Announcing Earth Day 2023!

The Central Colorado Climate Coalition is excited to announce….Earth Day 2023!

This year’s festival will be a lighter version of the event we put on in 2022, highlighting the Parade For The Species, and an afternoon of talks INSIDE at the Salida Scout Hut . Coordinating so many people and organizations last year was a pleasure, but a very time intensive one.  We also learned last year, that the severe winds so frequently present in spring are just not conducive to the type of outdoor festival with community booths and picnics that we had envisioned. The parade was the most popular part of the event, so we have decided to focus primarily on that, and follow it up with a smaller indoor event featuring local speakers and organizations working hard on sustainability issues locally. We hope this extra time community members have to really get to know the local volunteers and groups taking actions in our valley will inspire a wave of support for their work and eagerness to take part in collaborating on important sustainability issues. A complete line up of speakers will be published in coming weeks- stay tuned!

Below are the details of the event so far:

Date and times:
Earth Day is Saturday April 22.  We will host the Parade For the Species from 11am to 12pm, and the Act Locally! Speaker Series, in the afternoon 1-3pm.

Location:  The parade will march down its traditional route, meeting at  Alpine Park in Salida, and marching down F Street to Riverside Park.  We will be hosting the after-parade event INDOORS this year at the Salida Scout Hut at Riverside Park.  Indoor attendees will be limited to 75 people due to space restrictions. Tickets by donation at the door- arrive early!

Community Participation:  Everyone is welcome at the parade! Community members are encouraged to dress up as one of their favorite plant, animal, or insect species, and march, bike, or frolic with us in the parade. Local environmentally-minded organizations are also very welcome, and this year, we ask you to find a way to promote your groups in a way that embraces wind and movement, instead of at a stationary booth. Banners, flags, moving performances, and earth-friendly hand outs are all encouraged. If you would like to participate with a larger float, performance, or something more than just marching with the parade, please contact our volunteer coordinator for more information.

We also encourage local groups to host their own satellite events either early in the morning, or after 3pm, which we will happily help promote here on our online calendar and in Facebook posts.

More details about Earth Day and the Parade For the Species will be advertised in the coming weeks.  If you would like to participate as an organization, include your organization’s event or work in the promotion materials, or volunteer with us in any way, please email our volunteer coordinator, Angie Thompson at climatecolorado@gmail.com or fill out our short volunteer form here:  https://forms.gle/V4LtBhm5pNPRr1k9A


Earth Day Events Calendar

There are so many ways to get involved in sustainability projects and Earth Day events in the Ark Valley! Below is a list of events happening or leading up to Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd. We will be continually updating this list- so check back frequently! If you would like your organization’s event to be featured on this calendar, please email our community organizer at climatecolorado@gmail.com

Join us for Green Drinks! March 13th– Hosted by Julie from Elements Compost.

We’re so excited Julie started this community networking and conversation event to promote further connections in the valley! CCCC board members will be present and look forward to meeting you, come talk to us about Earth Day or volunteering!

Earth Day Official Press Release

CCCC Earth Day Press Release

The Central Colorado Climate Coalition is excited to announce the Arkansas Valley’s Annual Earth Day Celebration 2023, to be held in Salida, CO Saturday, April 22nd.  Please find the outline of events and announcements below.  We have organized the information into three separate PSA’s with radio, press, and event calendars in mind.  For interviews and additional information, please contact our Community Organizer, Angie Thompson at climatecolorado@gmail.com.   Updates including partner events that weekend, speaker list, and complete schedule may be found on our website at www.climatecolorado.com   A copy of the official event poster is attached, and available in additional formats upon request.

Who:  Presented by the Central Colorado Climate Coalition, a local 501c3 non profit

What/When/Where:  Earth Day Celebration 2023,  Saturday April 22nd in Salida, CO


  -The Parade For The Species:   a community parade for everyone  

Line up: 10:30 am- Alpine Park,   Parade: 11:am-12pm- F Street to river

-Act Locally!  A Speaker Series:  presentations by local volunteers and organizations working on sustainability issues in Central Colorado.  Learn how to get involved!

