Through programs, partnerships and education, we strive to bring science, technology and policy research into the service of community decision-making processes and action. We centralize community values and needs in all we do to ensure that the model of sustainability and resilience we work towards both supports and capitalizes on the unique cultural and natural heritage of the Yampa Valley.
YVSC was the first sustainability-focused nonprofit organization in Routt County and the City of Steamboat Springs. The organization’s roots are traced to 2006, when a group of dedicated City of Steamboat Springs came together to create the “Green Team” to centralize sustainability in city planning and community awareness. The Green Team established two of YVSC’s longest running programs — Talking Green and the Green Building Tour – and the first-ever City of Steamboat Springs Green Building. In 2008, the “Green Team” transitioned leadership to a group of committed community members, who went on to establish YVSC. YVSC obtained its 501(c)3 status in July 2009.
Since its establishment in 2009, YVSC has worked to develop programs that address the pressing sustainability challenges of the time. The community education event series, Talking Green, and the Green Building Tour had important early influences on the City of Steamboat Springs city-planning and green building codes. Sustainable Schools and Zero Waste were valued antecedents to the current Waste Diversion Program, which supported the City of Steamboat Springs and Routt County to create the Waste Diversion Strategic Plan in 2019. The Energy program continues to evolve and over the years has delivered energy efficiency measures to both income-qualified and non-income qualified residential and commercial buildings.
In response to the growing need to address climate change, YVSC launched its Climate Action and Adaptation priority in 2020. Climate Action and Adaptation aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster resilience in the Yampa Valley region through programs, partnerships and education that increase decarbonization, the adoption of natural climate solutions (NCS) and the capacity of local community members and landscapes to endure change. Decarbonization means reducing carbon emissions in our transportation, energy and land use sectors. NCS are land management practices (e.g. conservation, restoration, reforestation) that increase carbon storage and/or reduce GHG emissions in forests, rangelands and wetlands.