line drawing of western larch Clark Fork Chapter


The Clark Fork Chapter serves the greater Missoula Area and west-central Montana.  

For more information check the Chapter Facebook Page, which has field trip details and maps and photos, more on the UM Native Plant Garden, and so on; it's really the best up-to-the-minute info we have; or contact one of our co-presidents:

Anne Garde

329 S. 4th West

Missoula MT 59801

Madeline Mazurski

5278 Elk Ridge Drive

Missoula MT 59802


Project Budburst Information is at the bottom of the page

Interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here
Here is a link to a page featuring the UM Native Plant Garden

Programs (Held 2nd Thursday of the month (with exceptions), Field Trips, and Events.

  • Thursday, December 11, 6:30 pm. Our Annual Christmas Potluck will again be held in the Del Brown Room in Turner Hall on the UM Campus on the northwest side of the Oval. Parking will hopefully be available west of the Gallagher Bldg. in lots or on the streets off of Arthur and Connell. You will be emailed a map in early December. Bring plates, utensils and a dish to share. Alcoholic beverages are okay! Don’t forget to bring a few of your favorite slides or digital pictures from the summer. Call Peter (728-8740) or Kelly (258-5439) if you have questions. 

  • Monday, January 12, 7:30 pm. In the natural world, “everything is hitched to everything else.” Come and hear Forest Service ecologist Yvette Ortega tell a surprising story of the Rippling Effects of Knapweed Invasion on Native Communities and the Erosion of Bird-song Diversity. This will be a joint meeting with Montana Audubon, Rm 123 Gallagher Business Bldg, UM Campus (note the different day and place). 

  • Tuesday, January 27, 7:30 pm. Herbarium Night. They won’t really keep the fleas off your dog, but it is the 3rd largest genus in Montana. Join Peter Lesica to learn about Fleabanes, the Genus Erigeron. Rm 303, Natural Sciences (Botany) Bldg., UM Campus. 

  • Thursday, February 12, 7:30 pm. Morgan Valliant leads the fight against weeds on open space around Missoula. He will explain The Missoula Conservation Lands Vegetation Management Program. Rm L09 Gallagher Business Bldg, UM Campus.

  • Tuesday, February 24, 7:30 pm. Herbarium Night. Their diversity is as great as for vascular plants, but few people know them well. Join us when Andrea Pipp presents an Introduction to Montana Lichens. Rm 303, Natural Sciences (Botany) Bldg., UM Campus.

  • Thursday, March 12, 7:30 pm. UM’s Mandy Slate received an MNPS grant for her research. Come and learn about these poorly understood plants from her talk: Slight but Consequential: The Ecological Significance of Moss. Rm L09 Gallagher Business Bldg, UM Campus.

  • Tuesday March 31, 7:30 pm. Herbarium Night. This will be a work night. Come for an hour or two and help clean and put things in better order than they already are. Rm 303, Natural Sciences (Botany) Bldg., UM Campus.

  • Thursday, April 9, 7:30 pm. Can you remember the names of those wildflowers? You haven’t seen them for nearly a year. Get an early-season refresher when Clark Fork Chapter photographers show slides of Western Montana’s Grassland Wildflowers. Rm L09 Gallagher Business Bldg, UM Campus.

Events could be canceled due to weather. Hikes typically proceed at a leisurely pace. Please bring adequate food, water, sunscreen, a hat, and be prepared for Montana’s unpredictable, inclement weather. No pets please!

Clark Fork Chapter mushroom hike
 Clark ForkChapter members enjoy a robust schedule of hikes every year.
Here a few members relax in the midst of searching for mushrooms.
(Peter Lesica photo)

* Camera Geek trips are designed with ample time for photography and exchanging camera tips and techniques.

Project Budburst

A nationwide initiative by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), The Chicago Botanical Garden, and others, Project Budburst allows citizen scientists (e.g., students, naturalists, gardeners) to enter observations of the timing of flowers and foliage into an online database to help create a national picture of the effects of our warming climate on plants. The project operates year-round so early and late-blooming species around the country can be monitored throughout their lifecycles. UM professors Carol Brewer and Paul Alaback are collaborators on the project; MNPS member Paul is the project's lead scientist nationally. Project Budburst is looking for Native Plant Society members and others to volunteer in monitoring when plants come out in the spring. This involves selecting one or more plants near your house-in a park or somewhere you walk regularly--then noting the day leaves and flowers first appear and leaves first change color in the fall. Observations on Mt. Sentinel would be particularly valuable. Last year over 4,000 volunteers participated nationwide! Budburst is particularly interested in observations of widely distributed plants such as chokecherry, serviceberry, red osier dogwood, garden lilacs and others. You can register to collect data at or contact Paul Alaback (; phone: 970-227-4745