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erc newsletter summer 2009

recycling update

local dirt

Awakening Curiosity  

Through Environmental Education By Lisa Huttinger, ERC Education Coordinator Do not  try  to  satisfy  your  vanity  by  teaching  a  great  many  things.    Awaken  people’s  curiosity.    It  is  enough  to  open  minds;  do  not  overload  them.    Put  there  just  a  spark.    If  there  is  some  good  inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.               Anatole France 

These kids are helping Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall break in a new recycling kiosk on Fourth Street in Ketchum. Pedestrians shopping at the Farmer’s Market or down-town Ketchum now have options for recycling glass, aluminum and plastic. The ERC purchased three kiosks with a $5000 grant from Coca Cola and the National Recycling Coalition, who gave 85 grants nation-wide to community recycling programs. The kiosks were planned in conjunction with the City of Ketchum and the Ketchum CDC. The recycling kiosks are a welcomed addition said Mayor Hall, who added, “ This ERC grant just goes to show how much of a community effort this Fourth Street project is...and I appreciate the ERC’s efforts.” Volunteers are still needed to help with recycling at special events . Call Dana: 788-9760

Have you noticed that the more time you spend outdoors, paying attention to your surroundings, the more questions you have about the things you see? (What is the name of that tree on the river bank…) And that every time you learn something new, it leads to another round of questions? (Why only growing near water…) It is how environmental education creates curiosity and life-long learners. (It relies on floods to germinate? How high does the water need to be…) By providing the tools for hands-on discovery, it also generates problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and collaborators. This isn’t a contrived exercise – well, we have to do teamwork, so I’ll take this piece, you do that – but a necessity. Measuring a floodplain’s width with a 100m tape, because you want to know the most productive zone for cottonwoods, is easier with two people! Environmental Education is a demonstrated means of increasing student scores in science, math, language arts, and social studies ( It fosters critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and problem-solving - key traits that Blaine County School District

has identified as crucial to students. The Environmental Resource Center’s mission is to connect people to nature through education. Every year, we work to reach new audiences in new ways. This year, our nature programs for the public have been a bit quieter as we built momentum for our school programs and some unique partnerships (including Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, The Hunger Coalition, and Wood River Land Trust). We hope that our school programs in particular will create new ways for increasing student performance. That “quiet” time still had the ERC in the community forefront as we chaired the planning committee that launched a valley Master Naturalist chapter. Through our education programs – whether in the schools, for private groups, or for a single individual – we seek to deepen nature experiences, so each person can come to better know, understand, and love this place. We believe that a passion for place is what inspires individuals to protect and promote precious resources. The ERC guides individuals to make their own discoveries by drawing on personal experiences, games, art, and scientific inquiry. Success is when participants leave empowered to ask and answer their own new questions. We are successful when we can gently fan those flames of curiosity.

erc info As a non-profit membership organization, the Environmental Resource Center’s mission is to promote a more sustainable environment through community education, awareness and participation.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Kingsley Murphy Treasurer Michael Schlatter Members Erik Boe, Karim Merchant, Beverley Robertson, Jeff Tumolo, Werner Morawitz

STAFF Executive Director Craig C. Barry Education Coordinator Lisa Huttinger Youth Outreach Associate Molly Fox Office Director Lisa Horton Accountant Christy McPherson

A Word from our Director  Over the past 18 months, we have considerably picked up our climate protection efforts and recently completed detailed carbon assessments for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey and Blaine County. These reports will help decision-makers assess their next steps as we move toward less carbon pollution and greater energy independence. The ERC has been working with others to help guide and make more sustainable our “local governments” and our overall communities. Presently we are working to secure stimulus funds that will strengthen our energy efficiency. In another major development, we’ve unveiled a completely new website that aims at engaging the community on a wide array of sustainability topics. This site will bring you the latest in sustainability news, give you a “front row seat” in local sustainability efforts and allow you to get more directly involved. Please check out our site at as it grows. Recycling has taken a beating. Both recycling markets and rates are down as folks consume less, but solid waste management is still an important component of overall sustainability. It’s important to recycle as much we can to conserve resources and maximize recycling profits stemming from our newly renovated $1.6 million recycling center. Check our website as ERC continues to pursue improvements to our solid waste system. Warmly,  Craig Barry 

Your support matters! Here at the ERC we are always looking for new, easy and creative ways for you to make a difference in your community today . Become a recurring online donor now and we won’t have to send you all those renewal reminders. Your recurring gift will be automatically charged to your credit card. You’ll help save resources and find it’s easier to budget your

donation on a monthly basis. We’ll save money on stamps and staff time. We promise to use your donations wisely and well. ERC has a lean mean staff and we’ll squeeze every penny ‘til it hollers. We are well aware that times are tight, but that also means we need your continued assistance more than ever. If you’re a member, please pass this on to a friend.

Yes! I support the ERC’s efforts and am enclosing my tax-deductible e-mail: 471 Washington Avenue North PO Box 819 Ketchum, Idaho 83340 208.726.4333 fax 208.726.1531


Please contact me about renewing automatically.