Salida Scout Hut: 1-3pm  

Tickets by donation at the door- limited to 75 participants- come early!

Why:  The Parade For The Species is a local tradition encouraging people to dress up and celebrate the beauty and diversity of species on planet earth.  Everyone is welcome to march in the parade, and dressing up as your favorite plant, animal, or insect is highly encouraged.  We also welcome our local green businesses and non-profits to represent themselves in the parade and share their services with the community.  Participants are urged to bring a refillable water bottle  and lunch to eat downtown, then join us for presentations and networking at the Scout Hut.  Come learn what you can do locally to be involved in sustainability actions year round!

For more information, and to see the complete calendar of partner Earth Day events, visit the Climate Coalition website:  www.ClimateColorado.com

CCCC Earth Day Shoes and Jeans Recycling Drive PSA

Who:  Presented by the Central Colorado Climate Coalition, a local 501c3 non profit

What:  CCCC is holding a recycling drive for shoes and blue jeans that are too shabby to be worn, or donated to a thrift store.  Jeans will be turned into home insulation, and shoes are recycled into playground equipment.  Give your old garments new life!

When:  Saturday April 22nd in Salida, CO from 12-3pm

Where:  Curbside at the Salida Scout Hut.  Climate Coalition volunteers will have a donation station set up out front

Why:  A 2021 report from the World Economic Forum identified the fashion industry, and its supply chain, as the planet’s third largest polluter.  According to the EPA, 1 in 2 people are throwing their unwanted clothes straight in the trash. The result: 16 million tons of textile waste ends up in American landfills each year.  You can make a difference by shipping your used shoes and jeans straight to recyclers instead.  Use our free donation station on Earth Day, or get free shipping labels any time by visiting: bluejeansgogreen.org

Box of Bubbles To Hold Free Community Costume Workshops In Preparation for Earth Day

Who:  Presented by Ken Brandon and Box of Bubbles: A Community Laboratory for Self Expression and Connection ( A local 501c3 non profit)

What:  Box of Bubbles will host free workshops in preparation for the Earth Day Parade For The Species to support community members and organizations wishing to participate with recycled costumes and banners.  Learn to create your own unique character or sign with costume expert Mr. Giraffe -(aka Ken Brandon) at this community art space

When:  Multiple times available in March and April, contact Ken at Box of Bubbles to schedule by calling 719- 539- 7443

Where:  Box of Bubbles at 135 E Second St, in Salida 

Why:   Recycled costumes are better for the planet, and a fun way to participate in Earth Day.  We invite you to explore how we can better reuse and recycle materials in this fun and playful way.

CCCC Announces Community Denim and Shoe Recycle Drive for Earth Day

Did you know that a  2021 report from the World Economic Forum identified the fashion industry, and its supply chain, as the planet’s third largest polluter (after food and construction)?  According to the EPA, 1 in 2 people are throwing their unwanted clothes straight in the trash. The result: 16 million tons of textile waste ends up in American landfills each year. 

CCCC is addressing this locally
                                   by hosting a jean and shoe recycling drive on Earth Day.

Our goal is to DIRECTLY keep hundreds of pounds of clothing waste out of our local landfill by collecting your past-wearable denim and shoes, and shipping them directly to product recyclers.  Cotton Denim is recycled into Blue Jean Insulation for homes, a great, non toxic alternative to fiberglass.  Shoes are recycled into mats for playground equipment, and eliminate the need for new rubber production for cushioned mats or other plastic materials at playgrounds. 

To promote this service, we will be collecting your too-destroyed-for-resale cotton jeans, jackets, or denim scraps, as well as unwearable shoes, and consolidating them for shipping.  Just bring your clean denim items (COTTON DENIM ONLY) and old shoes to the CCCC drop off in front of the Scout Hut, 1-3pm on Saturday April 22nd and we will box and ship for you! 

