Sallal Water Association Recognizes World Water Day with a Contest for Kids!

Joyce Hibma, Treasurer & Communications Lead for Sallal, has strong ties to the Snoqualmie Valley and the water association.

“Farmor” Gurly Hallstrom, Hibma’s grandmother, came from Sweden in the mid-’40s with her father Nils and purchased 40 acres of land on Mt Si Road.

Hibma’s mom, Shirley, grew up on Mill Pond Road in a row house, and Dad moved onto the property in the early ’60s. The Hallstroms raised their family on the land where Hibma, her two sisters and her brother still live today as neighbors in four separate small homes on their remaining 14 acres.  

Nils Hallstrom, Hibma’s father, was one of the original board of directors that formed the Sallal Water Association in the spring of 1967 due to concerns about water availability in shallow wells during summer months.

Hibma got involved with Sallal by attending board meetings as an interested member and realizing that the world of water availability was more than just turning the faucet on. Says Joyce, “As a child, I thought nothing of it. Fast forward 55 years and serving for three years on the board, I realize now what a huge and complicated task they all accomplished for their community.” 

She became fascinated by the complicated world of water and grew an increasing desire to preserve and protect this valuable natural resource. Hibma applied for an open position on the Sallal Board after serving on the Sallal Member Advisory Committee. She says, “Serving on the board, for me, is a way to honor my father’s efforts all those years ago and hopefully positively encourage water conservation.”

When she joined the board, Hibma had a grand idea of a Conservation Kids Club. The idea did not gain much traction until recently when speaking to Sallal’s staff and vice president one day after a meeting. As a kid, Joyce’s parents would encourage her to submit her drawings and poems to be published in Tanner Electric’s “Ruralite Magazine.” She says having her work published was fun and a big deal as a kid.  

Sallal encouraged her to take the lead and see where her idea would go, so Joyce created Sallal’s World Water Day Art Contest for member kids from 4 to 17. From Wikipedia, World Water Day is an annual United Nations (UN) observance day held on March 22nd that highlights the importance of fresh water.

The contest is meant to engage with the Sallal youth and be a fun introduction to water education and conservation. Says Hibma, “I am excited to expand on that with future events that I already have planned. We may even spark a child’s interest to become a water operator!” Until she researched what her first contest should be, she said she had never heard of this observance but thought everyone should know about and participate in World Water Day.

The contest encourages children to submit an original drawing or poem based on what “Water=Life” means to them. Entries must be submitted by March 15th, and winners will be announced on March 22nd. See the contest flyer or visit for more details.

Hibma hopes to have a good response to the contest saying, “I am really excited to see how the kids relate “Water to Life” and celebrate those visions.” 

Sallal members, please help them in their education and conservation efforts by encouraging your child’s artistic entries!

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