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Butte students clean Silver Bow Creek to protect Clark Fork Watershed

Posted at 4:47 PM, May 29, 2024

BUTTE — I’m here in the dry bed of Silver Bow Creek with a bunch of students from East Middle School who are participating in an annual cleanup program to get all sorts of trash and garbage out so it doesn’t end up going down the Clark Fork Watershed—and these kids are certainly finding some weird things.

“The weirdest thing I’ve found is this shoe. It’s a shoe,” said East Middle School student Kai Schuler.

East Middle School student Lydia Walters said, “Probably the weirdest thing I found was a bra. Yeah, it was very gross and muddy.”

Since April, the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program has had about 500 students from eight schools in Butte doing cleanup along local creeks and teaching them the importance of removing trash.

“If we don’t clean it up then it ends up getting into the waterway and all those plastics get broken down into microplastics which end up in the ocean,” said CFWEP Director Rayelynn Brandl.

Students enjoy cleaning the creeks and know they are doing a good thing.

“I love helping the community because I feel like everyone would benefit from me helping the community,” said Schuler.

Walters added, “I think we’re making a difference because we’re making this place a little bit cleaner and that’s preventing trash from going into streams, creeks, and rivers.”

Alright, Kai, what did you find here?

“I found a cowboy boot,” he said.

A cowboy boot. You could open your own shoe store when this is over.

And there were more strange finds on this day.

“The weirdest thing we found was a plunger. Why a plunger? “ said Brandl.