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.
Notice: If you wish to receive periodic emailed newsletters from the Flathead Chapter, please send a request to email@example.com and then add this address to your address book and/or safe contacts.
Click here for a list of native plant gardens in the Flathead area.
Interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here
Programs and Events – PLEASE NOTE: MOST PROGRAMS AND EVENTS ARE LIKELY TO BE CANCELLED THIS SPRING – THESE WILL BE NOTED WHEN POSSIBLE – BE SURE TO CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER BEFORE GOING OUT TO A PROGRAM
Columbia Mountain Trail (Often the location for Flathead Chapter walks, here is information for a self-guided visit or a virtual one.
The Columbia Mountain Trail, starting at the mouth of Badrock Canyon in Columbia Falls, is a flower-lover’s paradise. Long a favorite, the Flathead Chapter has led trips here for decades. The trail travels through many habitats, from moist, damp forests, to dry open slopes where you may find balsamroot in bloom. You can stroll for 45 minutes, or climb 4,000’ to the top of the Swan Range. While Flathead Chapter Field trips have been suspended, we hope these will help you discover the area’s flora on your own:
- Map to Columbia Mountain Trailhead.
- Stay tuned for an upcoming FB post by Diane Lundgren at Montana Native Plant Society on FB.
- PDF plant list
- Tips for Hiking Responsibly During COVID-19
Do you have an idea for a field trip next season? If so, please email Hailey Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 21, 6:00 p.m. Native Plant Trivia Night at Backslope Brewing. Grab some friends, have a beer, and put on your thinking cap! From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., each brew sold will benefit MNPS, so bring a designated driver and prepare to support native plants. Backslope Brewing, 1107 9th St. W (Hwy 2), Columbia Falls. (Note: Tuesday, not Wednesday.)
Each Thursday in May, 10 a.m. Swan River Nature Trail. Join naturalist and botanist, Anne Morley and Flathead Audubon Society for a gentle, two-hour spring birding and wildflower identification stroll. We’ll wander two miles along the Old Swan River Road in Bigfork’s backyard, listening to the river next to the trail. Bring binoculars! Meet in front of ShowThyme Restaurant in Bigfork. Info: Anne at 406.886.2242
CANCELLED Wednesday, May 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Native Flora and Birds of Spring Brook Ranch. Join MNPS, Flathead Audubon Society, and Jim Watson (ranch owner), on an evening adventure exploring this unique sanctuary located in an urban setting. We will have a closeup look at the flora and fauna of Flathead Valley’s west side. Space is limited. Register by contacting Kathy Ross at 406.837.3837 or by email .
CANCELLED Tuesday, May 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Birds and Native Plants of Wayfarers State Park. Join MNPS, Flathead Audubon Society, and MT State Parks for a short evening walk with naturalist and botanist, Caroline Kruckeberg-Clemens. You’ll explore the natural landscapes of Harry Horn and Wayfarers Park, while identifying spectacular wildflowers and prime breeding habitat of the migratory birds who visit the park. Space is limited. Register by contacting Flathead Lake Ranger Station at 406.837.3041
CANCELLED Wednesday, May 27, 6:00 p.m. Columbia Mountain Wildflowers with MWA. Join Amy Robinson of Montana Wilderness Association and Ellen Horowitz with MNPS for a three-hour evening wildflower walk. We’ll travel at an easy pace and make multiple stops to view bold blossoms, and the beautiful, unobtrusive ones. Expect to see between 25 and 30 different species of flowers. Co-sponsored by the Montana Wilderness Association. Required registration opens April 27th for MWA members, and April 30th for the general public at wildmontana.org/walks. Register early, this hike fills up fast!
Wednesday, June 3, 1-4 p.m. Huckleberry Phenology Training. Huckleberries are an important food source for all wildlife, including grizzly bears. Glacier National Park is collecting data to understand how weather and other factors influence the phenology, or timing, of berry ripeness. Join research ecologists to learn how you can contribute to this unique citizen science program. Participants must RSVP by May 28th. Register by emailing email@example.com or call 406.888.7986. Meet at the Apgar Education Center.
Wednesday, June 3, 6:00 p.m. Whitefish Trail Wildflower Walk. Meander through the forest and learn about the wide array of colorful wildflowers that line the Whitefish Trail with Whitefish Legacy Partners and the Montana Native Plant Society. You’ll learn how to identify local wildflowers and noxious weeds, using the hand lenses and field guides provided during this 2 to 3-mile hike. This event is free and suitable for all ages/abilities. Meet at the Lion Mountain Trailhead in Whitefish at 6 p.m. For more information visit the website, call 406.862.3880, or email.
Sunday, June 7, 10 a.m. Johnson Terraces. Annual excursion to Johnson Terraces, led by Lynn Smith and Betty Kuropat. This gentle hike will take us to a species-rich bedrock meadow NW of Whitefish. The shallow, moss-covered soils are flooded by seeps in the spring and dry up quickly as summer approaches. This results in a unique and varied flora of bulbed, tap rooted, and annual plants. We may find the tiny, rare native Idahoa scapigera (Scalepod). Bring lunch, water, and a hand lens, if you have one. Contact: Lynn Smith at 406.250.2307 or or by email. Meeting time/location: 10 a.m. at Grouse Mountain Lodge tennis court rest area parking in Whitefish. This outing includes a two-mile, round-trip walk, and a one-hour drive each way.
Thursday, June 11, 5:30 p.m. Columbia Mountain Wildflowers. Glacier National Park Biologist, Tara Carolin, leads this evening stroll up the Columbia Mountain trail. Enjoy spring and early summer blooms along the forested trail with lovely rock outcrops in the sunshine. Bring a sack supper if you like. Meet at the Columbia Mountain parking lot and trailhead. Contact Tara at 406.607.7670 or email.
Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Flowers, Fire, and Photography. Join Steve Wirt, USFS forester and fire manager, to explore the tranquil Howe Lake. You’ll view some of Glacier National Park’s most beautiful flora, learn about the park’s ecology, and capture all the beauty through a lens. Trip is limited to 12 people. Contact Steve to sign up or for last minute changes email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406.261.2542. Meeting time/location: 9 a.m. at Apgar Visitor Center. Group will carpool to trailhead.
Additional Flathead Chapter events to be announced. Send a note to MNPS.Flathead@gmail.com to be placed on the Chapter email list.
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.