Earlier this year, Newmont Cripple Creek and Victor’s environmental department teamed up with the Catamount Institute’s Young Environmental Stewards (YES club) to put environmental science to work.
Based in Colorado’s Pikes Peak region, the YES Club is an award-winning, innovative, science-based program designed for fourth and fifth grade students – it combines environmental science, community service, technology and leadership to develop ecological stewards through education and adventure.
Gary Horton, Senior Environmental Coordinator for Newmont CC&V, who led the day’s efforts, explained the history and environment of a former sand and gravel mine that was abandoned prior to CC&V operations. Over several years, the YES Club and other community groups have helped CC&V reclaim this location – a meaningful project to YES Club students and teachers who get to return from year to year and see the results of their work.
On a chilly spring day, YES students, teachers, parents and CC&V employees worked together to build Rocky Mountain Blue Bird boxes at 9,500 feet in elevation.
While at the reclamation site, located between the cities of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado, the busy team helped build a small animal habitat from used pallets and slash cleared from around local homes.
Near the end of the day, each of the young environmental stewards spread a special mixture of grass and plant seed using the tried and true method of hand casting. The mixture is known to grow well in this environment with help from the heavy, wet snowfall common to the area in the spring.
The day also included a tour of Newmont CC&V’s mining operations. Tracy Jackson, Catamount Education Director, thanked Newmont CC&V “for an amazing day that really captured where our mined metal resources come from and how responsible reclamation can repair a site once mining is done. Our kids keep telling stories about it to their friends.” When children tell stories about hands-on work, it’s a good sign that they have had a positive learning experience.
Thank you to all the students, parents, teachers and employees who helped make the excursion safe and educational. To read more about the event, visit the Catamount Institute’s blog.