We are also asking for donations of LARGE cardboard boxes in good condition for shipping.  Can’t make it to Earth Day?  No problem!  You can ship your stuff  any time by visiting this link here and printing out your free shipping labels:  https://www.zappos.com/about/zappos-for-good/recycle 

OR you can drop your recyclables at Box of Bubbles, who has offered to be an ongoing recycling location.  To schedule a drop off, contact Ken at 719-539-7443.  

Call For Earth Day Helpers! Volunteer with the Climate Coalition for Earth Day!

Putting on such a large event is a lot of work for our small board and volunteers- we would love to have you join us! Helping set up, take down tables and chairs, and haul trash and recycling are all needed on Earth Day!

We’re a fun group to work with, and your time is always greatly appreciated, even if it’s just an hour here or there. Please reach out to our community organizer at climatecolorado@gmail.com or fill out a contact form on this website and tell us you’d like to volunteer.


CCCC Newsletter, Winter 2023

Greetings Friends and Neighbors!

A new year is upon us and we hope it finds you well!  You may have noticed the long gap between updates from the Central Colorado Climate Coalition, and we (the CCCC board members) have been discussing what is next for us as an organization, and how we can continue to best serve our valley.  We are a group of DOERS and every one of us has other roles in the community on other boards, as volunteers, and in jobs that take up a significant amount of our time.  The reality is, this past 6 months has been thankfully free of local critical issues with short deadlines, yet also very busy for us in our personal lives.  Putting together Earth Day on the scale that we did last year was a solid four months of demanding work and coordination, and while we are so  proud of the community support and crowd we generated last year, it was also very draining, and we were disappointed that it didn’t inspire a new wave of volunteers, or new board members hoping to join our organization.  As a result, we’ve had to ask ourselves some tough questions:  Where do we go from here?  Do we have the physical capacity to continue leading this coalition? 

 The short answer is that of course we would like to continue to be a resource for local people that care about climate change, but also, that due to time, age, and health issues, we are no longer truly able to do so without more help.  If you have been hoping to join us as a board member, volunteer, or monthly supporter, now is the time to speak up, or this will be our last year as an operating 501c3.  Fill out our volunteer form here:  https://forms.gle/V4LtBhm5pNPRr1k9A

Taking Stock:

The Central Colorado Climate Coalition started over a decade ago, as a local branch of 350 Colorado, and our mission in those earlier years was clearly to educate the public on the reality of climate change.  However, the world has evolved, and the question of if and why climate change exists has since been accepted as a grim reality:  It is human caused, and humans have the responsibility of doing something about it.  As we’ve necessarily moved in the direction of “ So what can we do about climate change locally?”  we’ve found ourselves confronting huge issues like fighting multi-national corporation, Nestle Waters, speaking out against the oil-industry-backed Uinta Basin Railroad project, and trying desperately to convince local politicians that we need a functional sustainability committee in our county government.  All of these issues require intense amounts of research, writing, coordination with the media and governmental organizations, and hardest of all, getting a critical mass of volunteers to show up at the same place, and same time, to push for change in whatever very specific way each issue needs.  

To say it has been a lot of work is an understatement.  It’s a big ask for volunteers of retirement age, and also for working community members busy attending to their lives.  The collective sentiment from our board and potential volunteers is “I want to do something, but I just don’t have the time or energy right now,” and we’ve had to accept that.  This will be our final year as the Climate Coalition unless we get a wave of new volunteers willing to continue our work.

However, we are not the sort of people to go out without a fight, and so we’ve decided to host our Earth Day Celebration and Parade For the Species one more time.  So YES there will be an Earth Day festival in the Arkansas Valley this year, but in a way that is more manageable for us.  We are still finalizing the details, but will announce them here in coming weeks

  If you would like to participate as a speaker or organization, include your organization’s event or work in the promotion materials, or volunteer with us in any way, please email our volunteer coordinator, Angie Thompson at climatecolorado@gmail.com or fill out our short volunteer form here:  https://forms.gle/V4LtBhm5pNPRr1k9A

We thank you for your years of support and look forward to continuing to work together for a more sustainable Arkansas Valley!

