The goal of the 50-year-old federal Clean Water Act is for all waters of the United States to be fishable and swimmable. In Denver, that means taking care of the South Platte River. But, Denver hasn’t always treated the river well. In 1974, author James Michener called the South Platte “a mean, pestiferous bother.” That same year, Joe Shoemaker founded The Greenway Foundation.
Today, our river is much healthier because of the work of The Greenway Foundation.
In particular, I work closely with TGF’s education wing – South Platte River Environmental Education (SPREE). SPREE helps the City and County of Denver mightily with our stormwater education and outreach requirements, obligations rooted in the Clean Water Act.
Each year, SPREE delivers lessons about water quality to about 10,000 students. These young people learn the how and why of sustainable water behaviors. This impacts their environmental behaviors now and into the future. They share what they learn with their families and friends. I love working with SPREE because of these positive, lasting results. Among Colorado environmental education programs, I know of none better than SPREE.