Black Butte School’s Metolius Basin Clean Up Contest

Thank you for interest in Black Butte School’s Metolius Basin Clean Up Contest! Here is the important information you need to enter the contest for a chance to win.
What is the contest all about?
Due to an unprecedented use of dispersed campsites in the basin this spring, the Black Butte School Parent Teacher Organization is sponsoring a contest to clean up dispersed campsites in and around the basin and to educate the public about Leave No Trace ethics. 
What can I win?
$100 CASH GRAND PRIZE or, one of four $25 gift certificates to local businesses (Camp Sherman Store, Paulina Springs, Hike N Peaks, and Spoons). 
Who is eligible to enter?
Any family or individual is eligible to enter the contest.
When is it taking place?
Contestants have between Tuesday, May 26th and Sunday, May 31st to enter the contest. 
What do I need to do to enter?
Upon completing any number of hours spent cleaning dispersed campsites during the contest period, contestants will turn in the contest entry form either on this online form or in Black Butte School’s mailbox (outside the front door of the school). Forms must be turned in by 3PM on May 31st to be eligible for prizes. Please send before and after pictures and/or pictures or videos of you/your group working to We may share them with the newspaper and on Black Butte School's website and facebook page. 
What is a dispersed campsite and where do I find them?
Dispersed campsites are unofficial campsites with out any signs or amenities sprinkled across the national forest. Drive on any forest road and you may find a campfire ring in a pull out--that is a dispersed site! Because these sites are not regularly monitored, garbage piles up. Additionally, people may create a dispersed site in an illegal location requiring the total clean up of the site. See below for more details on what is considered an illegal location. 
How do I win?
The $100 Cash Grand Prize will go to the contestant who logs high totals across all contest categories. Individual prizes will be awarded in these categories:
     - Most pounds of trash collected
     - Greatest number of man/woman hours logged
     - Greatest number of campsites cleaned up
     - Greatest number of illegal campfire rings decommissioned
     - Special recognition will go to the contestant with the weirdest item collected and the most useful item collected.
What supplies do I need to participate?
Heavy duty and kitchen sized trash bags, as well as nitrile gloves will be available for pick up at Black Butte School during the contest period. Shovels and buckets are recommended, but not required to rehabilitate campfire rings. 
How do I weigh my trash?
A weighing and information station will be set up outside the entrance of Black Butte School during the contest period. Three hanging scales and one standing scale will allow contestants to weigh their trash. If these are not sufficient, estimates are also acceptable. 
What's an illegal campsite and how do I decommission one? 
An illegal campsite contains a fire ring which has any of the following characteristics:
     - less than 200' from water source
     - not in a hard pack or durable surface
     - under overhanging branches
Campsites with multiple rings should be left with only one legal ring. 
Watch the following video showing how to rehabilitate a campsite.

How To Rehabilitate a Campsite from Black Butte School on Vimeo.

Thanks to Pete Blau of the Metolius Basin Institute for his contribution to the making of the video.
What else do I need to know? 
  • Contestants are responsible for properly disposing of all trash/recycling collected. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY GARBAGE AT BLACK BUTTE SCHOOL. The Camp Sherman Transfer station is open to those with dumping permits on Sunday May 31 from 10am-2pm. Please tell the volunteers you are dumping as a part of the contest if you don't have a permit. Make an effort to sort any recyclable items, especially deposit bottles and cans (non-crushed), as this provides a needed donation for the transfer station.
  • The contest is operating under an honor system. Contestants are encouraged to be as accurate and truthful with the information entered on the form. No volunteers will be monitoring contestants.
  • DO NOT remove any “trash” that appears to be greater than 50 years old, as it is considered to be an archaeological artifact. 
  • Still have questions? Email Jennie Sharp at


Stewardship at Black Butte School

One way that Black Butte School students strive towards sustainability is to positively influence our surrounding community and environment. Our students learn about taking care of each other, the community of people that supports them, and the natural environment through regular classes, as well as, hands-on projects. Black Butte School partners with many local organizations to execute a variety of stewardship projects each year. Many projects are long-term and/or reoccur on an annual basis.

For example, each year in the field studies class students join staff from Trout Unlimited and the US Forest Service in a variety of long-term projects designed to benefit the ecology of the Metolius River. Students and staff plant native plants to restore eroded banks and release smolts into the river to enhance fish populations. Students learn about the science behind their projects in their field studies class and go out in the field to work with their hands. The partnerships with local organizations allow students to meet local science professionals and learn about the important work they do. 

Another annual stewardship project benefits the people in Camp Sherman directly. Students rake the community bike paths in the spring to help people travel safely on the trails. Students also participate in a service day where they help community members in need with their yard work. These projects bring our community members closer to the school, as well as, enable students to get to know some of the key members of our community.

At Black Butte School stewardship is much more than a topic to study in the classroom. It is a value we try to live every day. By giving students opportunities to be stewards of their school, community, and environment we strive to build a generation of future leaders that will continue to care for this place for many years to come. 

A page out of the Metolius Outreach Brochure, created by Black Butte School students in collaboration with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council

A page out of the Metolius Outreach Brochure, created by Black Butte School students in collaboration with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council in 2014