The mission of Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC) is to be a resource and catalyst for building a sustainable community in the Yampa Valley. YVSC engages residents and visitors in resource conservation to sustain our valley for future generations.
"What I think is really cool about ReTree is all the kids who are out here digging and getting their hands dirty and laughing and having fun. And helping to restore this beautiful river bank." - John Twitchell, Colorado State Forester
"I knew my house leaked and was cold and drafty--I was pouring money out the windows. I knew something had to be done, but I couldn't afford to do it. YVSC targeted areas that needed weatherization and insulation. It would have taken me years to tackle those issues and resolve them. It was invaluable to me to have the help from YVSC. Financially, or physically, I couldn't have done it myself." - YVSC CARE client
"I give to Yampa Valley Sustainability Council because it provides our community with tangible programs that reduce its impact on the environment. I also enjoy YVSC's educational programs, which help me learn ways to live more sustainably while also providing a way to connect with like-minded people in the Yampa Valley."
-Diane Miller, Friends of YVSC donor
"I learned that I have a lot of heat loss through my windows and doors. I have installed a storm door and am caulking my windows to reduce this loss."
-Energy assessment client
"I really think ReTree is a great experience and fun for anyone because we're helping the community as well as helping the earth. I've learned so much. It just feels amazing to give back to the community after so much has been given to me."
- Caroline, 7th grade ReTree participant:
"I learned a lot about different light bulbs and what a difference that can make, as well as about R values of insulation and where I can put insulation to improve the efficiency of my place. I have seen a difference in my utility bills. They are down on average $30 per month."
-Energy efficiency "Jump Start" client
"I am a proud Friend of YVSC, and I would like to invite you to become a Friend too. The monthly giving makes it convenient and affordable to contribute toward the YVSC causes and programs I believe in: sustainable schools, green building & energy, local foods, recycling, zero waste and ReTree, one of my personal favorites. YVSC does so much incredible work! Become a monthly supporter: your contribution will go a long way making our community a more sustainable one."
-Carolina Manriquez, Forester, Colorado State Forest Service, and Friends of YVSC donor
"Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is doing exemplary on-the-ground work in Steamboat Springs and the Bud Werner Memorial Library is always thrilled to collaborate in creating engaging educational outreach with this organization. No matter how near and dear sustainability is to the community's heart, perpetuating debate and conversation, and opportunities for continuing education, are key components to turning ideas into action. These are the sweet seeds for sustainability that our ongoing collaborations provide."
-Jennie Lay, Adult Programs Coordinator, Bud Werner Memorial Library
"At Strawberry Park Elementary the word 'sustainable' is now used on a regular basis thanks to all the support from our community and YVSC's Sustainable Schools program. Our students are teaching the staff how to help the environment by asking for containers for recycling where there are none and turning off lights as they leave classrooms. The staff is helping the students implement successful systems by bringing the topic into the classrooms and making it a priority."
-Anna White, Teacher, Strawberry Park Elementary
"YVSC's volunteer training made me decide to keep pushing my homeowner's association to arrange for recycling pickup at our condo complex."
-Sustainable Events Volunteer
"We always enjoy working with students on ReTree. Everyone is involved, they help each other, and are proud of what they have accomplished. Many have told me they will bring their family to check on the trees. The 'hands on' aspect gives them an appreciation of the work it takes and that they have done their part to assist nature."
-Steve and Pam Williams, ReTree volunteers
YVSC is bringing our community together to fight climate change locally and sustain the Yampa Valley for future generations:
YVSC evolved out of the City of Steamboat Springs' Green Team established in 2005. The citizen aspect of the original group went on to form YVSC in 2008. In July 2009, YVSC received its nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizational status.
Originally, the main purpose of YVSC was to foster collaboration among local environmental groups to leverage funding and prevent duplication of services. Over the years, the organization has grown to meet growing community needs for environmental programs and services. To respond to the urgency of climate change, YVSC has embarked on a comprehensive climate action campaign.
Through a diverse array of program offerings that impact every sector of the community, YVSC provides education and outreach, tools and resources, advocacy and service projects:
YVSC's Waste Diversion program encompasses education and events to promote the recycling of traditional and hard-to-recycle materials through our A-Z Recycling Guide and biannual Recycling Drop-Off events; initiatives to reduce household, school and commercial food waste; advocacy to increase the accessibility of waste diversion in our isolated rural community through the development and implementation of a countywide strategic plan; and Sustainable Events, which are reducing waste at public and private events of all sizes.
Through our Energy program, YVSC is helping people of all income levels improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. We are also advocating for renewable energy, educating about sustainable transportation, and supporting our local economy through energy assessments, rebates and incentives.
YVSC's Sustainable Schools program is inspiring students to preserve our environment and reduce climate impacts by engaging them to reduce waste, conserve energy and restore forests.
Talking Green is an adult education series with at least 9 events annually that encourages local climate action through guest presentations, timely films, garden, business and home tours, and networking events. The variety of topics attracts a new audience of 35-175 people at every event.
YVSC's Green Building program is improving the energy efficiency, sustainability and indoor health of our local built environment by educating homeowners, builders, real estate professionals and businesses through outreach, workshops and tours.
Through the ReTree program, YVSC is restoring upland and riparian forests and connecting the local community, especially youth, to their environment through tree planting and stewardship projects.
Currently, YVSC has a following of more than 4,000 individuals, businesses and organizations. The strong commitment of YVSC's staff, board, volunteers and donors makes YVSC a leader in sustainability in the Yampa Valley and a model organization for rural sustainability efforts.