Notes from the Road: Columbia Falls

Deer Park School in Columbia Falls
Deer Park School in Columbia Falls

Yesterday I presented to three groups of students at Deer Park School just outside of Columbia Falls. At just over 100 students, I believe I spoke to everyone attending the school. Even though the information I share is similar for each group, no two presentations are ever the same. Students always have creative ideas for managing our waste (such as sending it to outer space) and questions based on their own life experiences. Older students are especially aware of their surroundings, tying in information about local current events and customs. My goal is to teach the kids new information and empower them to make good decisions, but I always walk away with something new for myself.


Principal Dan Block was supportive of my interactive style and we laid down the microphone in favor of a more casual, hands-on event. Younger students really enjoyed getting involved by “recycling” their play-doh resources into fun, new shapes. I had never considered “canned cupcakes” until one student told me what was inside her imaginary can.


This afternoon I am heading to Swan River School in Bigfork to speak with K-8 students and then pay a visit to one of the Flathead County recycling drop-off sites. Stay tuned for more updates later this week!


-Rob Pudner, Recycling Educator