Sustainability and Outdoor Education at Colorado College
The Outdoor Education Center aims to incorporate sustainability into not only its daily practices, but into every project it promotes. This intentionality has won Colorado College the Green Program Award (2015), deeming it the “greenest” outdoor program in the country by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education. And it’s really no wonder how CC came to win this prestigious award; from the very structure of the CC Outdoor Education Center building to the t-shirts bought for outdoor leaders, every move the OEC makes has sustainability in mind.
The core tenants in Outdoor Education at Colorado College are leadership, service, and stewardship. These tenants are realized through healthy relationships with other people, as well as the natural environment. Since so much of the value of Outdoor Education is derived from these relationships, the members and staff at CC Outdoor Education feel an obligation to strive to act in a sustainable manner. Outdoor Education is in an excellent position to not just act sustainably, but also to teach an ethic of sustainability to the entire Colorado College outdoor community.
Teach Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles practiced for all outdoor trips
Risk analysis always calculated in trip planning
Unused trip food is either donated to Colorado Springs Food Rescue or composted
Local produce is eaten during New Student Orientation (NSO) trips
Organically/locally grown food produced by Arkansas Valley Organic Growers (AVOG)
This produce is encouraged for FOOT trips/Outdoor Recreation Club (ORC) trips
Composting option for trips
Reusable bags for grocery shopping
Local food helps fuel our service trips (13,000 + hours of service)
Senes of place trips focus on educating the CC community about the area's cultural history, ecology, geology, and sources of our sustenance
Examine watersheds, foodshed, and energy sources
Helps students have a better understanding of the environment they live and play in, in addition to gaining a more educated perspective on how they impact the world