The Blackfeet Environmental Office hosted an Earth Day Festival at Blackfeet Community College on April 20th. Throughout the day, volunteers gave away free trees, shrubs, and gardening plants to community members. Volunteers also helped by grilling and serving a delicious outdoor lunch on the beautiful 54-degree sunny day. Kids got their faces painted, and door prizes were given away throughout the festival. Meanwhile, organizations like FAST (Food Access and Sustainability) Blackfeet, Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife, and the Blackfeet Agricultural Resource Management Plan (ARMP) focused on improving the health of our planet and the Blackfeet Nation set up booths inside the BCC commons and shared information with more than 400 students and 300 adults who participated.
Out of the fifteen booths set up, I had the honor of hosting a booth for the Ksik Stakii Project. The space was set up with materials for all ages; a poster that visually explains what beaver mimicry is, infographics outlining the project, a sheet addressing frequently asked questions, and a worksheet that included a word search, connect the dots, a crossword puzzle, and a coloring page for the students. We also borrowed a beaver pelt from one of the project’s partners who is a beaver bundle holder and a wooden puzzle in the shape of a beaver that my mother sent from Texas.
The booths were set up in a semi-circle, allowing the participants to complete a lap around the festival efficiently. Guests moved in a clockwise rotation, stopping by each booth to learn about each project and organization. At the Ksik Stakii Project Booth, students would take a worksheet, feel the pelt and try to guess which animal it was, work as a team to assemble the beaver puzzle, and ask questions about the poster. Many of the adults were interested in how we are utilizing beaver mimicry as a climate change adaptation technique and were excited that we’re working with BCC students to conserve water.
The Earth Day Festival was the perfect environment to blend fun and information, activity and education. I am confident that the majority of the attendees left the festival feeling inspired to make positive changes to improve the health of the Earth and with a deeper understanding of the Ksik Stakii Project.