Heat + Wildfires
With an increase in extreme heat and wildfire smoke events, we’re working to help our community adapt in ways that helps us all be physically and mentally healthy and more resilient.
Our programs often focus heavily on helping those most at risk, including marginalize members of our community, low-income neighbors, kids, the elderly, and those with health conditions that make them more vulnerable.
Below are several areas to explore to help all of us adapt to the impacts of climate change. If you would like to support our adaption work, please contact Amy Cilimburg or Donate Now.
Climate affects mental health, too. Click HERE to learn how the changes we are experiencing can impact individual and community mental health, as well as how they can help us grow into a happier, more resilient, and more equitable community.
The Evolution of This Work
Our work on heat and wildfire smoke readiness has greatly expanded beyond our original “Summer Smart” program.
In 2016, Climate Smart Missoula received a Bloomberg Philanthropies Award for Partners for Places – a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. (Thank you for supporting us!!!). This grant was a partnership with the City of Missoula and the Missoula Community Foundation, and was matched by numerous community partners. Years one and two of Summer Smart catalyzed new partnerships for both short-term, tangible actions and long-term planning and network building, all to help Missoulians be physically and mentally healthy and resilient amidst changing summer conditions.
Year one helped us develop many of the resources linked here. Additionally, we hosted a very successful Community Health and Climate Summit. View our one-pager to learn more about how Summer Smart began and what we did in the first year.
Funding Support for Summer Smart:
This grant from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities required a 1:1 match, and we met the match with support from these community partners:
We are immensely grateful to all.
why do we need to be summer smart?
Summer in Missoula is a beautiful time of year, with outdoor adventures beckoning and our town abuzz. But summers often bring days of sweltering heat and wildfire smoke into our valley. Some years are worse than others, but as our climate is changing, hotter temperatures and smokier skies are becoming more common. From warming trends to changes in snowpack and wildfires, explore the climate context of our changing summer conditions.
What are the local indicators of our changing climate, and why do they tell us we need to be summer smart? Temperatures and precipitation patterns are shifting right here in western Montana. We are digging into what that means for our summers, today and into the future.
what are summer smart's goals?
- Develop and strengthen networks to address community and individual understanding of, and responses to, the increased risks of wildfire, smoke, and heat.
- Strengthen safety nets for the most vulnerable in our community facing heat and wildfire smoke health risks.
- Link and build momentum for high priority sustainability strategies from our Community Climate Smart Action Plan.
- Bring the arts, creativity, and hope to this challenging issue, while continuing to share the science and the risks.