Green Mountain
                 Conservation District

To Protect and Enhance the Natural Resources of the District and to Educate the Public about Natural Resource Concerns
"The Land bears an honest record of what men write on it."


GREEN MOUNTAIN
 

2952 HWY 200

P.O. BOX 1329

TROUT CREEK, MT 59874

PHONE: (406) 827-4833
email: GMCD@blackfoot.net

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2007 SANDERS COUNTY WATER FESTIVAL
(2006 Water Festival)
(2005 Water Festival)

135 fifth grade students from throughout Sanders County were divided into 12 teams. Together with teachers and parents, they went to each of 12 stations nestled in various areas of Thompson Falls State Park. 
Each team was joined by a member of the Plains High School Environthon team.


Tim Ryan teaches about preserving the heritage
of the
Salish and Kootenai Tribes’
ancestral way of life.

Avista representatives had pupils stamping
their favorite animal prints onto scarves
they could take home with them.


Students from throughout the countywaded into topics
from fisheries to forestry/fire/erosion, aquatics
and more.


Don Feist of the NRCS
introduced students to the basics
of pond aquatics.


Returning this year were the Karelian Bear Dogs,
presented by Renee Van Kamp of Wind River
Bear Institute of Florence, Montana.
 

This "Bear" seems to be getting into a lot of
destructive mischief, Karelian Bear Dogs
are called to duty.

Students begin their learning experience
earlier in the day.

Sanders County Valley Floor map
displays the diversity of our county.

Janene Lichtenberg, wildlife biologist for the
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Pupils stamping
their favorite animal prints onto scarves.


Serious concentration

As reported in the Sanders County Ledger

by Sandra Gubel

THOMPSON FALLS STATE PARK--The Fifth Annual Sanders County Water Festival this past Tuesday was a big splash for 135 fifth graders.

Students, teachers and parents from throughout the county didn’t have to go swimming or boating to become “immersed” in topics about the natural environment, thanks to the program coordinated by the Green Mountain and Eastern Sanders Conservation Districts.

This was the largest number of students to attend so far, said coordinator Jean Dunn, administrator of the GMCD. Dunn was especially happy with the turnout and the exciting presentations that were underway from 9:30 a.m. to
2 p.m.

Students from throughout the county from Hot Springs to Noxon, waded into topics from fisheries to forestry/fire/erosion, aquatics and more. Jay Stuckey of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks led a discovery of fisheries with an interactive game called “Hooks and Ladders.“ The visual participatory experience has students playing roles as “Bull Trout,” encountering different obstacles as they return home to their spawning areas.

Troy Hidy US of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Dave Clay of the Cabinet Ranger District had students examining needles and cones and identifying trees. Their forestry investigation continued on not only the ecology of the forest, but the role of fire and erosion. They got ”hands on” by using increment borers to take core samples of trees. From the profile, they were able to learn about a tree’s age and factors that have affected them.

Don Feist of the NRCS introduced students to the basics of pond aquatics. After discussing the ecology of ponds, students used spoons and magnifying glasses to inspect the lives of invertebrates that’d come out of the pond,  as well as life netted from nearby Prospect Creek. Students were able to separate out various organisms, based on their characteristics and the level of water quality (pollution) they live in.

Returning this year, this time doing a small group presentation for each section of students, were the Karelian Bear Dogs, presented by Renee Van Kamp of Wind River Bear Institute of Florence, Montana. Avista representatives had pupils stamping their favorite animal prints onto scarves they could take home with them.

Joining Janene Lichtenberg, wildlife biologist for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, was Tim Ryan, who founded AST (Ancestral Skills and Technologies) Northwest, which is dedicated to teaching and preserving the heritage of the Tribes’ ancestral way of life.

The two presented a special station on the riparian habitat. Lichtenberg presented pelts, skulls and furs in discussion of the animals that live in and/or around the water. Ryan spoke about the early human use of the riparian area, and explained some of the things that Native Americans have made from the plant and tree life in the important habitat. His presentation included a teepee made from bulrush, a fish trap and baskets crafted from willow branches, and rope made hand made from dogbane.

“This is not from Wal-Mart or Ace Hardware,” said Ryan, as he demonstrated how the bark and the fiber are manually separated from the dogbane plant. “I made it--from a plant.”

As the 12 teams of students with teachers and parents went to each stations, nestled in various areas of Thompson Falls State Park, they were joined by a member of the Plains High School Environthon team.

After several days of rainy and cloudy weather, overcast skies turned to sunshine, and temperatures remained mild. As some years the weather has not been as nice, Dunn commented on not only the cooperative outdoor classroom effort, but on the favorable weather as well.
 

PHOTOS FROM THE 2006 WATER FESTIVAL
 


All about animal tracks
 

Learning from Critterman
 

Critterman gets excited
 

Everyone learns and has a good time
 

Lunch Time
 

Race to save the environment
 

How rivers behave
 

Dixon kids prepare
 

Its been a long day when the last bus leaves
 

Home  |  Who Must Apply  310 Applications and Forms  |  Sample of Completed 310Construction and Design Guidelines 
Upcoming Agenda  |  Last Meeting Minutes  |  Board Members 
Water festival  |  2009 Annual Plan  |  Links

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