Sustainability

A wide angled picture of the mountains north of Manitou Springs. taken during the daytime.

Overview

The City of Manitou Springs has taken steps in each department to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce paper usage, and become better stewards to the environment. All of our practices are outlined on this webpage. You can view the City's commitment to sustainability by viewing Resolution No. 1919.

  • E-Bikes: The Fire Department and Police Department have introduced E-bikes to their fleet, allowing them to navigate parks and trails without producing gas emissions.
  • Focus on Trails: We prioritize the expansion and maintenance of trails for alternate transportation methods.
  • Manitou Incline (2020): The City entered into an agreement with the City of Colorado Springs to create a reservation system for the Manitou Incline that highly encourages shuttle use. This has successfully reduced approximately 1,000 cars from coming into Manitou Springs every day during peak season usage.
  • Mobility Hub: Developed concept plans to create a mobility hub at Hiawatha Gardens, which will encourage non-motorized transportation in and around Manitou Springs.An image of a green globe with a footprint and CO2
  • Remote Work: Applicable staff have the option to work remotely one-day per week. 
  • UTVs: Neighborhood Services, Parking & Mobility, Public Works, Administration, and Parks and Recreation utilize UTV vehicles, which use far less gasoline, compared to cars.
  • Virtual Interviews: All job candidates have the ability to interview virtually, therefore reducing the gas emissions that pair with the interview process.
  • Wayfinding: The City has taken a strong approach towards emission reduction by working to let visitors find parking spaces faster. Wayfinding reduces the emissions from "cruising"; when someone drives around looking for a parking space.
    • Installed parking occupancy signs outside of all parking lots and at each entrance to Manitou Springs
    • Wayfinding signs located all around Manitou Springs
    • Online map which updates with live parking occupancy
  • Tree City USA (2020): The City currently holds Tree City USA status. Learn more about what that means at the Arbor Day Foundation's Website.Tree City USA Logo
  • Maintaining Natural Landscapes: Reacclimated wild grass seed is used for natural landscapes.
  • Pollinator Gardens: Pollinator friendly plants are used in all City gardens.
  • Organic Land Management Policy: The City is committed to an Organic Land Management Policy that eliminates the use of toxic pesticides, fertilizers, or any other products that are not approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).
    • OMRI Listed - For Organic Use logoAny products used on our parks, playgrounds, streetscapes, open space, or any other City property is safe for people, animals, and our environment. In addition, rather than using control methods that involve harmful chemicals, city staff uses hand-weeding, weed whacking, and over seeding as their go-to methods to combat unwanted weed growth.

