08 April 2009

Rally 'Round the Creek: A Big Success

[Preface: links to EcoRover articles will no longer be posted on Montana Tech's Clark Fork Watershed Education Program website per an order from Tech's Chancellor. Readers familiar with Tech and the Barbara Oakley colloquium can probably guess the situation, but I would ask that you refrain from commenting on EcoRover about it since I will remove any such comments.]

Rally 'Round the Creek was organized to celebrate the ongoing cleanup and restoration of Silver Bow Creek ("Stream Side Tailings Operable Unit"), and to focus attention on ongoing challenges that pose a threat to the $3 million per mile (X 26 miles) project. The main challenge is contamination from the Butte Hill ("Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit"). Ideally, the Butte Hill (being upstream) would have been cleaned up first, but Superfund being Superfund, ideals are seldom realized. Furthermore, the Butte Hill remedy has been delayed more than two years. While we wait, arsenic and metals run-off from the Butte Hill is recontaminating Silver Bow Creek.

The Rally was designed to have something for all citizens that care about Butte and Silver Bow Creek. Shawn Crowe of the Butte Silver Bow Arts Foundation hosted a station on charcoal drawing. The charcoal, appropriately enough, was made from willows along the creek:

Good tunes by local musician Mike Tierney:

Plenty of time to meet other folks and say "hi" to the neighbors:

And have some good one on one conversation:

Here were a few of the key folks behind organizing the event, Wendy Thomi (EPA Citizen Outreach), Elizabeth Erickson (CTEC President), and Janice Hogan (CTEC Secretary):

There were two brief presentations about the technical issues, by CTEC's consultant Ian Magruder:

And CFRTAC's consultant Jim Kuipers:

These were followed by brief overviews by Wendy Thomi (EPA):

And Dori Skrukrud, the lead staffer for the award winning 26-mile long Silver Bow Creek Greenway:

The BIG hit of the day was CFWEP's Justin Ringsak, who led an educational tour of the creek and how water quality is monitored:

After the event, Jan Munday, Andrea Stierle, Don Stierle and EcoRover took a walk along the creek. We enjoyed the sight of a kingfisher and mink (too shy for the camera) as well as a muskrat:

A feisty wood duck that was more than a match for the mallards trying to move in on this turf:

A rising almost-full moon:

And a gorgeous Butte America sunset (silhouetted are Mt Haggin and other peaks of the Pintler):


Butte, Montana: at the headwaters of the Clark Fork River in America's largest Superfund site.


fishing guy said...

ER: Looks like a very educational program and I'm happy to see the hands on portion. Thanks for sharing this neat look at the wildlife of the area.

troutbirder said...

Hang in there! Your doing good.

~Sheepheads said...

Nice! Love to see kids learning productive things.

EcoRover said...

Thanks all--the Greenway and the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program are a tremendous investment in future generations.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.