Santa Clara VTA hosts event highlighting sustainability education for community youth

April 26, 2024
The Earth Day event included educational activities that engaged children in interactive games with lessons on preventing pollution from stormwater.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (Santa Clara VTA) celebrated Earth Day with an event that combined environmental awareness with Bring Your Child to Work Day. The agency also received a national award for innovative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Hosting more than 60 children of Santa Clara VTA employees, the agency’s Bring Your Child to Work Day event allowed the kids to explore various Santa Clara VTA departments, gaining insights into how public transportation contributes to cleaner air.

Educational activities during the Earth Day event engaged children in interactive games with lessons on preventing pollution from stormwater. Using rubber ducks and ping pong balls, children simulated stormwater runoff, highlighting the importance of preventing pollutants from entering local waterways.

Santa Clara VTA actively prevents pollution at its facilities by removing litter, cleaning out drain inlets and installing devices to capture trash before it enters local waterways. The agency has installed more than 170 storm drain inlet inserts and incorporated multi-benefit treatment systems into the design of several facilities, including the Eastridge Transit Center and Berryessa and Milpitas Bay Area Rapid Transit Stations.

As part of the national Earth Day celebration, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recognized Santa Clara VTA as a “Champion” in FTA’s “Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet Climate Challenge.” Alongside the Maryland Transit Administration and Colorado’s Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Santa Clara VTA was commended for innovative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase resilience through proactive policies, planning and stakeholder engagement.

FTA's recognition underscores Santa Clara VTA's commitment to sustainability. Through rigorous analysis of emissions forecasts and vulnerability assessments, Santa Clara VTA has developed 33 GHG reduction strategies and 14 climate adaptation measures. The ultimate goal is to increase resilience to climate risks and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.