A few days before school started this year the “Biking Vikings” of Lesher Middle School took to the streets, riding their bicycles to the new CSU stadium. The 50-member staff biked to their start-of-the-year retreat in the spirit of their new designation as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a bicycle-friendly America.

Lesher joins Fort Collins High School as one of only two Colorado schools to receive a Bicycle Friendly Business Award.

“In honor of our recent Bicycle Friendly Business Designation we rode bikes to our opening staffulty in-service meeting at the new CSU on campus stadium. We’re all about modeling sustainable practices. It’s how we roll. We then rode back to the new Lesher on-campus stadium for some obstacle course team building” says Dr. Tom Dodd, Lesher principal. “Live to ride, ride to live!”

The City of Fort Collins has been designated as a Platinum Level award winner and Lesher, the only Gold Level designee in Fort Collins this year, joins the ranks of other local businesses recognized for their efforts to encourage a welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees and community members.

"Bike friendly businesses play a critical role in our vision of more people on bikes, safer streets and neighborhoods and a more inclusive bike culture. Schools even more so because of their formative role in developing tomorrow's cyclists and drivers,” says Chris Johnson, executive director of Bike Fort Collins. “It’s pretty amazing that Lesher got the Gold Level right out of the chute.”

The designation lasts four years, after which time Lesher can renew its application. Sixth-grade teacher Josh Swann, who coordinated Lesher’s application effort, says the award is a great honor for the school that reinforces the hard work Lesher is doing to create a positive biking community for staff and students. 

"Teaching students how to care for their bikes, fix them, ride safely, and all the amazing benefits that come from pedaling will create adults that have a broader world view of what’s important and will remember why a bike ride with your friends on a sunny afternoon transcends economics, politics, religion, ethnicity and reminds us that we are all human," says Swann. "We push the pedal and the bike moves. We push forward in life and opportunities present themselves. WE ARE… LESHER BIKING VIKINGS!”

PSD releases new Sustainability Management Plan

For the last 11 years, PSD has been committed to a culture of sustainability through concerted efforts to align programs for students and staff, such as recycling, fuel efficiency, energy conservation and wellness, with financial and educational goals. In the last two years, the district has aligned its Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) with the Green Ribbon Schools program pillars, elements of the City of Fort Collins’ Road to 2020 Plan, the City of Fort Collins’ ClimateWise program, and the PSD District Ends.

“PSD has defined a culture where sustainability is embraced and incorporated as a vital aspect of our financial and educational goals,” says Dr. Sandra Smyser, superintendent. “Whether it’s reducing paper use, improving health and wellness, or providing environmental education, PSD has demonstrated that each school and department can make a difference.”

PSD released the 2017 Sustainability Management Plan in August, showcasing the district’s efforts to target these five main areas:

  • Resource Efficiency
  • Transportation
  • Health & Wellness
  • Construction & Maintenance
  • Curriculum Connections

The new plan discusses PSD efforts to support sustainability through a variety of areas including fuel efficiency, energy conservation, fleet selection, staff wellness programs, the learning environment, child nutrition, health and wellness and solid waste management.

 Calendar of events

October 1: In-State College Planning Night, Rocky Mountain High School

October 10: Board of Education Meeting, 2407 Laporte Ave.

October 16: Post-Secondary/College Planning Night, Fort Collins High School

October 19: Elementary schools not in session

October 20: No school K-12

October 24: Board of Education Meeting, 2407 Laporte Avenue