– The Central Colorado Climate Coalition Board

Join The Protest- Speak Out Against Nestle/Blue Triton’s Permit Violations

Greetings Fellow Activists!  

Nestle Waters/Blue Triton Brands (NW/BTB) Is presenting a summary of their 600 page annual report to the Chaffee County Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday April 19th and we want you to be there to protest, informed and ready to speak!

3 Things To Know For This Meeting.  

1)  The “Annual Report” is a summary of NW/BTB’s operations this past year and acknowledges how they addressed permit conditions, water pumping in drought, where money was deposited etc.  They are obligated to submit and present on this each year, and the commissioners are to ensure they are in compliance with the terms of their permit, and not causing harm to the community or watershed. NW/BTB has a number of ongoing violations that have been ignored, and we need to demand accountability. 

2)    You have a say on this!  Your public comments on this nearly 600 page document  are due in writing by Friday April 15th.  Or can be presented in person at the meeting.  We would also like to request the comment period is extended after the meeting for two weeks.   Jen Swacina, of Unbottle Protect Chaffee County Water, has done a heroic job reviewing this report in short order, and has condensed and highlighted problematic sections into 21 pages for your use.  You can read over her notes by clicking here

3)    This is an in-person Board of County Commissioners meeting in Buena Vista, that will also be hosted on Zoom.   We will be protesting with signs out front, and attending the meeting, and need you there!  Please bring your signs, reusable water bottles, and organize a carpool with your friends to attend this important event.  The media is informed of this protest.  Please read below for more information on participating.  
Ready your pens,
Bring your signs,
and Prepare To Speak Out! 

Every year, Nestle/Blue Triton Brands is obligated to present their “Annual Report” to county commissioners on their operations, and despite the obvious detriment to our community, Nestle/BTB is not being held accountable for their failures to comply with the permit.  WHY?

If the commissioners were motivated to cancel the 1041 permit, based on years of failure to meet basic standards, THEY COULD.  Maybe it’s time ask why they haven’t.  Local citizens are kept under tight scrutiny for domestic well use, small backyard ponds, land use permits, etc.– so why is an operation draining the local watershed of drinking-quality water not held to the same standards?
  Has your pond, well, or other water right been highly scrutinized or drawn into question?  Come speak out at this meeting and insist that water use standards are applied consistently, and used to protect our valley’s watershed, not badger citizens.  

There is a clear difference between small amounts of water doing natural work in the ecosystem as a pond or irrigation resource and 62,465 gallons of water being entirely removed from our watershed every day, and sold for huge profit.  We question if the county receiving money from this corporation has perhaps impacted how standards are applied.   Furthermore, we would like to know why the money received from NW/BTB STILL HASN’T BEEN USED FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PLAN that would set standards everyone in the county would follow in regards to land use and protection.   

When delivering your comments to the commissioners, it is important to focus on the ongoing permit violations, demand accountability, and question why these ongoing issues have been ignored.  Jen Swacina, of Unbottle Protect Chaffee County Water, has done a heroic job reviewing this nearly 600 page document in short order, and condensed and highlighted problematic sections into 21 pages for your use.  You can read over her notes by clicking here. 

  Attend in-person at the Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E Main St., Tues, April 19 (This is on the agenda for 1pm, we will be meeting out front with signs at 12:30pm)
Or, you can  join the online Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/109079543 
 Or, you can submit written comments before noon on Friday, April 15th to the county commissioners and to the county, (contacts listed below).

 Here are some compelling stats from the full annual report:

Water-hauling trucks get 6 miles per gallon, and in 2021, they made 2,725 trips between the Truck Loading Facility in Johnson Village and the Denver bottling plant. Only 3 of their truck drivers live within 25 miles of Chaffee County. Anecdotal evidence suggests these trucks are in excess, not following safe driving rules, and slowing traffic.

Water monitoring systems were noted as non-working, or interrupted by beaver activity, for yet another year, yielding inaccurate data.

