Sustainability

We love our city and community! As such, we all share the responsibility to enhance the mountain environment we cherish. The following are a few ways the city, along with its partners, is working to spur change in our community. 

Spur Change Logo
  1. Plastic & Paper Bags
  2. STAR Community
  3. Yampa River

Give Plastic The Sack GraphicIn Steamboat Springs, 3.8 million single-use plastic bags are used yearly by shoppers at the markets included in the plastic bag ban. 

Under Ordinance 2699, large markets in the City of Steamboat Springs will no longer provide single-use plastic carryout bags and will charge a 20-cent fee for paper bags. 

The Plastic Bag Ban and Paper Bag Fee went into effect on OCTOBER 1, 2019.

Sustainability Focus

Sustainability is not an end goal but is a journey that the City of Steamboat Springs is taking to improve the social, environmental and economic conditions in our city and community. The City of Steamboat Springs' vision statement specifically includes sustainability and is "to preserve our past while assuring an economically, culturally and environmentally sustainable future.”

These are just a sample of the city’s efforts in regard to environmental sustainability. Overall, these actions are emblematic of how environmental sustainability is simply part of the culture at the City of Steamboat Springs.

  • Air Quality

  • Alternative-Mode Transportation

  • Climate Adaptation

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Habitat Management

  • Pollution Prevention

  • Transportation

  • Waste Minimization

  • Water Conservation

SweeperAir Quality

  • The city will be designing a new parking lot at the Rodeo Grounds using CMAQ funds, which is intended to improve air quality, but also water quality.
  • Year-round street sweeping removed nearly 4,000 tons of material in past two years, again improving air quality, and also water quality.

RIMG5552Alternative-Mode Transportation

  • Constructed new sidewalks at: 10th Street, between Lincoln Avenue and the Oak/Lincoln alley to Yampa Street, adjacent to the 10th & Yampa parking lot to Yampa Street, between 6th Street and Butcherknife Creek to US 40, between Anglers Drive and Fish Creek
  • In 2019, the city intends to construct new sidewalks in numerous locations in and around the downtown area as well as a trail and an underpass under US Highway 40 at Fish Creek
  • The city will be installing additional bike racks downtown and looks to implement bike lanes along 5th Street between Oak and Yampa Streets.

CompactClimate Adaptation

  • Joined Colorado Climate Compact in 2018.
  • Partnering with Routt County and other governmental agencies to update the Routt County Hazard Mitigation Plan and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council on a Greenhouse Gas study.
  • As a matter of policy, any new bus purchased is a diesel-electric hybrid rather than simply diesel-powered.

Image4.jpgEnergy Efficiency

  • Replaced Metal Halide and incandescent lights in the Regional Transit Center in Craig with LED fixtures for a savings of $23,929 over the lifecycle of the LED bulbs.
  • A three year energy savings initiative began at the Howelsen Ice Complex in 2015 and the efforts have resulted in about $40,000 in energy savings annually.

NOAHWETZEL_0055Habitat Management

  • Over half of the Haymaker property was left in natural grasslands.
  • For the past seven years, a nesting pair of Sand Hill Cranes have made Haymaker home.  
  • Over the life of the course, altered mowing patterns have allowed more than 5 acres to be put back into a natural state.
  • Recognized as Tree City USA for 28th year in a row, utilizing our forestry staff to maintain over 3,000 trees in parks, open space, facilities and within streetscapes and right of ways.

NOAHWETZEL_4188Pollution Prevention

  • Haymaker Golf Course was the first golf course in Colorado to attain Signature Status in the Audubon International Signature Program.

Summer 2019 Local Service-3Transportation

  • Reinstating 20-minute nighttime service from the prior year’s 30-minute levels, resulted in a return to higher ridership trends.
  • Chinook and Walton Creek transit stop improvements, including adding sidewalk connections to the stop, in an effort to increase ridership at these locations.
  • Installation of solar-powered lighting at all bus shelters that are not located in the downtown area.
  • Installing 20 small, post-mounted trash baskets at the bus stops with the highest passenger volumes.

P-R TrashWaste Minimization

  • Adopted the Waste Diversion Strategic Plan in 2019.
  • Implementing a plastic bag ban and disposable bag fee, with fees utilized for waste minimization activities.
  • Waste oil generated by city vehicles is used to heat the Public Works Shop and Transit Operations Center.
  • The city hosts a steel recycling dumpster at the Public Works Shop and recycling receptacles in all parks, trailheads and some trail locations.

IMG_7366Water Conservation

  • Stage II water restrictions resulted in an estimated area-wide water savings of 400 acre feet in 2018.
  • Rebates for replacing old toilets, dishwashers, and clothes washers with water-efficient models.
  • In partnership with Mt. Werner Water, the city will be updating the 2011 Water Conservation Plan.
  • Parks & Recreation maintains and improves non potable irrigation systems with water rights at Howelsen Park, Emerald Park, Memorial Park and West Lincoln Park.
  • Completed a Yampa River Health Assessment and Streamflow Management Plan, which among many items, will enhance forest cover along river banks.
  • A new washout containment facility ensures environmentally-responsible disposal of street sweeper debris.
  • The city along with Friends of the Yampa, Yampa River State Park and the NW Colorado Parrot Head Club host an annual large-scale Yampa River Clean-Up.
  • Trail construction and annual maintenance is planned and carried out to reduce erosion and impacts to water ways on trail systems.