Colorful cast of characters to begin campaign
to promote cleaner highways, Idaho
ITD introduces Betty Butterfly, kids' coloring book
A monarch butterfly has begun a long adventure across Idaho, visiting classrooms, county and state fairs, clubs and organizations – anyplace she will find children with receptive ears.
Betty will be accompanied by a cadre of officially christened friends as part of an ITD campaign to protect the environment and keep it clean.
Betty the Butterfly made her debut during the Eastern Idaho State Fair this summer, appearing on the pages of a 20-page coloring book.
Adventures portrayed in the coloring book include an all-star cast of characters:
Betty, a monarch butterfly, which is the state’s official insect
Blu, a bluebird, the state’s official bird
Loo, an Appaloosa of Native American heritage
Bow, a cutthroat trout, the state’s official fish
Dot, a whitetail deer who represents Idaho’s wildlife
Roady the Toady, who represents roadside creatures, and
Rocky the Raccoon, who represents rural creatures and their activities in both rural and urban settings.
Inspiration for the coloring book came from an International Adopt-A-Highway conference where Sherie Sweaney – ITD’s volunteer services coordinator – received training about effective anti-litter programs for young primary school students. She learned that young children respond to education and like to do “good deeds.”
Boys and young men between the ages 16 to 24 are considered the most likely to contribute to highway litter. They are less likely to respond to educational programs that incorporate an ethical component of “doing good deeds.” They are motivated more by the concept of “you’ll get caught, you’ll be fined, and it will hurt you,” explains Sweaney.
With the training in mind, and with support from their supervisors, four ITD employees formed a team to create material for children in grades kindergarten through third that is fun and educational.
Betty’s journey begins with visits to the state’s wildflowers.
“Betty the Butterfly flies through the state, looking for nectar, ooh she can’t wait! From the mountains to the deserts, to rivers, to lakes – Betty loves Idaho, what a beautiful state…”
She encounters Blu, who is distraught over the refuse left along Idaho’s highways. The bluebird laments, “I see all this litter wherever I go. I tell people please don’t ruin Idaho.”
The book also contains messages that encourage taking safe routes to school and the use of booster seats for young children.
ITD’s team included Cindy Smith, appraisal coordinator in right-of-way; Jo O’Connor, Safe Routes to School coordinator; in the Office of Highway Operations and Safety (OPHOS); Cynthia Gardner, IT Programmer Analyst, Sr., Highways Automated Systems Support; and Sweaney, Volunteer Services Coordinator in OHOS.
Smith added life to the coloring book as its illustrator. The ITD print shop, under the supervision of Gail Grenz, produced the books.
District 5 Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator Sharon Short introduced Betty and her adventurous friends at the recent fair in Blackfoot. She interacted with children attending the fair and talked with them about their environment and the consequences of not taking care of and improving their environment.
Sharon enjoyed sharing her experience with children at the fair. Youngsters readily embraced and adopted the book’s characters, she reports.
For information on the new educational campaign or a copy of the coloring book contact Sweaney at ext. 8465 (firstname.lastname@example.org )