MTPR staff travels across MT to connect with residents
This spring, Montana Public Radio’s new Rocky Mountain Front Reporter Ellis Juhlin and Community Engagement Specialist Katy Wade set out on an 850-mile road-trip across northeast Montana. The trip was multi-purpose, though our main goal was to sit down and meet with folks who we hadn’t gotten a chance to connect with yet, and hear what they wanted to share about their home.
This is MTPR’s first time having a reporter devoted to covering this region, and together Ellis and I came up with a plan for this whirlwind tour of the region to make us better equipped to serve our listeners as we broaden our reporting range!
The first stop was to Great Falls, Montana, where we kicked off the trip meeting with community members and leaders that could give a better insight to the happenings of the area. We spent the day exploring the area, first meeting with Arlyne Reichert and walking over the famous pedestrian bridge she worked to save from being torn down. We also checked out a stretch of land along the Missouri river that several groups are working to set aside as an open lands trust and stopped in on some major landmarks, including, of course, a quick trip to the legendary Sip’N Dip Lounge.
Next on the tour was Havre, which, even while apocalyptically submerged in smoke, still showed its character. We visited the beautiful college campus, stopped by Havre Daily News, and met with lawmakers and other residents, including the downtown bunnies
We then trekked across to Browning, where we met with Blackfeet tribal council members, the tribe’s natural resources department and officials with the Cuts Wood School. Ellis plans to return soon to shadow the school and share their Blackfeet language immersion program.
Our fourth and final stop was in Choteau, where we met with the folks at the Choteau Acantha newspaper, shared coffee with a lovely group of community members, and had dinner during sunset on a beautiful farm in Power.
Throughout the trip, we stockpiled images of these towns for use in future stories, dropped off stickers and posters for The Big Why and The Pea Green Boat, and drank lots and lots of coffee.
We would like to say thank you to everyone who met with us and welcomed us along the way. We had a great trip and enjoyed meeting and connecting with every single person, and we can’t wait to share your stories! If you’ve got a story idea, or think there’s something we need to cover along the Front, you can contact Ellis at email@example.com or give her a call at (406) 272-2568.