The ERC is here for YOU!
If you haven't taken the ERC's community survey yet, please do! Further information can be found in the final block of this newsletter. April 10 is the last day to complete it. 

Happy Friday! What an exciting week it was, temperamental weather, earthquakes, and avalanches! I even saw the first flowers of spring, albeit dandelions, in Ketchum. A welcome sign of color, growth, and optimism. My interests and mindset this week were much like that of Mother Nature's... all over the place. Over the past four years with the ERC, I have been inspired by ERC volunteer, naturalist, and artist Poo Wright-Pulliam to dive deeper into birding, but I never made the time. The time is now. Sunday evening, I successfully added my first self-identified bird to my personal species count, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, like the dandelion, another colorful and optimistic sight. You can find these sparrow-sized birds in brush. The males can be identified by their namesake, a ruby-crown.  

On Tuesday evening, as I stood in my kitchen brainstorming what to make my household for dinner, I felt the earthquake. Admittedly, I first thought the deep rumbling and shaking was my neighbors' new dryer spinning out of control. As soon as the shaking subsided, the backcountry skier and snow-scientist in me could not wait to see and read about earthquake impacts on avalanches, especially during a wild spring snowstorm. Check out the Sawtooth Avalanche Center's social media and photos section for the results of Mother Nature's experiment. 

What signs of spring are you seeing out there?

This week the ERC is sharing local and relevant environmental education ideas to investigate, find them below. We are striving to provide activities that will be fun for all ages. Enjoy!    
 
~ Alisa McGowan, ERC Program Director  



Constellations

Did you know the greater Wood River Valley region is a part of the nation's first Dark Sky Reserve? Our stars are incredible  ⭐️  Get to know the constellations while you are at home!  
 
Create punch cards by drawing your favorite constellation, holding the paper tightly and using your pen to punch through where the stars are (or a hole puncher if you have one at home!). Grab a flashlight, turn off the lights and project the constellation onto the wall! At night, see if you can find it in the night sky. There are some formal constellation punch cards and activities online if you do a quick Google search. 
 
We like using earthsky.org to assist with current night sky maps and the SkyView Lite app when we are stumped while stargazing. If you want to contribute to citizen science use Globe at Night
 
SPECIAL ASTRONOMY ALERT! Look towards the sky on April 7, around 8:35PM for the year's largest supermoon! Tune into our social media next week for tidbits and crafts about the lunar cycle. 
 
Thank you to Carol Cole, Idaho Dark Sky Reserve volunteer, for the suggestions!

Earthquake!
 
Central Idaho experienced quite the shake Tuesday evening. What a great time for us all to learn more about earthquakes. At home, you can build basic models of tectonic plates, use whatever materials you can find, make it 3-D, or add more layers of the earth to make it more realistic. 

This video from the USGS explains the geologic processes that led to Tuesday's quake. This TedED video can help younger students.   

Recycled Creations

Create an animal, fort, robot, plant or whatever your creative mind chooses out of discarded materials. Consider challenging your family to build items with certain themes or materials. We can't wait to see your creations. 

Send us photos via @ERCSunValley on social media, #ERCSunValley, or send to alisa@ercsv.org. 

Respond to this e-mail for a PDF activity for print.  


Family Care Packages Available

In partnership with The Crisis Hotline, Flourish Foundation, and Project TOOLS, we are offering family care packages full of resources and fun at-home activities. Call 208-788-3596 to arrange a pick-up or drop-off. 

If you are finding yourself in crisis and need someone to talk to, you can also call that number. 
Help Us Serve You

The ERC has launched its inaugural community survey in partnership with Boise State University's Idaho Policy Institute. 

As part of its strategic planning process, the ERC is working with a team of master's students to create an interactive survey for Blaine County residents and visitors. The goals are to capture local levels of environmental awareness, provide feedback on existing ERC programs, and indicate future areas of expansion.

The survey takes about ten minutes to complete, all survey results will remain anonymous. Respondents can then enter to win the drawing for a $100 gift certificate to the local restaurant of their choice. 

Click here to take the survey.   

Environmental Resource Center
PO Box 819
Ketchum ID 83340

Visit us at:
471 Washington Avenue
Ketchum ID 83340

208.726.4333
Facebook and Instagram: @ERCSunValley