Earth day

Click here to nominate an
ECO Champion 

Click here for the April Earth Month Calendar 

 Looking for a way to occupy your time while we’re stuck inside? 

Check out Earth Day Network’s quiz bank and test your knowledge on environmental issues.

 Make A Difference!

Join us in conserving our resources.

Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Our mission is to engage students, teachers and schools throughout our district in sustainability learning initiatives.  Our goal is to provide the opportunity for every student in our district to receive environmental education as part of their learning experience in DCSD.

Alignment to DCSD Unity of Purpose

Academic Excellence – Sustainability initiatives provide authentic student-led learning experiences that are inclusive of all learning abilities and often reach the “hard to reach” students while supporting the Colorado Academic Standards.


Outstanding Educators and Staff – The Office of Sustainability provides professional development through quarterly face to face networking sessions and our annual professional learning conference, Green U.


Safe, Positive Climate and Culture - School wide sustainability initiatives such as school gardens, recycling programs and energy reduction competitions bring students together through collaborative learning and celebrations.


Collaborative Relations with Parents and Community – Schools are encouraged and often choose to include the community in implementing and celebrating sustainability projects.  DCSD school community involvement includes community gardening, community showcase nights, display gardens and our annual “Earth Day Extravaganza!” which displays and celebrates school, teacher and student success in sustainability.


Financial Well-Being - Energy savings initiatives, water reduction, waste reduction for the district while teaching students financial literacy.


Watch some of the videos below to learn about sustainability around Douglas County schools, or skip ahead to read more about our work and find resources to get YOUR school involved in sustainability initiatives!


Freight Farm
Freight Farms’ hydroponic vertical container farms use nearly 99% less water than a traditional farm, running with as little as zero to five gallons per day, less than the average dishwasher. Click here to play audio
December 9, 2019

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A Douglas County High School is using a refrigerated freight container converted into a hydroponic farm as an extension of the classroom.

At Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, students learn how to grow leafy greens and other vegetables. And David Larsen, who teaches business agriculture at the school, said other learning opportunities branch out from there.

“Then you take all the different aspects of it, like the business side, marketing, branding all those things that we want kids to have practical experience on,” Larsen said. “If you have kids that are interested in engineering technology side of it, there's a control system and automation in there."

Students package and sell their harvests to local restaurants, students' families and staff, and any extra produce goes to retirement homes and food pantries. Larsen said students also gain soft skills such as how to be a good employee, punctuality, engagement, responsibility, and how to be the public face of a business.

Because the climate is controlled inside the container, food can be grown all school year long with a predictable commercial-scale output. A greenery unit can support 13,000 plants at a time, producing harvests of up to 900 heads of lettuce per week. Larsen said the indoor farm also is resistant to shocks such as extreme weather patterns or drought.

"The taste is incredible. When people eat our lettuces, they're like, 'Oh, wow, I didn't know lettuce could taste like that,’” he said. “There's some very interesting varieties of herbs as well. We do a lot of different arugulas. I think the freshness just really sets it apart."

The high-tech containers are the brainchild of the Massachusetts-based company Freight Farms, and are well suited for Colorado. They use nearly 99% less water than a traditional farm, running with as little as five gallons per day - less than the average dishwasher.
Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO

graph describing initiatives within DCSD schools

Cost SavingsUtility Savings


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.

Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado,, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public.