Please circle: INDIVIDUAL or BUSINESS membership $5000+ Director 

 $500 Sustainer 

 $50 Family 

$2500 Benefactor 

 $250 Associate 

 $35 Individual 

$1000 Patron 

 $100 Supporter 

ERC Recycles Old Website:  Moves Into Twitter, Facebook & E­News  :  It’s  Revitalized  and  Improved:  Check  It  Out!  ERC launched our new website in midJune and staff have been continually refining it and also a d d i n g n e w functionality. This new website is a cohesive information source on all ERC programming, plus a calendar of events, Wild Wisdom, and Hot Off the Press recycling news. Flip through the pages of our summer camps brochure or consider volunteer opportunities listed under Get Involved. The website is also a safe and convenient place to sign up for

Be the ERC’s fan on Facebook …. to get up-to-date information on nature, sustainability, and ERC events and activities in the valley. The ERC is also providing wildflower and wildlife spotting updates and trail notes as svoutdoors on Twitter. The ERC constantly seeks ways to foster a community built around

our e-news or make a spur of the moment donation to a program you want to support. Answers to your recycling questions are there, plus surveys and maps.

Best Event of Summer: Shooting Star Sleep-out

Executive Director Craig Barry’s vision for this website is that it provide much more than “static” information. “ I envision this website being a focal point for a broader conversation with the community about sustainability issues. Additionally this site can be used to help working groups like the ERC board and the regional climate protection groups collaborate more effectively.”

This summer, the ERC will be conducting a new event for families: The Shooting Star Sleep-Out/End of Summer Celebration!!! It will be an overnight event, from 4PM Friday Aug 14 until 10AM Saturday Aug 15.

environmental education and sustainability. Facebook and Twitter are great ways for real-time news flashes and program information to spread quickly among networks of friends. Facebook and Twitter are easily accessed through the Contact Us page at Want to hear when bluebells bloom up Park Creek? Just follow us on Twitter!

Before the sun goes down, we will celebrate with dinner, games, activities, and a campfire. Dinner will be generously donated by McClain’s Pizza and The Chocolate Moose of Ketchum.

Subcribe to  the  ERC  E­News!     change your mind, you can This newsletter in your hand, Local unsubscribe quickly by emailing The ERC has Dirt, appears in your mailbox only emailed a portion of our twice a year. In between announcements and updates times, we would like to for years now, but we are update you about programs, kicking it up a notch in issues and events via our honor of our spiffy new electronic newsletter, which website. The new system saves paper and postage , will allow us to poll you on and is thrifty with staff time. relevant issues, and you can If you don’t already receive the ERC “forward to a friend” when we send e-news, its easy to subscribe from our something you want to share. We website on almost any page. We will also archive past issues of print promise we won’t sell or otherwise and email newsletters on the website abuse your email address. If you resources page.

Every summer, the Perseid Meteor Shower streaks across the sky, putting on a show before summer draws to a close. Come together with other families from the Wood River Valley for the unparalleled experience of sleeping under the stars in a beautiful meadow.

After dark, we will scan the skies for shooting stars, or gaze into the heavens with Mark Nelson of Shades of Sun Valley and his high-powered telescope. Sleep out under the stars, or wander into cabins as the little ones drift off to sleep. The location is the Central Idaho 4-H Camp, 17 miles north of Ketchum. The cost is $50 per family which includes dinner. Family scholarships are available. Please register by calling 726-4333.

Americorps Update: Molly Fox I joined the Environmental Resource Center in January of 2009. Originally from Denver, CO, my journey to Idaho began upon graduating from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, with a BA in psychology. After graduation, I stumbled upon a wilderness therapy program called SUWS in Gooding ID; this seemed to offer the perfect intersection of my love for the outdoors and interest in working with youth. My fifteen months as an instructor there was a positive, albeit challenging, experience, but I leaped at the opportunity to leave the stress of wilderness therapy behind and enter into a more “normal” life in Hailey. It quickly became apparent that I was not simply passing through the valley and so began seeking out employment to help me to plant roots here. When the AmeriCorps position with the ERC became available, I immediately jumped on it. AmeriCorps is a government program focusing on national and community service, helping the strengthen the health, safety and welfare of communities. During my 11-month term of service, I am expected to serve 1700 hours at the ERC, helping to increase citizen involvement in decisions that affect our region’s environment through education. The Youth Outreach Associate position satisfied my desire to work with kids again, while also allowing me to continue living in my house. When ERC Executive Director Craig Barry offered me the position, I immediately said yes, excited to be a part of not only AmeriCorps, but the ERC as well. Part of my term of service is to complete a project in an area of my interest and that continues AmeriCorps’ desire to increase the health, safety and welfare of this community. I chose to partner with Sean McLaughlin of The Bicycle Coalition, and help implement their Helmet Habits Program and Bike Safety Education Outreach. So far, Sean and I have attended a bike safety workshop and become “Bike Safety Experts.” We have also handed out helmets to kids at various events, helped to ensure that they fit properly, and educated parents about teaching their kids the importance of wearing helmets. This is all part of the Bicycle Coalition’s mission to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, education and access. They also want to encourage policy makers, developers, residents, and visitors to further incorporate and utilize human power for transportation and recreation throughout Idaho’s Wood River Valley. Overall, my time with the ERC and AmeriCorps has been a rewarding experience. I am excited about the work that has been completed so far, and am eager to see what the rest of my term of service has to offer. Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID Boise, ID Permit No. 679

PO Box 819 Ketchum, ID


ERC Local Dirt Summer 2009  
ERC Local Dirt Summer 2009  

Twice yearly printed newsletter