This week, Treehouse Learning was recognized by the City of Louisville as a Gold Level award winner for our participation in the Louisville Green Business Program. Treehouse Learning was recognized for our sustainability efforts in the area of energy efficiency, waste reduction, alternative transportation, water conservation, and social responsibility. In conjunction with PACE (Partners for Clean Energy) Boulder County, the City of Louisville recognizes businesses for their investments and contributions to the economic vitality of our community and the health of our environment.
While it is an honor to be formally recognized as a business for our sustainability initiatives and involvement in our community, as the adage goes, the personal is political!
Building the World We Want to See
Treehouse Learning exists to help humans thrive and co-create the world we want to see. We believe that no one on the planet has a greater potential to impact the future, particularly around climate action, than those who work with young children. We embrace the responsibility to empower and equip children with not only the skills and knowledge to solve some of the massive challenges the world faces, but also to actually care. It is our duty to create a community of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging such that each one of us sees ourselves as part of an interconnected and interdependent ecosystem, each a part of a community much bigger than ourselves where we’re all inspired and empowered to work towards a future vision together.
Not only do we want children to grow up with the self-concept and skills that each of us, no matter our age, status, position, or abilities, has the capacity to make the world a better place, but also the desire to collaboratively and constructively work towards the kind of just, peaceful, and healthy world we’d like our descendants to inherit.
While we acknowledge the importance of our sustainability efforts as an independently-owned and operated local business in the Louisville/Lafayette corner of Boulder County, we also take the long view that sustainability is quite literally the cornerstone of our curriculum and program at Treehouse Learning. Our work in Early Childhood Education has a lifetime impact. It is our hope that Treehouse Learning would be a model for all working in the space of early childhood, from school districts, at-home daycares, franchised/decentralized daycare centers, other independent early childhood education centers, and religiously affiliated childcare programs.
Here are some of the highlights of our recent initiatives and efforts:
In 2020 we installed a 54.4 kWh solar array system on our roof to produce our own electricity
Food composting program embedded into our curriculum, beginning with our youngest infants and toddlers
Installed bike racks to support our many families who commute via bikes (including child-size strider bikes to e-Bikes)
Onsite gardens where children participate in food and growing systems
Nature revitalization through children scattering native pollinator-friendly wildflower seeds in public easement areas
Creation of an on-campus arboretum through the identification of trees as part of our Kindergarten curriculum
Work directly with classroom teachers and our cleaning company to improve the efficiency of our waste stream and reduce compost contamination
Incorporation of natural materials onto our playgrounds, such as tree stumps donated by a local tree company
Zero-waste community events, including family picnics at Waneka Lake, as well as Taste of Louisville, Lafayette Peach Festival, and Erie Juneteenth Celebration
Collaboration with the City of Lafayette and the City of Louisville Open Space programs for wildlife and other nature-based programming for children and our community
Partnership with PACE sustainability advisors and coordinators for building efficiency assessments and improvements
Begun Electrification Feasibility Assessment through Xcel Energy to replace existing HVAC system with decarbonized solutions, including air or ground-sourced (geothermal) heat pumps
Commitment to a Boulder County living wage for all of our staff and teachers to be able to live in the community in which they work, as well as advocacy on behalf of affordable housing and infrastructure for alternative transportation
2023 and Beyond Sustainability Initiatives
Air Quality remediation efforts and HVAC retrofits, including UV filters, Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems, and humidifiers
Water harvesting initiatives, including rain gardens, decolonization of landscapes and outdoor spaces, and water-efficient landscape management
Incorporation of additional growing spaces to produce food onsite
Partnerships with local growers to shorten our food and supply chain
Rebate-based incentive programs to improve the efficiency of refrigeration, food, and lighting systems