The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council evolved out of a committee of citizens known as the Green Team. The group was established by the City of Steamboat Springs in 2005, and comprised of City employees and citizens with a passion to learn more about sustainable and green topics. The initial focus of the group was on Green Building but as interest in sustainability expanded, the committee soon realized a broader scope was needed. The City’s Green Team returned to its roots of developing sustainable practices specifically geared toward city government offices and operations, forming the 2007 Green Building Code, and the citizen representatives went on to form the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, which received its 501c3 status in 2008.
With a hands-on founding Board of Directors, YVSC hit the ground running, adopting the Green Team’s adult education series (see Talking Green) and its Green Building Tour. Before we knew it, we were hiring our first staff member, and laying foundations for long term success. In 2010, YVSC established key programs to engage the community: the Zero Waste Initiative (now Zero Waste) and Youth Education (now Sustainable Schools) were formed, and YVSC teamed up with a group of citizens to establish the first ReTree and Recycle Day events. Our second supporting staff member was hired in 2011 to run the ever-growing Zero Waste Program. In 2012 YVSC continued to expand: we adopted the Yampa Valley Recycles program, formerly under the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and a perfect fit to partner with YVSC’s Zero Waste Program, launched the Energy FIT (Financing, Incentives, Training) Initiative, and expanded our team to five staff members!
Since the beginning, the YVSC Board of Directors has been an rotating team of dedicated and experienced sustainability-minded community members who look to the future and how we can continue to help keep our valley green in all respects.