Salmon Run

The Museum of Culture and Environment hosts a festival and a marathon to celebrate Earth Day

Ben Ramirez, Scene Writer

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With Earth Day fast approaching, the Museum of Culture and Environment is preparing for their 5th annual Earth Day Family Festival and Salmon Run. At 9 a.m. on April 22, the festivities will begin outside of Dean Hall and will feature a variety of activities, including a 5K, a 10K, a Small Fry Kid’s Race and an award presentation by the Yakima Nation Fisheries.

In nature, a salmon run is when salmon swim upriver to spawn. “Salmon is a big part of the Yakima River story,” said Lynn Bethke, the collections manager at the Museum of Culture and Environment. “We were really interested in doing some kind of fun fundraiser that would get people to campus that maybe haven’t been here before.” Bethke estimates that there will be about 100 runners and 300 people at the festival.

Race registration begins at 9 a.m. on the day of the festival, but those who wish to register early can do so online on the Museum of Culture and Environment’s section of the CWU website. Online registration will close the day before the race; however, registration prices will not change on the day of the race. The 5K costs $20 to register and the 10K costs $25. The race will start at 10 a.m. and runners will have support throughout the course if they need it. According to Bethke, CWU Recreation designed the course and is in charge of timing. There will also be t-shirts available first-come, first-serve during registration.

The Salmon Run is not the only event of the day. The festival lasts all day and is free to the public. The festival will begin at 9 a.m. on the front lawn of Dean Hall, the same time and place as the race registration. “We invite clubs from campus, departments, groups from off of campus to have tables and offer activities for kids,” Bethke said. This year, the Wenas Mammoth Foundation will bring their Mobile Educational Exhibit, which will include mammoth bones and information about their dig site. In addition, there will be about 35 tables hosting face painting, dance performances, reptiles & amphibians and much more. The campus food trucks will be there and music will be provided by 88.1 the ‘Burg. There will also be booths with information about the salmon and the environment for people who want to learn more about Earth Day.

At 11:15 a.m. there will be a Small Fry Kid’s Race; registration is free and the event is open to all kids. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a race awards presentation. The awards are pieces brought by the Yakima Nation Fisheries and aren’t the usual trophies or medals. Bethke said, “In the past, they’ve sort of run the gamut from blankets to puzzles to CDs, they bring really interesting pieces.” Along with the awards for the fastest runners, there will be a raffle for everyone at the festival to enter in. The raffle will include prizes chosen by the Museum of Culture and Environment such as gift cards and a museum swag bag.

The Salmon Run is co-hosted by the Yakima Nation Fisheries, as well as the Kittitas County Solid Waste Programs. Supporters of the event include members from the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, the Kittitas Reclamation District, Fred Meyers, Starbucks and McDonald’s of Yakima and the CWU Wildcat Shop.

The Earth Day Family Festival and Salmon Run are meant to celebrate Earth Day, but to also bring the community of Ellensburg together with a day filled with fun and activities. The Museum of Culture and Environment encourages everyone to come out whether it is for the 5K, the 10K or simply to enjoy the day and learn more about the environment.

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Salmon Run