The Student Commons at Blackfeet Community College was filled with exhibits and booths, as well as environmental experts to celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, April 18. Blackfeet Chief Earl Old Person gave the opening speech and stressed the roles that we all play in protecting Mother Earth. Blackfeet Environmental Office employees barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs for the public while Blackfeet Community College donated many side dishes, and a team of BCC volunteers handed out tree and shrub seedlings to everyone who came by. From Missoula the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Urban and Community Forestry also gave out over 300 trees.
The open house attracted huge numbers of people, including 113 school children and 307 adults during the course of the day. Folks could choose among Caragana, Prairie Sky Poplar, Silverberry, Daniels Cottonwood, Plains Cottonwood, Chokecherry, Red Osier Dogwood and Engelmann Spruce to plant at their homes, and some were also given out as door prizes by David Spotted Eagle Jr., Master of Ceremonies.
Many donors provided door prizes this year, including Norman’s Western Wear (hats, scarves, necklace, head band); Glacier Familv Foods (cases of water); Faught’s Blackfeet Trading Post (basketball - Nike duffle bag); Blackfeet Community College, Blackfeet Boarding Dorm, linnii Initiative, Fist Full of Dollars Pawn (hats, backpack); McDonald’s (free dessert, free meal cards); Billman’s (scooter, travel mug, water bottle, gloves); Advanced Towing (oil change - tire rotation); Norman’s Outdoor Sports (backpack, hat); R Snack Shop ($25 gift certificate); Blackfeet Environmental Office (16 trees, coffee cups, water bottles) and Lube & Tube Express (oil change, tire rotation).
There were also many programs with information at the celebration, including the Community Health Representatives, Blackfeet Community College Admissions, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation-Missoula, Blackfeet Environmental Water Quality Program, Blackfeet Service Unit, Blackfeet Aquatic Invasive Species Program, Blackfeet Environmental Brownfields Program, FAST Blackfeet, Blackfeet Environmental Ordinance 90 Program, Ksik Stakii Project (beaver dam mimicry), Blackfeet Climate Change, United States Department of Agriculture-NRCS, Glacier National Park, Blackfeet Fire Management, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency for Glacier and Toole Counties, Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP), Blackfeet Boarding Dormitory and Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife.