Spring is Springing
Warm spring days mark the beginning of the end of the harsh Idaho winter (even though we all know snow can happen here anytime, right?). I cannot help but think about the incredible resiliency and adaptations the native plants and animals have to survive these changes. Migration, hibernation, or seasonal polyphenism - the changes in the visible patterns of animals at different points of the year, for example. In this way, nature's adaptations have been on my mind at the same time I've been asking myself, how can the ERC keep adapting and serving you at this time? 
We are carrying out our spring programs in new, creative ways. Not only are we sending you these weekly e-mails, we are working with our partner teachers and organizations to share environmental education lessons with students. We are actively planning, seeking advice, and developing contingency plans for some of our larger spring and summer events, like Clean Sweep and EcoCamp. 
This week's ERC newsletter features our first major programmatic adaptation, the virtualization of our Spring Exploration Series and Spring Science Series. We hope you enjoy. 
What unique adaptations are you noticing out there? See one from an ERC program participant below. We know most of you are taking many outdoor walks each day! 

Finally, we have extended our community survey through the weekend. PLEASE share your thoughts with us! Your feedback will help us better serve the valley through and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and apply that knowledge to our programming and seasonal grant needs. Click here
~ Alisa McGowan, ERC Program Director  

Community Observations

ERC program participant, Abby, @posetopurpose on Instagram, snapped this shot this week. Another harbinger of spring. Thanks Abby! 

Do you know which native flower this is? 

It is one of the first native flowers to bloom in this area in the spring. It is a lily and quite small, often not more than a few inches off the ground. You will be more likely to see these if you are looking. 

To learn more about it click here

Answer: Yellowbell  (Fritillaria pudica)

Spring Science Series 

  The Peregrine Fund is a long-time ERC partner.  Based in Boise, The Peregrine Fund strives to conserve birds of prey worldwide. 

The ERC's 21st annual Spring Exploration Series and 5th annual Spring Science Series were slated to begin on Wednesday. Each spring, the ERC hosts six organizations from across the northwest in Blaine County for two days over the course of six consecutive weeks, including The Peregrine Fund. Over the course of two days, presenters visit all  Blaine County public and private 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms, sharing important environmental science and sustainability lessons, and sometimes live animals! In the evening presenters host a community presentation at   The Community Library.

We are working with each organization that was scheduled to visit to produce content for teachers to distribute to their students. We will also share resources and content from these presenters with you. 

Each day at 2:30PM The Peregrine Fund is hosting a Facebook Live show from their world headquarters in Boise. Tune in!  A dditionally, they are offering some virtual classes, some for children and some for adults. 
International Beaver Day 

Tuesday, April 7 was International Beaver Day, a day to celebrate and recognize the ecological importance of beavers. Beavers are rodents, they weigh 40-50 pounds on average, but can weigh up to 70 pounds. The live in many parts of the world. They play a vital role in creating and maintaining wetland habitats and improving water quality. Watch our short video for some fun beaver tidbits. 

At home with students? Build a beaver dam, it doesn't have to be in a river, you can be creative in building one on a slide, old gutter, or tarp! Dress up like a beaver highlighting their amazing adaptations ("waterproof" fur, webbed feet, an extra eyelid -nictitating membrane- to help see underwater, big teeth, and claws) You can also head to a river or pond on a beaver hunt one evening or early morning.The Wood River Land Trust Draper Preserve is a great place to start. 

Tuesday, April 7 the second of three supermoons in 2020 occured. A supermoon occurs when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit at its full phase. Tuesday's supermoon was the closest to Earth this year, and therefore appeared the largest. According to  NASA there are about three supermoons each year.

Did the moon appear pink? No. The April full moon is known as the pink moon in refe rence to spring flowers. The moon can appear red during lunar eclipses. The next total lunar eclipse visible in Idaho will be in November 2022.

The next and final supermoon of 2020, will be May 7.

Want to continue learning about the moon at home? We recommend starting a moon journal. Watch and record the moon for an entire cycle to best learn its pattern. Our favorite way to cap off learning about the moon? Building a lunar cycle diagram out of oreos!

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. 

Environmental Resource Center
PO Box 819
Ketchum ID 83340

Visit us at:
471 Washington Avenue
Ketchum ID 83340

Facebook and Instagram: @ERCSunValley