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Smokey Bear Reading Challenge: Honoring 80 Years of Wildfire Prevention

Posted on April 9, 2024 at 6:00 am

By Gwendolyn Haley

Eighty years ago, Smokey Bear emerged as the leading voice for wildfire prevention, marking a milestone that transcends mere celebration—it underscores the enduring importance of our forests and wildfire prevention.

To commemorate Smokey’s 80th birthday, we’re teaming up with the USDA Forest Service to introduce the Smokey Bear Reading Challenge on Beanstack. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill reading challenge—it’s an invitation to explore literature shedding light on wildfire prevention and environmental stewardship.

To participate, sign up on Beanstack anytime in April through October 2024 and commit to reading three books on wildfire prevention or environmental conservation.

Whether you read from our curated booklists or select your own titles, each page you turn brings you closer to earning four activity badges. Once you’ve completed the challenge, head into the library to claim some exclusive Smokey Bear swag to show your dedication to a safer, greener future.

Sign Up for the Reading Challenge

Amid the festivities celebrating Smokey Bear’s 80th birthday, we hope you embrace the heart of Smokey’s message: personal responsibility.

You can do this by taking Smokey’s Pledge, a solemn vow to play our part in preventing wildfires. “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires” serves as a poignant reminder of the collective duty we share to safeguard our forests and natural landscapes—particularly important here in Spokane County, where the devastating impacts of wildfires hit close to home.

As we celebrate Smokey’s 80th birthday, I urge you to reflect on the legacy of vigilance and stewardship that he embodies. Together, let’s press forward in the battle against wildfires, ensuring the preservation of our precious wilderness for generations to come.

As we honor Smokey Bear’s 80 years of tireless service and dedication with this reading challenge, we are also seeking a future where our forests remain vibrant, resilient, and free from the threat of wildfires.

Gwendolyn Haley

Gwendolyn Haley is a librarian and the Education and Enrichment Public Services Manager at Spokane County Library District, helping to plan programs for all ages, from preschool to adulthood. When not at work, she juggles a little bit of everything: kids, home, community service, gardening, reading, cooking, and more. Oh, and she knows how to juggle—literally.

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