by Claire Grisham
For the past couple weeks, I have been working on organizing a Charity Pint Night for my host-site organization, National Wildlife Federation. The focus of the night was the Missoula Community Wildlife Habitat Initiative – an effort to certify Missoula as the first community-wide habitat in Montana!
Since 2015, the Energy Corps members at National Wildlife Federation worked on this initiative, and while Missoula is very close to the finish line, we still need more certified habitats to get there. As a promotional tool for this event, National Wildlife Federation decided to sponsor all applications turned in during the event for FREE certification.
Leading up to Pint Night, I was worried. I kept being told to not be too discouraged if it was a low turn-out. I was warned that pint nights can be pretty quiet events. I set myself up to expect maybe five new Certified Wildlife Habitats.
Low expectations prevent disappointment and in this case, they set me up for success! I was incredibly surprised to arrive to set up at the event and within five minutes already have one new signed up habitat! I was even more surprised as people piled in the doors and checked out our table.
Over the course of the night, we signed up nineteen new Certified Wildlife Habitats in Missoula (one of which was our pint night host Great Burn Brewing) and six in the Bitterroot Valley. I was only able to take one photo because we were constantly chatting with community members about their wildlife-friendly gardens.
Having worked pretty steadily at my desk for the past few months, getting out to this event and speaking with the welcoming community of wildlife gardeners was just what the doctor ordered. I am so excited to continue engaging the Garden City community as the birds, bees, and flowers return to the valley this spring and summer!
Claire Grisham holds a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Conservation and a minor in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. Prior to Energy Corps, Claire worked in the environmental education field with organizations like the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and the Montana Natural History Center with the hopes of getting kids excited about nature! Claire joined Energy Corps in October 2017 and will serve in the City of Missoula at the National Wildlife Federation as a Sustainability and Habitat Educator. She is very excited to get involved with their wildlife habitat certification and ECO schools programs to help facilitate outreach to the Missoula community!