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Springs ranks third in environmental report 

Topped only by Fargo, N.D., and Burlington, Vt., Colorado Springs came in third in a recent national report on urban environmentalism.

The Earth Day Network's Urban Environment Report, considered the first of its kind, appraised 72 cities using a broad definition of the word "environment." It took into account pollution levels, public health and access to parks and recreation.

"Colorado Springs is certainly on the right path to achieve a better environment for its inhabitants," says EDN spokesperson Raquel Garcia. "The policies that are being taken on are better than in many other places, and that should be praised."

Colorado Springs did best in the "air quality" category, but lagged in the "global warming climate change" category, which examined a city's recognition of the problem as well as its natural conditions related to the impact of climate change (such as elevation and humidity).

Surprisingly, the city scored poorly in the "parks and recreation opportunities" category, with fewer parks per square mile than other urban centers and fewer park dollars spent per resident.

A separate portion of the study also scrutinized cities' attention to poor, sick and disabled populations in terms of quality of life and the environment. Colorado Springs ranked No. 7 in this "vulnerable population index," with nearly 13 percent of the city's residents seen as more susceptible to environmental degradation.

"You can still work on that," Garcia says.

To see the complete rankings, visit earthday.net.

Naomi Zeveloff

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