December 11 was the International Day of the Mountain and Invermere celebrated by asking: Why do we love our mountains?
The leadership class at David Thompson Secondary School and Wildsight Invermere partnered to find an artistic way to celebrate the mountains. The leadership class painted a 4’x8’ banner of the iconic Mt. Nelson and surrounding peaks and divided the banner into five sections. Each section was sent out to a different elementary school in the valley: J Alfred Laird Elementary, Edgewater Elementary, Windermere Elementary, Martin Morigeau Elementary and Eileen Madson Primary School. Elementary students were asked to write out a one-sentence answer to the simple question: why do we love our mountains? After a week, the five sections were reunited and displayed at the Invermere Community Hall during a sold-out presentation on December 10th by renowned scientist and author Wade Davis. The banner will now go on a tour of all of the elementary schools that contributed to its creation.
The responses from the elementary students captured the essence of what mountains mean to us, as Kootenay residents. Below is a sample of their responses:
- I like the mountains because they make beautiful sunsets
- I love the Rocky Mountains because of their amazing shape, size, and beautiful sight
- I love the mountains because they protect animals like wolves
- I love the mountains because of their neat creatures that live on them and the beauty of nature and vegetation
- I love the mountains because they protect us
- I love the mountains because they give homes to many animals
- I love the mountains because they are beautiful
- So many beautiful animals live in the mountains and from a distance the mountains look like shapes or animals
- Our mountains protect our elegant trees
- I love the mountains because they are fun to hike!
- I like the wildlife in the mountains
- I love to hike with my mom
- They have trees
- Because we are behind them and the sun shines
- I love the mountains because they give us peace and light
- Pink sunrises and sunsets when it’s cold in the winter
- I love the mountains because they raise my spirits up•
- The mountain trees give us air
- Because as soon as I come back from a long trip away from home and they come into view I know that I’m home
- I love the mountains because every mountain is different.
The grade 3-7 students of Edgewater Elementary School decided to answer the question by adapting David Bouchard’s poem, “If you’re not from The Prairies”.
If You’re Not From The Mountains
If you’re not from the mountains, you don’t know the wildlife, you can’t know the wildlife
The majestic elk bugles as a cow walks by
The bald eagle soars gracefully up in the sky
The grizzly bear hunts in a nearby stream
A six point white tail is every hunters dreamIf you’re not from the mountains, you don’t know the wildlife
If you’re not from the mountains you don’t know the water, you can’t know the water
Glacier creeks run so frantically freeAvalanches that fly like a wild crazed bee
Majestic waterfalls take crisp air as they flow
The heat of the hotsprings with cold winter snow
If you’re not from the mountains, you don’t know the water.
If you’re not from the mountains, you don’t know the sky, you can’t know the sky
Sunsets pop pink from high cloudy peaks
Sun incredibly hot, it lasts for weeks
Trees poking to native legends of the nightMorning sunrise slowly awakening without flight
If you’re not from the mountains, you don’t know the sky.