St. John Elementary wins school energy challenge |

St. John Elementary wins school energy challenge

Cam BurnsSpecial to the Post IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Cam Burns Special to the Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – St. John Elementary School in Parachute has won the Garfield Clean Energy Home Room & School Challenge. Students at the school saved $2,101 in avoided energy costs during the competition and cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 2,012 pounds during the five-day contest held April 25-29. St. John Elementary earned a total of 18,373 points, and took home a cash prize of $2,000 awarded Monday in an awards ceremony with the Garfield County commissioners.Commissioners John Martin, Tom Jankovsky and Mike Samson awarded cash prizes to students from three winning schools, first place winner St. John Elementary, Crystal River Elementary in Carbondale in second place for $500, and Highland Elementary in Rifle in third place for $100. In awarding the prizes, Martin congratulated the students and noted that he has been walking to work for 40 years. Alpine Bank provided the funding for the prizes.”We had an unbelievable response to the challenge,” said Cathy Tuttle, project manager for Clean Energy Economy for the Region, which organized the challenge. “Seventeen schools in three school districts (approximately 7,000 students) across the county participated. All told, this represents several thousand Garfield County residents who are becoming aware of energy issues and how to address them.”Schools won points for students walking, biking, carpooling, or riding the bus to school. Schools won additional points when students signed their families up to take energy-saving actions in their homes. More than 1,000 students signed up their homes and families, and hundreds walked, biked, or took the bus.Schools in Parachute, Rifle, Silt, New Castle, Glenwood Springs, and Carbondale participated. Crystal River Elementary earned a total of 14,917 points, while Highland Elementary earned 12,599. Altogether, the 17 schools saved $37,621 in avoided energy costs during the competition and cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 43,908 pounds, according to Tuttle.”We are hoping to be able to purchase a new bike rack because we don’t have enough room in the existing rack,” said Jenna Hemphill, physical education teacher at St. John Elementary School. “We also want to have the kids help with safety issues and concerns in crossing the street. We have a busy road that we have to cross on the way to school. And we also want to buy some new equipment.”The annual Garfield Clean Energy Home Room & School Challenge is part of the county-wide Garfield Clean Energy Challenge, which helps homes and businesses save energy and cut energy costs. Homes signed up for the Garfield Clean Energy Challenge get access to technical assistance for energy audits and improvements, ongoing help in applying for utility rebates and incentives, and are eligible for monthly prize drawings and additional incentives.The Clean Energy Challenge is a project of Garfield Clean Energy, a countywide collaboration between towns, county government, RFTA, and the Garfield Library District, with program management provided by CLEER.For more information, visit or call 704-9200.

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