2007 SANDERS COUNTY WATER
(2005 Water Festival)
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
Tim Ryan teaches about preserving the heritage
Salish and Kootenai
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
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
their favorite animal prints onto scarves.
reported in the Sanders County Ledger
FALLS STATE PARK--The Fifth Annual Sanders County Water
Festival this past Tuesday was a big splash for 135
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.