  • Tree Ordinance (2022): The City passed a monumental Ordinance that codifies standards for tree care and tree protection within Manitou Springs.
  • Tree Planting Vouchers: $50 vouchers are available for Manitou Springs residents to plant trees on their private property. More information is available on the Tree Planting Voucher Form.
  • Fountain Creek Cleanup: We recognize the importance of our watershed, and go through great lengths to ensure it is in a healthy state.
    • Regular patrols of Fountain Creek take place for trash cleanup.
    • The City partners to host Creek Week, the Great American Cleanup, and other cleanup events annually.
    • Dog waste containers and baggies are available for free in all City parks.
  • Chemical Disposal: Before pool chemicals are disposed, the muriatic acid is neutralized with baking soda. 
  • Crosswalk Lights: All crosswalk lights in the city are solar powered.
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid: All emergency response vehicles for the Fire Department are engines that use Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) which creates a chemical reaction transforming harmful pollutants into clean air.
  • Digital Wayfinding Signs: 85% of digital wayfinding signs are solar powered. 
  • Dirt Sifter: Dirt piles are sifted, separating the asphalt and concrete chunks.  The sifted dirt gets reused.  The asphalt and concrete chunks get hauled off and recycled.
  • EV Stations: Introduced electric car charging stations to the Schryver Park parking lot
    • Applied for, and received, a Charge Ahead Colorado grant to install 4 – Type II and 1 – Type III electric vehicle chargers at Hiawatha Gardens.
  • Event Policies (2022): We are moving towards requiring events to be zero-wastA graphic explaining the mechanisms within a Rentricity Hydroelectric generator e. Events will need to submit a comprehensive zero waste plan. In addition, vendors will be prohibited from distributing any non-recyclable or non-compostable materials without advance written approval.
  • Hydroelectric Generator (2021): The City has historically used pressure reducing valves at its Water Treatment Plant to decrease the pressure of raw water entering our treatment system. In 2021, the City introduced a hydroelectric generator to do pressure reduction, while simultaneously using that generating electricity. The Water Treatment Plant now operates on 100% renewable energy and has the potential to sell excess energy back to Colorado Springs Utilities. 
  • Ozonater: The Pool and Fitness Center utilizes a ozonater to minimize the need for chlorine.
  • Parking Kiosks: 95% of our parking kiosks are solar powered.
  • Power Tools: Gas powered tools are being phased out to electric tools.
  • Striping Paint: Traffic paints are an ecofriendly water-based paint as opposed to the old oil-based paints.
  • Sun Share (2014): The City entered into an agreement with Colorado Springs Utilities to enroll in Sun Share, therefore making all City facilities powered by renewable solar energy.
  • Traffic Radar Signs: All traffic radar signs are solar powered.Sun Share - Community Solar
  • UTVs: Neighborhood services, Parking & Mobility, Public Works, Adminsitration, and Parks and Recreation utilize UTV vehicles, which use far less gasoline as compared to cars.
  • Waste Stream Study: The Planning Department is applying for a grant to study the City’s waste stream in an effort to reduce how much waste is produced as well as divert waste from landfills. 
  • BlueBeam: All city development review agencies have switched over to using the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department’s digital building permit review and tracking software. This has reduced the need for hardcopy plan sets (often 100 plus pages of 24”x36” paper) and saves staff vehicle trips to the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. During COVID-19, the City transitioned to digital forms, saving what we estimate to be over 30,000 pieces of paper organization-wide.
  • CivicClerk (2020): Introduced a software that made access to agendas and packet materials fully accessible online.
  • CivicOptimize (2020): Transitioned the majority of forms for all departments to become fillable and submittable online. Estimated to save 20,000 pieces of paper a year.
  • E-Force: Introduced a software that eliminates the need for many paper documents that both the Police Department and Municipal Court use.civicplus logo
  • Human Resources Process Improvements: The Human Resources Department processed 500 applicants in 2022 digitally, saving over 2,000 sheets of paper. In addition, current staff completes their paperwork, performance evaluations, benefit enrollment, and claims online, saving thousands of pieces of paper in the process.
  • Laserfiche (2022): Transitioned over to a software that centralizes records management to a digital solution.
  • Stampli (2022): Introduced a software to digitally process invoices for the City. Estimates are this software saves approximately 10,000 pieces of paper a year. 
  • Text2Pay: Visitors have the ability to text a number to pay for their parking - eliminating 37,000 receipts in 2021.
  • T2: Parking permits and citation disputes are 100% digital processes.
  • Xpress Bill Pay: Allows for online payments for utilities, court, and all other City Departments. In addition, utilities customers have the ability to opt-in for paperless billing.

Our estimates are that we save over 163,000 pieces of paper a year, compared to what we would be using without any transition to digital software.

  • Free Sprinkler Evaluations: Parks, Recreation, Open Space, & Trails provided free sprinkler evaluations for any interested Manitou Springs residents.
  • Leak Detection Tablets: The Finance Department provides free leak detection tablets and how-to guides for fixing leaky toilets.
  • Showerhead Exchange Program: Residents can trade-in their old showerhead for a high-quality and water friendly showerhead. No charges or fees attached.  Be Water Wise - Stage 1 Water Restrictions in Effect
  • Sprinkler Heads: Phasing out old sprinkler heads with pressure regulated heads.
  • Water Wise: The City is always in Water Wise water restrictions. You can learn more on our Water Conservation webpage.