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Clean Energy Economy for the Region

PRESS RELEASE
May 7, 2014

Contact: Heather McGregor
hmcgregor@cleanenergyeconomy.net
(970) 702-9200 office

bike and walk
Bea Underwood Elementary wins Bike & Walk to School Challenge, again Students burn 161,406 calories in annual competition


Bea Underwood Elementary in Battlement Mesa has won the 2014 Garfield Clean Energy Bike & Walk to School Challenge. The school, which also won in 2013, will receive a $750 prize at an awards assembly on May 22.

Carbondale Community School placed second and Carbondale Middle School won third, and will receive cash prizes of $300 and $150. The countywide classroom winner is Grace De La Sala’s seventh-grade homeroom at Carbondale Middle.

The Bike & Walk to School Challenge is a county-wide event that encourages elementary and middle school students to use alternatives to the family automobile to get to and from school. Students earn points for getting to and from school by riding the school bus, carpooling with other families, biking and walking.

Eight schools and 109 classes in those schools joined the Bike & Walk to School Challenge, held April 15-17. All told, by walking, biking and other means, the participating students saved $18,984 in fuel costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 11,042 pounds. Students also burned 161,406 calories as part of the event.

Parents value the event because it gives youngsters a fun, team-building experience with active transportation.

"It is important to me and my husband to instill in our kids that the car is not the only form of transportation available to them," said Katie Laven of Glenwood Springs. Her daughters attend Sopris Elementary School and biked to and from school. "The Bike and Walk to School Challenge is the perfect way to get them on board."

The schools that participated were Rifle Middle School, Crystal River Elementary, Carbondale Community School, Carbondale Middle School, Ross Montessori, Sopris Elementary School, Glenwood Middle School, and Bea Underwood Elementary.

The Challenge also reduces traffic congestion around schools.

"I noticed a distinct decrease in vehicular traffic around town the past couple of afternoons," said Mike Mines, a teacher and bus driver at Carbondale Community School, during the event. "It's a phenomenon I've noted before on days that we have school but the other schools don't. It's amazing how much car traffic is generated by kids getting to and from school."

The 2014 Challenge was sponsored by Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Berthod Motors, Ragged Mountain Sports, Grand River Health,  LiveWell Garfield County and Dr. Paul Salmen and Ms. Nancy Reinisch.

Results from the Challenge-including gasoline savings, pounds of carbon dioxide not released, and calories burned-will be used in promoting cycling and walking as the healthiest and cleanest forms of transportation in Garfield County.

For more information, visit www.garfieldcleanenergy.org or call 970-704-9200.


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