Rotary Club of Red Lodge has historically worked with the City of Red Lodge to build, maintain, and improve access to parks in our community. Rotary Club is working alongside the 2018 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp attendees to establish a water bottle filling station in downtown Red Lodge, Montana at Pride Park. The goal of this project, Refills Not Landfills, is to reduce plastic waste in Red Lodge by reducing our reliance on plastic water bottles, and to provide the citizens and travelers of our community with clean, fresh water.
In the fall of 2018, the Recycling Center in Red Lodge experienced some major changes; one of which forced the center to stop accepting plastics. In an effort to reduce plastic waste in the Red Lodge community, four RYLA students worked with the Rotary Club to identify a project that would reduce our reliance on single use plastics. Installing a water bottle filling station in downtown Red Lodge was identified as the best option. The Refills Not Landfills project kicked off in the fall of 2018 and students began fundraising and presenting the project to school and community groups. Red Lodge Rotary presented the group with $200 of start-up money to get the project off the ground. Since then, the RYLA group has collaborated with numerous community partners and businesses to raise money for the project. To date, the RYLA group has raised $10,814 through direct donations, in-kind donations, and by selling reusable water bottles. We hope to complete the project by September 1, 2019. However, we are still short $18,263 and are asking Rotary District 5390 to help us bring this project to life through their financial support of $5000. Our fundraising plan for the remaining $13,263 is outlined in the financial section of the grant documentation.
If awarded, the Rotary Grant funds will be used to assist with the cost of the filling station, the underground bury device, plumbing, concrete, and excavation costs. Red Lodge Rotary members are supporting the project financially and have agreed to provide labor as needed. The RYLA group has taken the lead on the project and has worked closely with Red Lodge Rotary, City Council, Public Works Department, Garden Club, Parks, Trees, and Recreation Board, and a number of other community organizations to plan and implement this project.