Home > Creativity and Innovation > Earth Day at @FVSofColorado

Earth Day at @FVSofColorado

On April 20th, 2016, the Fountain Valley School changes it schedule to donate the day to Earth Day.  We lined up FuturePointe to discuss the history of food and agriculture in America.

We had a break for lunch, then the fun activities began. The list below were our sessions for our students to choose from:

GMOs – Are They Debatable? – What is a GMO? How many GMOs do you eat? How can you tell if you are consuming these organisms? Work with Future Point leaders and take a side. Debate the pros and cons and decide if we should be doing more by taking one of these two opposing perspectives. “The right to know what’s in our food-GMO” vs. “Labeling creates unjustified beliefs that what’s in their food is harmful-when it is not.”


Trashion: Wearable Recycled Art – Many of the materials used to wrap up the things we
buy end up in landfills or floating down sewers until they get stuck swirling in a vortex in the ocean. Work in small teams to create awesome upcycled wearable sculptures out of plastic bags, bicycle inner tubes, pop cans and other non-biodegradable materials.


Adopt-A-Waterway, Fountain Creek Clean-up – It’s up to each of us to keep our waters clean. That’s the idea behind the Adopt-A-Waterway Program. Fountain Valley School has partnered with the The City of Colorado Springs Stormwater Engineering department by formally adopting a ½ mile section of Fountain Creek, for the purpose of protecting and improving water quality in our region. Each year we do our part to clean up trash and debris that is washed into the Fountain Creek Watershed. You will be amazed at what a difference we can make, together!

Aquaponics and Local Food – Eat locally, think globally! FVS strives to be more sustainable, buy purchasing food from local vendors who provide fresh food without transportation costs and environmental impact. Come learn about aquaponics, a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as in fish tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. Take a tour of Daily Harvest Aquaponics, a local source of produce served in our dining hall.

Adopt-A-Road, and Perry Mirrors and Solar Panels – We’ve all seen litter scattered along the roads that border our FVS campus, but do not think of it’s impact other than as an eyesore. These items can include tires, furniture, carpeting, construction debris and other household trash, old appliances, paint cans, batteries. Anytime it rains or snows the precipitation and wind carries waste into the watershed or percolates through the debris carrying pollutants directly into groundwater. Additionally, many of these items can collect water and eventually breed mosquitoes. Research has shown that trash attracts trash, and when a community is clean, it tends to stay clean. Each one of us has the ability to make a difference for our neighborhood and clean water. It starts by picking up the next piece of litter we see. Let’s put trash in its place!  The Perry Dorms were designed to provide passive solar energy and reduce energy use for lighting and heating, and recently underwent a major overhaul. Come learn how they work, and help with the annual maintenance needed to keep these important resources running efficiently. The Science building was outfitted with solar panels which supply additional renewable energy into the power grid, and help to lower our school’s carbon emissions. Come learn how they work, and help with the annual maintenance needed to keep these important resources running efficiently. During the last part of the day, you will assist the FVS facilities managers in resetting the dorm mirrors to optimum angle for the spring sun angle and will clean the solar panels.

Butterfly Garden and Bench – Come learn about native pollinators and their habitats, and help create/expand the butterfly and bird garden adjacent to the science building, which was established two years ago on Earth Day. Bring your shovel ready hands to plant/transplant attractive species of plants that do not require much water and provide a valuable resource for wildlife on campus.



Adams Mountain Cafe – Visit Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs to learn new
vegan or vegetarian recipes. Students make one recipe each and then share food with each other.



Vegetarian and Plant-Based Cooking on Campus –  Learn about the impact you can have on the planet if you eat vegetarian just one day per week. This workshop will guide you through meat protein alternatives and end with a cooking lesson where you can create your own plant-based dish.

SEEDS Volunteers –  Seeds Community Café is a nonprofit that provides a sustainable alternative to food, employment and local economic insecurity through a “pay as you can afford” café that provides the general population and specifically those living on the economic margins, healthy and locally sourced meals; employment training and apprenticeships; healthy living, shopping and cooking education classes; volunteer engagement opportunities; and empowerment. Come learn more about what makes a community cafe so beneficial both to the local population and environment.

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Harlen Wolfe Ranch – A trip to Pikes Peak Urban Gardens at Harlan Wolfe Ranch to see how they compost, tend the beehives, and grow plants in their greenhouse. After the educational portion, students will assist with some trail building activities.




Redstone Castle Kinders – Dan/Gail Stewart P ‘09 – Visit a local family who is producing a lot of their own food in Manitou Springs. They raise goats, chickens and vegetables. Learn to milk goats and help get their garden composted, planted and ready for the spring and summer.

The Edible Schoolyard at the Mountain Song School – Cooking Arts and Agricultural Arts classes co-teach in a seed to table curriculum focused on organic plant-based nutrition with a focus on seasonal locally sourced foods and growing and cooking one’s own food as an important life skill.


Celebrating the Good and Spreading the Word – FVS is doing a lot of green–more than you may think. Working in small groups, students will star in and create a 60-second Public Service Announcements about our sustainability and our connection to the land. At the end of the session, the group will choose one video to show at the final wrap-up of Earth Day.

FVS Community Garden – It’s time to get the FVS community garden ready for summer! Working closely with the faculty, you will prepare the soil, till in the home-grown compost, set up the sprinkler system, and plant the corn, pumpkins, and flowers that will be harvested next Fall, and set them up for success by covering them with DIY cloches made from recycled water bottles.

FVS Trail Maintenance – Working with Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, you will help renovate a portion of FVS’s prairie trails by building water diversion swells and redirecting an existing trail around wetlands on the back prairie.

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