Why You Should Support ELK #86

Why You Should Support ELK #86: Help us go on more activities like this one!

by: Matt Crouse, ELK Education Director

On Monday April 4th, Environmental Learning for Kids – always capitalizing on a no school day for our youth – gathered a small herd of students and headed to Platteville, Colorado, to visit a working oil rig.  Thanks to Tuss Erickson III, a drill supervisor with Ensign Energy, and a cooperative crew of “rough necks” – an affectionate term used by those in the oil industry to describe themselves and the work they perform – for being  gracious enough to allow ELK youth and staff to visit their working oil operation.

With both vans loaded with students, lunches, and excitement, we were led to the drilling site by Tuss.  The farm country of Platteville is home to countless species of wildlife. ELK youth were at home identifying birds of prey circling the fields in pursuit of food, white pelicans gliding in search of fruitful waters, and prairie dogs, always alert and playful.  This country is also home to domestic livestock, and herds of cows and a few llamas graced the roadsides as we entered into the pasture of the drilling site.  The land and environment around the drilling exists as if there were not thousands of pounds of metal and machinery, and workers, working tirelessly in pursuit of natural resources 24 hours a day just beside it.

Each student gazed in awe at the immense drilling operation.  One by one, Tuss answered the inquisitive questions of ELK youth and staff.  Soon ELK was led into the control tower to witness the heart of the drilling operation.  The drilling rig had only been set up for 2 days, and the efficiency of the crew was evident as they worked tirelessly to begin searching thousands of feet beneath the Earth’s surface for oil.  Shortly after, ELK said goodbye to Tuss and the rest of the crew, loaded into the vans and headed back to Denver.  This was a great day for ELK youth, and yet again, another opportunity of a lifetime.