Story and photo by Jean Pocha, Pathfinder staff.
OVANDO – With the sound of wolves yipping and woodpeckers hammering away, the SSHS Discovery Days began in Mollett Park on the Blackfoot Challenge Community Conservation Area (BCCA) May 25. Students arrived by school bus to the open grassland area with wetlands and forest skirting the sides. Discovery Days is planned yearly by Trace Stone, Seeley-Swan High School teacher, as a means to get students outside and experience new things.
This year, Elaine Caton, Education Coordinator of the Blackfoot Challenge, approached Stone with the idea of hosting Discovery Days with Blackfoot Challenge educators.
“Hosting Discovery Days seemed like a nice opportunity to provide Blackfoot Challenge programming at the high school level,” said Caton. “We reach the grade schools quite often, but hadn’t reached out to the high school level yet.”
For the introduction, Caton emphasized that the Blackfoot Challenge works with people from loggers, ranchers and fishermen to hunters and ecologists. Through these diverse partnerships, the Blackfoot Challenge has demonstrated the value of working together for the common goal of preserving the rural lifestyle and open space of the Blackfoot Watershed area which includes land from Seeley, through Potomac and up to Lincoln.