like a free rain barrel diverter kit from Sustainable Wheat Ridge, contact sustainability@ci.wheatridge.co.us. A rain barrel diverter kit will help you make a rain barrel out of an old trash receptacle, barrel or other large receptacle. Happy watering!

    July Sustainability Updates

    • The City of Wheat Ridge is accepting new neighborhood applications for the Sustainable Neighborhoods program! If you are interested in the program and would like to learn more, an open house event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 27 at 6:30 P.M. at the Wheat Ridge City Hall City Council Chambers. The City will be accepting applications for the program until Monday, August 30, 2021. To find out more about the program and the application, click here(External link).
    • The City is hosting a series of Sustainable Neighborhoods pop up events for neighbors who are interested in learning more about the program and the application process. Come out to the upcoming events to meet your neighbors, enjoy complimentary food and beverages, and learn about the program!
      • Tuesday, July 20, 4-6 p.m. at Founders Park
      • Wednesday, July 21, 4-6 p.m. at Anderson Park (stick around for Performances in the Park!)
      • Thursday, July 22, 4-6 p.m. at Colorado Plus (part of Localworks' Porches and Patios event!)
    • The City is participating in Fresh Food Connect again this growing season to partner local growers with those in need of food assistance. Residents can download the Fresh Food Connect app on their phones to donate their excess produce to Family Tree - which provides the fresh food to those in our community experiencing homelessness.

    More about Sustainable Wheat Ridge

    Sustainable Wheat Ridge (External link)is a resident-led committee that was established in 2018 to provide the city with recommendations to enhance the environmental sustainability of Wheat Ridge. Included in these recommendations are goals around preserving Wheat Ridge’s agricultural history, connecting local producers and consumers, and establishing partnerships to support local food production. Check out the full Sustainable Wheat Ridge action plan here(External link)!

Page last updated: 13 May 2022, 12:10 PM