"...to preserve, conserve, and study Montana's native plants
and plant communities."

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Flathead Chapter

Notice: If you wish to receive periodic emailed newsletters from the Flathead Chapter, please add mnps.flathead@gmail.com to your address book and/or safe contacts.

  The Flathead Chapter serves the greater Flathead, Northwest Montana, and Glacier National Park area. Monthly meetings 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 unless otherwise noted.

 For for more information, contact chapter Vice President, Rachel Potter, 892-2446, Publicity Chair, or:

Tara Carolin, Chapter President

Click here for a list of native plant gardens in the Flathead area.
Interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here
When do our Northwest Wildflowers Bloom?... Here's a handy list.

Programs and Events

Come at 5:30 pm for our monthly meeting to discuss Chapter business and activities (sack meals are welcome). All programs take place following the meeting at 7 pm in the North Valley Community Building (Teakettle Hall), 235 Nucleus Ave., Columbia Falls (look for North Valley Physical Therapy sign). For more information, check out the Montana Native Plant Society Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTNativePlantSociety) or email us at: mnps.flathead@gmail.com. 

Field Trips

Field Trips for 2017 are listed below. Click here for a brochure with all of the Flathead Chapter 2017 Field Trips.

Tuesdays in May, 10:00 a.m. “Swan River Nature Trail.” It’s worth taking a stroll along this trail, especially with plant lover Anne Morley. Stop, look, listen and learn. Binoculars and a hand lens could make this gentle adventure even more enjoyable! Meet by the bench between the Playhouse and Show Thyme Restaurant, Big Fork. Info: Anne at 886-2242.

Wednesday, May 17, time TBD  — Spring Creek Cemetery 6:00 pm. Join Betty Kuropat and Jen Hintz as they explore the spring flora at Spring Creek Cemetery in Kalispell. Located within a remnant native rough fescue grassland, we should expect to see flowering arnica, larkspur, biscuitroot, and stoneseed, among many others. Meet in the parking lot of the U.S. Forest Service building, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell. Info: Betty at 250-8156.

Saturday, May 20, 8:30 a.m. “Glacier National Park Volunteer Day.” Join the GNP Volunteer Associates park-partner group on their annual volunteer day. A continental breakfast at 8:30 is followed by the annual meeting at 9:00 a.m. After that, volunteers split into work groups and help with projects that range from park facilities maintenance and trail work to working at Glacier’s Native Plant Nursery. Info: Cheryl Klein at 270-4189, cheboklein@att.net.

Saturday, May 20, 9:00 a.m. “Johnson Mountain Terraces Stroll.” There has to be wildlife lurking in the forest surrounding Johnson Mountain Terraces! This is a native plant landscape photographer’s mecca. In addition, Betty Kuropat can teach you scientific and common plant names, while introducing you to some unique flora. This outing is a two-mile round-trip walk and one-hour drive each way. Bring lunch. Meet at the Grouse Mountain Lodge tennis court rest area parking. Info: Betty at 892-0129.

Thursday, June 1, 10:00 a.m. “Sprunger-Whitney Nature Trail Stroll.” Named for two conservationists, this trail is a tapestry of old growth forest. Historically a Pend d’ Oreille and Bitterroot Salish Indian trail, a portion of it was later used by Lewis & Clark. Meet at the Springer-Whitney trailhead. Take Highway 83 approximately seven miles south of Swan Lake; half a mile south of mile marker 64, turn right at the Point Pleasant Campground. Follow signs to the trailhead. Info: Anne at 886-2242.

Thursday, June 1, 6:00 p.m. “Columbia Mountain Evening Wildflower Walk.” Join the Flathead Chapter and Montana Wilderness Association for a three-hour evening wildflower walk. From showy larkspurs to diminutive mitreworts, the Columbia Mountain trail is a flower-lover’s paradise. We’ll travel two-and-a- half miles at an easy pace and make lots of stops to view flowers growing in shady, sunny and wet habitats. This trip is limited to 12 people; reservations required. Meet at the Columbia Mountain trailhead. Register: www.wildmontana.org/walks. Info: Ellen Horowitz at 752-2909, horowitz@centurytel.net, or Grete Gansauer at 726-3931, ggansauer@wildmontana.org. Co-sponsored by the Montana Wilderness Association.

