Notice: If you wish to receive periodic emailed newsletters from the Flathead Chapter, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and then add this address to your address book and/or safe contacts.
The Flathead Chapter serves the greater Flathead, Northwest Montana, and Glacier National Park area. Monthly meetings in general unless otherwise noted are the 3rd Wednesday of the month in October through April at North Valley Community Hall (also North Valley Physical Therapy)235 Nucleus Ave. in Columbia Falls .
For more information, contact chapter Vice President, Rachel Potter, 892-2446, or:
Programs and Events
May 7 – 11. Flathead Forestry Expo Plant ID Station. Help share the joy of plant identification and appreciation with 5th graders from throughout Flathead Valley. Volunteer to spend a few hours guiding students in an activity-based lesson. You will be partnered with an experienced presenter. Contact: Betty Kuropat 406.892.0129, email@example.com or Chantelle DeLay 406.758.5331, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each Thursday in May: Swan River Nature Trail. Here is an opportunity to join one of the most devoted plant lovers in the valley for a stroll along the ‘Wild Mile’. You may get lucky and spy a species of lady slipper from the Orchidaceae family!
In preparation for this year’s field trip schedule, Anne excitedly related a story about one of last year’s jaunts. One week last May, walkers spotted a native boa! For the rest of the story, and believe me it is worth it, you may want to join Anne for a Thursday morning in May.
Contact: Anne Morley 406.886.2242
Meeting time/location: 10 a.m. in front of the Bigfork Summer Playhouse
Wednesday, May 16: Birdsong Tree Farm Evening Stroll. Valerie Beebe and her forest near Kila are a delight to visit. Birdsong Tree Farm is adjacent to the Smith Lake Waterfowl Production Area and supports a diversity of native and non-native plants. Valerie diligently implements her land management plan with the help of a conservation easement, Certified Family Forest (tree farm), and lots of hard work. We’ll see and hear about changes to the forest community as a result of Valerie’s work, and some that occurred on their own. Bring a picnic supper to enjoy at her outdoor living space and teepee. For more about Birdsong Tree farm, go to https://www.facebook.com/BirdsongTreeFarm
Meeting time/location: 5:30 p.m. Parking lot east of the Social Security and Driver Services offices. Or 5:45 at Birdsong Tree Farm, call Valerie for directions.
Saturday, May 19: Wolf Creek Conservation Easement Hike. Join a partnership hike between Montana Native Plant Society and the Montana Land Reliance and explore some unique private land near Bigfork permanently protected with a conservation easement. Maria Mantas will lead the group through the native plant communities associated with this moist cedar/grand fir forest. Bring lunch and all-weather clothes.
Contact: Mark Schiltz 406.837.2178, email@example.com.
Meeting time/location: 9 a.m. Swan River School (across the street from the Echo Lake Cafe).
Saturday, May 26: Johnson Terraces. Betty Kuropat will lead this annual outing to Johnson Terraces. It is always a mystery as to what one may find blooming. It could be rich purple larkspurs, magenta shooting stars, golden buckwheats, and white death camas. Or one may catch a glimpse of Suksdorfia, a lovely, uncommon saxifrage that grows in rock ledge grottos.
Contact: Betty Kuropat 406.892.0129, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting time/location: 9 a.m. Grouse Mountain Lodge tennis court rest area parking, Whitefish. This outing includes a two-mile round-trip walk and a one-hour drive each way. Bring lunch and water. Return around 3 p.m.
Wednesday, May 30: Viking Creek Trail and Wetlands Restoration. Meander through an area with a rich variety of wetland plants and an interesting story. Whitefish Lake Institute acquired management of the area to prevent it from being drained for development. Mike Koopal will tell the wetland’s story and talk about Whitefish Lake Institute’s efforts to protect water quality of Whitefish Lake.
Next, we’ll stroll through the adjacent 200-acre property that is protected by a Nature Conservancy conservation easement. It also has wonderful plants and an interesting story. Andrew will show us how Forestoration and the Center for Native Plants cleaned up and restored with native plants a severely impacted utility corridor.
Contact: Andrew Beltz 406.471.7752, email@example.com
Meeting time/location: 5:30 p.m. Super 1 parking lot in Whitefish, area south of McDonald’s and close to Hwy. 93, for carpool as parking is limited at both sites. Estimated return 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 31: Columbia Mountain Evening Wildflower Walk. The Columbia Mountain Trail is a flower-lover's paradise. Join Greta Gansauer of Montana Wilderness Association (MWA) and Ellen Horowitz of Montana Native Plant Society for a 3-hour evening wildflower walk. We'll travel at an easy pace and make lots of stops to view big, bold blossoms & beautiful subtle ones alike.
Contact: Greta 406.284.1747, firstname.lastname@example.org OR Ellen 406.752.2909, email@example.com. This hike requires signing up through MWA. Sign up opens April 16 for MWA members and April 30 for non-members at wildmontana.org/walks.
Meeting time/location: 5:50 p.m. Columbia Mountain Trailhead near Columbia Falls.
Thursday, June 7: Coram Evening Stroll. Join Rachel Potter and other plant lovers searching for blooms on Kim Pinter and Gil Jordan’s forested property. This Flathead Land Trust conservation easement is adjacent to the Coram Experimental Forest. Who knows, there just may be a rare plant lurking. If you choose, bring a sack dinner to eat while we chat about what we have seen.
Contact: Kim Pinter 406.387.5814, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please RSVP.
Meeting time/location: 5:30 p.m. Columbia Heights Park and Ride, Jct. of highways 206 & 2. Or call Kim to meet in Coram at 5:45.
Thursday, June 21: Celebrate the First Day of Summer. Steve Wirt continues to woo listeners with his knowledge of native plant life after a burn. The history of fire in this area, is written on the face of the landscape as we 'trek' up the North Fork Road toward Polebridge. At three or four stops along the North Fork road, we’ll have an opportunity to learn how fire has affected the growth of flora for years and to quiz Steve about the effects of heat on our native species and plant restoration.
Contact: Steve Wirt 406.261.2542 email@example.com.
Meeting time/location: 9 a.m. Columbia Heights Park and Ride, Jct. of highways 206 & 2. Return 3-4 p.m.
Tuesday, June 26: Sprunger-Whitney Nature Trail Walk. This walk exemplifies the flora of contrasts. More specifically, it contrasts areas that were cleared in the early 1990’s and an old growth forest. When Anne mentions understory, she is not talking about a story under another story. She is referring to the plant growth under the old growth forest!
This trip could have blossoms of paintbrush, bunchberry, honeysuckle, dogbane, and rose. You may be fortunate to see blossoms and hear the buzz of pollinators, such as bees and hummingbirds. Bring a lunch and soak in the natural history of the old growth forest.
“Land forests are the coral reefs of the ocean of air.” Steven Magee
Contact: Anne Morley 406.886.2242. Important to call if you plan to attend! Anne would like this experience to be relaxing and exploratory, so the starting time depends on weather conditions.
Meeting time/location: 10 a.m. Sprunger-Whitney Nature Trailhead. Travel highway 83 S approximately 7 mi. south of Swan Lake; 0.5 mile south of mile marker 64, turn right at Point Pleasant Campground Sprunger-Whitney Trail signs. Follow signs to trailhead.
To receive updated information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list or to inquire about programs.
Here is is a plant list that Sally Thompson provided based on her book "People Before the Park" that details plants mentioned in a presentation to the Flathead Chapter in February 2017.
Don’t forget, for pictures, stories and updates on the Flathead Chapter or contact us at email@example.com.