"On that January day, I was headed to meet my son, Ben, and my grandchildren, Hana and Anders, at the Clark Fork River just below Bernice’s Bakery and west along the Riverfront Trail. They wanted to try the family science project that Watershed Education Network (WEN) is piloting this winter as an option for getting kids of all ages out exploring river and creek spots."
"You may have seen a group of people in waders, with nets and stadia rods, wandering in Rattlesnake Creek over the last two years. That would be the Watershed Education Network’s (WEN’s) volunteer citizen science group, Stream Team. WEN has been fortunate to team up with Trout Unlimited to assist with the monitoring of Rattlesnake Creek before, during, and after the Rattlesnake Dam removal."
"The Watershed Education Network’s activities have caught attention of the University of California-Davis, which has decided to use Rattlesnake Creek as a model for future citizen-science projects throughout the West."
-An Excerpt from Laura Lundquist. Missoula Current - Missoula's News Journal
That was the take-home concept for a class of seventh-graders from Washington Middle School who visited Bancroft Pond to learn about river health and ecology on Monday.
Students pulled on waders and splashed through chilly water during their trip, which marked the beginning of “Fish Week,” when the Watershed Education Network and WestSlope Chapter Trout Unlimited partner to teach students hands-on lessons about the fish and organisms living in Missoula’s watershed."
-An Excerpt from Cameron Evans' Missoulian Article
"In addition to working with the University, Watershed partners with many local businesses and organizations, including the Missoula Water Quality District, the Missoula Conservation District, West Slope Trout Unlimited and the Missoula Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as numerous volunteers and donors. On weekends, other community members who are part of the “stream team” visit other nearby rivers to collect data.
Fassnacht said working with the community is foundational to Watershed, as they rely on volunteers and donors to help promote river stewardship."
“In an ordinary bucket of water from Lolo Creek, all it takes is a close look to reveal a dizzying array of life: fishing spiders, stone flies and all kinds of bizarre aquatic insects that usually escape the attention of humans.” Written by: David Erickson (Missoulian)
WEN has proven itself to be an important educator for kids across Montana. WEN provides field trips for schools in the Missoula area, where it teaches children of all ages the importance of healthy rivers, streams and lakes. This year WEN was one of the three local non-profits to receive the Non-profit Excellence capacity building grant from the Missoula Community Foundation. WEN has been an important business in the Missoula community and this grant gives it the possibility for growth.
“A local watershed consulting company and a nonprofit education network are working with the city of Missoula and local high school science students on a pilot project to test how well floating wetland islands work in improving water quality.” Written by: David Erickson (Missoulian)
As a member of this team, WEN has helped to create and set afloat three Biohaven Floating Islands. The goal here to use recycled materials to create sustainable habitats that can help to improve water quality. These islands have to potential to mitigate the effects of pesticides and waste as well as create a living environment for macro invertebrates and other species.
“It was a case of students teaching students Monday as undergraduates from the University of Montana led a field trip on river ecology for a fourth-grade class from Paxson Elementary School.” Written by: Dillon Kato (Missoulian)
University of Montana undergraduates joined up with Watershed Education Network as part of their “Adopt-A-Class” campaign. UM students spent the day teaching a group of fourth graders from Paxson Elementary School and leading activities such as identifying different insect species.
"Park Side Credit Union announced the exclusive group of nonprofit organizations the credit union will be working with for their 2021 Park Side Partner Program. Through these strategic partnerships, each organization will receive cross-promotion, shared advertising and a donation of $5,000 from the credit union."
"After the reservoir gets drained and dried out, workers will cut a bypass channel for the creek to run around the old concrete spillway. They will remove that barrier and add a new, curved channel for the creek, which will absorb much of the meltwater energy released every spring."
"This year, campers will have the chance to build and program robots; visit the Flathead Lake Biological Station; use a "maker truck's" traditional and modern tools; and meet with scientists and engineers from Intel, Mission Valley Power, the Watershed Education Network, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ wildlife program and the Washington Corp.
" -An Excerpt from Patrick Reilly's Missoulian Article
"It was 14 degrees, not accounting for wind chill, and snow coated the Rattlesnake. As Rattlesnake Creek babbled on, its edges frozen with a few inches of ice, the steady rhythm of skis gracefully sliding over snow broke the silence of an otherwise quiet, cold winter day.
Sawyer Meegan stopped at a cliff 20 feet above the water, jammed his skis into the snow, and scrambled down.
Meegan, a Resource Conservation senior, knelt at the creek's edge, taking the water's temperature. Today, Feb. 24, it was a half-degree above freezing.
Meegan is working to collect these and other measurements as part of his internship with the Watershed Education Network."
“'It’s a friendly competition, but if the peanut butter wins, the peanut butter wins,' Rebecca Paquette boldly declared, pulling her peanut butter costume over her life jacket. 'Friday was the first day on the boards for a lot of us, and we are surprisingly phenomenal. We are naturals. Look out, banana.'
'We are sworn enemies,' responded Aaron Brock, wearing the banana costume. 'You just wait.'
Paquette and Brock both work at the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center. The two were some of the 60-plus competitors in the Windermere Real Estate stand up paddleboard race to benefit the Food Bank’s EmPower Pack children’s program and the Watershed Education Network. The peanut butter and banana were joined by a couple of pickles and a bottle of ketchup."
“Nash also said he wants to experience different jobs related to wildlife before he settles on a choice of a career path. He said this summer has opened his eyes to the possibilities of employment in natural resource management.” Written by: David Erickson (Missoulian)
Jasper Nash, a high school senior from Helena was one of the 10 to participate in WEN’s Youth Conservation Corps summer program. WEN partnered up with the Lolo National Forest service to give high school students the opportunity to get a summer job exploring different jobs such as resource management. Students spent five weeks in the field participating in a multitude of jobs.
“It’s our job to seek out those organizations that can already reach out to (children), and go along with our themes of wildlife, conservation, low waste.” Written by: Chelsea Davis (Missoulian)
As part of the 39th annual International Wildlife Film festival, WEN participated in the WildWalk parade weaving down Higgins. A team from WEN assembled a larger-than-life bull trout costume and “swam” through the streets in Missoula in celebration.