Bea Underwood Elementary wins first place in Bike and Walk to School Challenge

May 17, 2013

In an all-school assembly on Friday, May, 17, Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson and Parachute Mayor Judy Beasley awarded $1,100 in cash prizes to Bea Underwood Elementary School. The school, part of Garfield District 16 in Battlement Mesa and Parachute, won first prize in the 4th annual Bike and Walk to School Challenge hosted by Garfield Clean Energy. The school won $1,000, and the top three classrooms won $50, $25 and $25. Alpine Bank donated funding for these prizes, along with cash prizes for three other winning schools and 33 other winning classrooms.

Ryan Gilbert, Alpine Bank manager for Battlement Mesa and Rifle, started the assembly by urging students to spend plenty of time outdoors on their bikes.
Mayor Beasley presented the top three classroom awards, and Commissioner Samson presented the first prize award to teacher Sarah Dillon, who coordinated the competition efforts at Bea Underwood. Samson also entertained the students by telling them the story of his first bicycle, which he named “Bullet,” which he bought at the age of 8 after spending a summer working to earn money to buy it.

A second awards ceremony to honor three other winning schools will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 20, during the Garfield Board of County Commissioners’ regular meeting. The other winning schools are Carbondale Middle School in second place, Carbondale Community School in third place, and Rifle Middle School winning the Jumbo Savers award.

The Bike and Walk to School Challenge, held April 23, 24 and 25, involved 12 elementary and middle schools in Battlement Mesa, Rifle, New Castle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. The competition engaged 167 classes and 5,575 students, who earned points for their class and school by riding their bikes or walking to school, riding the school bus or riding in a carpool. In the three days of the Challenge, the students saved $37,574 in gasoline, avoided 21,098 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, and burned 232,603 calories. The competition had a dual goal of reducing energy consumption and promoting healthy, human-powered transportation.

The 2013 Bike & Walk to School Challenge is sponsored by Garfield Clean Energy, Alpine Bank, LiveWell Garfield County, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region.