Earth Force Albuquerque
Through partnerships with government agencies, businesses, schools, and local parks, students explore root causes of stormwater runoff in their neighborhoods and develop sustainable solutions. Educators use the Community Action and Problem Solving Process to guide youth from inventory to action.
The learning laboratory for Albuquerque students is the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest. This program is supported by Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Sandia National Laboratories, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, City of Albuquerque.
Last year, fourth grade students at Mountain View Elementary wanted to address the environmental inequalities they faced in their urban community. They created a youth-focused environmental justice survey and administered in the neighborhood. The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge was so impressed with their findings, they chose to incorporate the results in the Refuge’s first ever environmental justice policy.
Earth Force Denver
The Denver stormwater programming launched in 2012 with funding from EPA Region 8’s Urban Waters Small Grant Program. The program currently engages 2,000 young people each year in addressing environmental issues affecting the South Platte River Urban Watershed.
Students work with their community to influence stormwater practices. Students from Annunciation K-8 took the lessons they learned in their science class and used it to advocate a redesign of the River North Park to incorporate a “stormwater garden” in the final designs. Their garden will decrease urban runoff, increase the accessibility of the park – and create lasting proof that young people can make our communities more sustainable.
The program is supported by State Farm, EPA Region 8, City of Lakewood.