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YES Club Symposium December

On Saturday, December 9th, fourth and fifth-grade students from 13 different schools came together at Colorado College to present what they had learned about Wildfire Ecology during their semester in YES Club.

Students and parents started the morning off with a presentation from a wildland firefighter and forester who talked about prescribed burns, returning to the concept we’d begun the semester with: not all fires are bad, and fire is essential to keep many ecosystems healthy. After the presentation concluded, students took turns presenting their final projects to other clubs. Projects this semester included clearing dead wood from a house in the Black Forest burn area, writing a picture book about wildfire, making thank you bags for firefighters, researching the history of Colorado wildfires, and having a community campfire at a school.

We had 15 community members act as judges, including representatives from the El Pomar Foundation, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Catamount Institute Board of Directors, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and others. The judges chose an award for each school and gave the Environmental Impact award to Queen Palmer Elementary for their Community Campfire event, which had a huge turnout and included hot dogs, s’mores, and fire safety education.

Before awards were given, students and parents were taken on a tour of Colorado College by current and past students. The highlight of the tour for many was CC’s newly renovated Tutt Library, which has net zero emissions thanks in large part to solar panels on the building and off campus and a geothermal energy field under the college’s quad.

Below are photos of each club and their award (not all YES students were present at the symposium) as well as some pictures from the tours!

Academy ACL won the “Best Technology award for their video “Fire Safety Through Digital Media”

Sunrise Elementary won the “Polaski Award” for their “Project Give Back”

Lake George Charter School won the “Mitigation Masters Award” for their project “Don’t Let It Burn, Clear the Fuel!”

Helen Keller Elementary won the “Understanding Wildfires Award” for their project “Wildfires”

Monroe Elementary School received the “John Muir Award” for their project “Eradicating the Noxious and Tenacious Mullein”

School in the Woods received the “Rachel Carson Award” for their project “FIRE! Friend or foe?”

Queen Palmer Elementary won the Environmental Impact Award for their Community Campfire project

Columbine Elementary received the “Spreading Knowledge Like Wildfire” award for their skit on Fire Prevention Education

Buena Vista Elementary Won the “Jane Goodall Award” for focusing on animals for their picture book “Wildfire Emergency”

Giberson Elementary won the “Richard Beidleman Award” for their project on Colorado Wildfire History

Cresson Elementary School won the “Future Foresters Award” for their project “Colorado Trees and Plants vs. Wildfire”

Grant Elementary won the “Thoughtful Environmental Media” award for their project “Keeping Your Home Safe, Inside and Out”

GLOBE Charter School won the “Friends of the Forest Award” for their project doing mitigation in Black Forest


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Catamount Institute
740 West Caramillo St.
Colo Spgs, CO 80907
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