By Lindsey Bales
It is finally starting to warm up in Butte. As summer approaches, we are gearing up for many exciting events that I am looking forward to participating in.
This weekend I will be volunteering at the Kids to Parks event, hosted by a fellow AmeriCorps member, at the Lewis and Clark Caverns. My booth will be about water quality and will include a pH activity for youth. I made a pH activity that youth can recreate at home by making pH strips out of cabbage-soaked coffee filters. Once dried, these filters will change color based on the pH of different solutions. This experiment is a great way to compare water to other solutions.
I’m also extremely excited for the Farmer’s Market to kickoff this weekend in Butte. After learning more about seasonal eating from our SIFT Farm Educator, Victorian Tilley, I am happy to be purchasing deliciously seasonal and local food at the market. By purchasing local food, not only will I save on grocery expenses, but I will also cut down on my carbon footprint.
On June 8th, NCAT is hosting the Summer Sosten Fest and Great Pasty Throwdown where individuals and restaurants are invited to enter a contest to submit their best pasties to a panel of celebrity judges. There will also be a plant sale, solar car races, a petting zoo, bounce houses, pet adoption, jewelry making, tours and demonstrations of the SIFT Farm, and more. I am very excited to volunteer at the fest and have canvassed businesses to promote the event.
Another event we are planning is the Summer Science Camp that Energy Corps will host at NCAT from June 19th-21st. The camp is aimed for grades 3-6 and will cover a range of sustainability topics including: soil, planting, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. For the past month, Energy Corps members in Butte have been brainstorming activities and putting together the agenda for the event. In the next month, we will be heavily focused on promoting the camp. We are anticipating a total of 20 youth to enroll in the camp.
Also, I have been helping plan for the Take Back the Tap display at the Montana Folk Festival in July. The event will have water stations throughout the festival where folks are able to fill up their bottles with Butte’s tap water. At every water station, we plan to have Water Ambassador Volunteers who can answer questions about Butte’s tap water. To prepare, I drafted text about Butte’s tap water for the Folk Festival Guide and am helping create a map that highlights Butte’s tap water sources.
In addition to all the fun events this summer, I want to explore Montana. I am hoping to visit Glacier National Park, Sioux Charley Lake, Woodbine Falls, and go camping for the first time. I have a lot of things to check off my bucket list this summer and I am thankful to live in a place that has an endless amount of fun opportunities.