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Two Sussex students win a writing contest AND the 2nd Annual Climate Symposium a hit!

On Monday, May 8 all students presented the climate work they've been participating in this spring. Many environmental education and climate-focused community organizations (Families for a Livable Climate, Missoula Citizens Climate Lobby, Soil Cycle, Home Resource, Climate Smart Missoula, and Ecology Project International) were also in attendance with relevant activities, lessons, and information for students and visiting parents alike.

Kindergartners showcased the carbon cycle and how it relates to the cycle of wool. 1st-4th graders presented on their studies of human and animal migration. 5th/6th graders focused on how climate change affects animal species, and 7th/8th graders showcased the carbon cycle as well. This annual symposium is a culmination of work that builds upon science knowledge, respect of our local community and climate, and fuels confidence in future pursuits of science-based exploration.

Meanwhile Julian M. '25 (left) and Keira K. '23 (right) have won second place and first place respectively in the Families for a Livable Climate's The Changing Times youth writing contest. The submitted poems will be published in their upcoming issue. Each student was also awarded a cash prize. Read on below to enjoy excerpts of their work!

Crumbling Climate by Keira K. '23

Crushed A blackness suffocating the sky

Choking me

Never letting


A place once called home

Now a barren landscape

A drop of water

Now nothing but a crack in the ground

When you try so hard

Get so close

But so close to the wrong thing

Too close to fading

Near destruction

Previously a thriving forest of life

Now a factory in the distance

Why can't we try

Try to feel the suffering

The struggles of the workers

Who have to pick through the trash

Through the despair

The Clark Fork River once running high

Running no more

Native species fighting for life

A bull trout

A grizzly bear

Once knowing how to survive

Tossed into the darkness

The bull trout with no oxygen

The bear with no food

A food web so intertwined

Unraveling like our very existence

Seeley Lake


Sealed off

A world without beauty

A world without life

A place once so euphoric

Now forlorn and gloomy

A drop of water

Seeping into the ground

Giving a chance for life

Knowing it can make a difference

Make a change

A seedling blooming

Hope returning

Like the bitterroot flower

Pushing through the grime

For the future

For the climate

For us

Environmental Musings by Julian M. '25

they used to tell us that

things would be okay

just give the adults a couple of years to

figure it out

it's been forty-seven

after the world was considered

a goner

all the rich people descended

into bunkers to wait it out

money made sense back then

at first

the population of Missoula

didn't know what to do

wondering when it had gone so wrong

I was at home

reading a book

sipping lemonade

when the world turned upside down

people's lives had been uprooted

seemingly overnight

and the change was slow to appear

but when it did

it detonated in an explosion of color

graffiti started creeping in on the city

like a giant plant

mosaics covered the walls

of what used to be downtown

now and then

you would occasionally see an artist

covering the wall of a broken-down building

with images of the earth and how it used to be

when we cared for the environment...

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