Wednesday, June 14, 6:00 p.m. “River’s Edge Park Evening Stroll.” This could be the perfect opportunity for learning after a hard day in the office or just to relax in a park along the Flathead River. Join Rachel Potter for an hour or two looking at trees and shrubs, searching for wildflowers in moist sloughs, and exploring the Flathead River’s rocky floodplain. Bring a sack supper to eat along the banks of the river as we discuss what we have seen. If you can stay for a bit of knapweed pulling, bring gloves and tools. Meet at River’s Edge Park parking lot, 5th Street E, Columbia Falls. Info: Rachel at 892-2446, jrepotter@centurytel.net.

Tuesdays, June 20 through August 29 — Nursery Tour and Volunteer Days at Glacier National Park 9:00 am. Join a public tour of our Restoration Nursery and help with seeding, transplanting, weeding, and other general nursery operations. Bring a lunch, your favorite work gloves, and clothes that can tolerate dirt. Drop in any time after 9:00 and work an hour, or stay for longer. Work usually wraps up around 3:00 pm. Tours start from the West Glacier Headquarters building. Meet at the Native Plant Nursery to join in our volunteer day activities. Info: Sonja Hartmann at 888-7835 or Rebecca Lawrence at 888-7836.

Wednesday, June 21 — Fire, Fire, Fire, Plants 9:00 am. Drive, stop, look and stroll along the North Fork Road, likely to the
Camas Creek bridge. Celebrate the first day of summer with an easy hike for all ages. Leader Steve Wirt says, “If you burn it they will come!” He is speaking about our native plant growth after a wildfire. On route to the North Fork one can see the effects of fire and rejuvenation as a result of the Robert Fire (2003) and Moose Fire (2001). Steve will share his accumulated knowledge and be your guide to answering questions. Meet at Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls; estimated return is 3-4:00 pm. Info: Steve at 261-2542, wirtland@yahoo.com.

Saturday, July 8 — Hidden Meadow Stroll 8:30 am. Chantelle and Sonja are known to pull tricks out of their hats! Last year they roused a moose and calf. Sonja and Chantelle will lead you to Hidden Meadow, accessed from the inside North Fork Road in Glacier National Park, where you may spy sundew, many species of sedges, and, perhaps, loons. A great trip for photo buffs and others. Meet at Smith’s in Columbia Falls. Info: Chantelle at 210-1266 or Sonja at 270-0756.

Friday, July 21 — Walk Among the Huckleberries 7:30 am. Bear researchers Kate Kendall and Tabitha Graves are going to rock your socks off by combining a great hike with an introduction to the ScienceCache app that you can use to help researchers gather data and learn about a critically important bear food, Vaccinium membranaceum. Along the way, Kate and Tabitha will identify and discuss the ecology and bear use of other plants, such as hedysarum, glacier lilies, spring beauty, whitebark pine, and more. Bring your smartphone if you have one. Meet at Apgar Transit Center in Glacier National Park; we will take the Park shuttle to Logan Pass. Info: Kate at 270-4219, kkendall2382@gmail.com.

Saturday, August 12 — “They Have Sawdust Behind Their Ears” Stroll/Bushwhack 9:00 am. John Muir said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness…” Father and son duo Ben and Malcolm Thompson share how they have come to log a managed forest. This will be an approximately two-mile round-trip, gentle hike along Soup Creek Road in the Swan Valley — with a bit of bushwhacking. The Thompsons will show you examples of trees growing in the Flathead and — no kidding — a stand of old-growth forest! Meet at RBM Lumber, 685 Berne Rd., Columbia Falls, located ¼ mile on the left after the intersection of Highways 2 and 206. Info: Malcolm Thompson at 253-4057 or Joy Thompson, joy@rbmlumber.com.

Saturday, September 30 — Larch Arboretum Field Trip Time TBD. What’s a larch and what’s a tamarack? Why are these trees so special? Join us for an exploration of the diversity of larch species worldwide, how this arboretum came to be, and how it is tied to the work being done at the Coram Experimental Forest. Hone your keying skills as we work on identifying characteristics of up to eight larch species. Meet at the arboretum, located at the Flathead National Forest Hungry Horse Ranger Station in Hungry Horse. Info and to confirm meeting place and time: Sonja Hartmann at 387-4576.

Further information

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 mnps.flathead@gmail.com.


facebook Join Now!

"...to preserve, conserve, and study Montana's native plants
and plant communities."

facebook Join Now!

"...to preserve, conserve, and study Montana's native plants
and plant communities."