The use of the term “spring water” was quietly replaced with “ground water” which appears to acknowledge the operation is draining an aquifer, not capturing flowing spring water, as previously argued  

Still no conservation easement, as promised in 2009, “concurrent with construction of the project.” 

Eight noxious weeds were identified on their property (in violation of grazing plan.)

 In 2021, they pumped on average 62,465 gallons of water per day in an area that was classified as being in extreme drought conditions

NW/BTB donated 42,099 single-use plastic bottles of water in 2021 to organizations in Colorado as a “benefit”, despite the fact they will pollute our landfills for decades to come, and polluted Colorado’s air in their transport and manufacture.  The corporation of course takes a tax write off for this “donation”. 

Greg Felt
Commissioner District #2
gfelt@chaffeecounty.orgKeith Baker
Commissioner District #1
kbaker@chaffeecounty.orgRusty Granzella
Commissioner District #3
rgranzella@chaffeecounty.org Brandy Coscarella
Administrative Assistant
Beth Helmke
Public Affairs Officer

Announcing Earth Day Festival 2022!

You are invited to participate in our annual Earth Day Celebration on Friday April 22nd! !  

Our goal with Earth Day 2022 is two-fold:  First, through our Parade for the Species, we honor the beauty, joy, and inspiration we receive from our Mother Earth and celebrate playing, working, and creating on her behalf with a community parade down F Street. 

Secondly, we have a festival at Riverside Park with booths by local non-profits, green businesses, and organizations showcasing what they do and how the community can support them.  We’ll also have ongoing performances and talks at the bandshell, activities for kids, and are working on food trucks. Come meet the green non-profits and business in our valley, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy music and activities!

Earth Day is a time to come together in support of a better future, renew our efforts to work for better practices in our businesses and daily lives, and celebrate the joy of living on this beautiful planet.  Please join us!

Parade For The Species

Who:  YOU!  Your kids, your classroom, your family, or local organization! Anyone in the community who enjoys living on earth, dressing up in costumes, or just plain having a good time.  Come to have fun, and celebrate!

Where:  Meet in Salida at Alpine Park, look for our large Parade of the Species banner.  Parade route will frolic down F Street and end at Riverside Park

When: Gather at 11:30am in costume to participate and be placed in parade order. To watch the parade, bring chairs or find a spot to stand along F Street, parade begins at 12:00pm and ends by 1:00pm

What to do to prepare:  Create a costume, float, banner, or sign! Box of Bubbles will be hosting costume-making workshops leading up to the event- stay tuned.

 If you will be participating as a large group or organization,  Please fill out our participation form by clicking here

Participating in the
Earth Day Festival as an

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Who:  Your organization, business, or group that works to protect local flora and fauna and natural resources, or provide our community with better options for green living, education, or community connectedness. 

When:  Set up in Riverside Park begins at 9:00am, with guests expected to arrive 12:00pm – 4:00pm.  Clean up and load out until 6:00pm  

Where:  Salida:  Riverside Park.  Event coordinator will reach out in coming weeks with details about booth locations, stage and amplification details, etc. after approving your application.  

What to do to prepare: 

  • Fill out our Organization Participation Form here.  
  • Come up with a fun way to share what your organization does, reach out to community members or volunteers, and share your story with the valley.  Your options are limitless, from a simple info table to holding mini workshops or demonstrations, educating the public on your mission, advertising an upcoming event, selling products, or having a group performance.  We encourage creativity, and are happy to help you come up with ideas!  
  • Please provide us with details in your application.  Consider if you will need use of park water, electricity, or more space than a standard 10×10 booth.  We have 3 hours of performance spots available, let us know if you would like to use the bandshell and our PA system.
  • Please note, the City of Salida requires a flat $25 fee for booths selling items for profit, and a state tax ID number to be provided to the Event Organizer. (Collecting donations as a non-profit is exempt).
  • Our organization’s work is fueled by volunteers and donations!  We always appreciate donations from vendors, consider giving percentage of sales to help us continue our important work