The Kelsey Chapter serves native plant enthusiasts in the greater Helena and Great Falls areas, and regions associated with the Rocky Mountain Front and central and north central Montana.
The Chapter President is Mark Majerus; Chapter Vice-President is Kadie Gullickson
Contact Chapter Secretary Jane Fournier, for questions regarding the Chapter.
Are you interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here
Programs and Activities:
Saturday May22, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Reservations Required. Forest Mosses in the South Hills. Join Botanists Justina Dumont and Andrea Pipp on a hike to explore forest mosses in the South Hills! We’ll focus on how to recognize some common mosses at the genus-level, though a few species may pop up. As we hike, we’ll look for those who dwell on the logs, the forest floor, or other microhabitats, examine their simple, yet fascinating structure, learn about their life cycle, and discuss some ecology. Let’s hope for a little rain the night before so we can find them hydrated and looking their leafiest-best! Bring your hand-lens or magnifying glass so you can see their intricate morphology.
When: Saturday May 22, 2020 – 9:00 to 12:30 pm.
We are following best practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to adhere to MNPS rules. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated:
- Please wear your mask; for the most part we’ll be able to maintain decent separation as we hike, talk, and discover.
- Please leave dogs and firearms at home, in fairness to other participants, plants, and wildlife.
Reservations Required: 15-person maximum. Reply to [email protected] to reserve your spot! (This is a new chapter email address used for event registrations only.)
Where: Meet at the trailhead/parking spot for Wakina Sky Trail on Grizzly Gulch Road. Car space is very limited, so carpool if possible and be early in case we must do creative parking.
What to bring: Hand-lens, your favorite moss book if you have one, hiking shoes, water, and appropriate clothing for the weather. Afterwards, there’s an option to have lunch amongst the mossy understory. A light rain won’t scare us off, but a heavy rain makes it difficult to see mosses up close; in case of stormy conditions we’re reserving Saturday June 5th as a backup date.
Questions? Call Andrea (406-439-0284) or Justina (315-380-4196).
Celebrate Wildflowers third week in May. Every year, the Helena/Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana Discovery Foundation, Prickly Pear Land Trust, and the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society host a series of events to celebrate these messengers of spring.:
- As the main focus, Celebrating Wildflowers hikes on Mt. Helena with 4th grade classes. These hikes are typically conducted the third week of May each year and volunteers are always needed to help out. While students will participate in an art contest through their schools, the Mount Helena hikes for 2021 will depend on circumstances then;
- A hike leader training session is held each year. This tuneup is designed for hike leaders but is open to the all MNPS members and the public. Watch for 2021 status.
- On the Thursday of Wildflower week the Prickly Pear Land Trust in cooperation with the Kelsey Chapter and the Montana Discovery Foundation hosts a wildflower hike for the general public on the same route as that used for the 4th graders – contact Bob Person, for questions. 2021 event subject to conditions at the time.
- All field events begin and end at the main Mount Helena trailhead. Flags will be out and information posted at the trailhead kiosk. Enjoy the spring flowers while practicing your social distancing. Virtual events are being planned for 2021 and will be widely announced.
Reports on Recent Activities:
Kelseya uniflora 2017 Field Trip – Trout Creek Canyon Trip Report For several years, we had hoped to conduct a field trip to see the Kelseya uniflora in full bloom, but the uncertainty of spring weather has foiled our attempts. At one point, we succeeded. Six Kelsey Chapter members journeyed out to see the spring bloom in as mild spring snowstorm. Our species list, according to the Lesica rule (only blooming plants counted) was 1, Kelseya uniflora.
These three pictures show the plants in bud or just beginning to bloom on April 6, 2017.
Here are pictures from our trip on April 9, 2017:
The Flora of Mount Helena
The Flora of Mount Helena permanent specimen collection is housed in the Montana section at the Lewis and Clark Library in Helena. The collection is arranged alphabetically by scientific name. Nomenclature follows Dorn 1984. An index is provided that allows cross-referencing by common name and common family name. Click here for a pdf file of the species list.
The Flora of Mount Helena collection is a joint project of the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society and the Lewis and Clark Library. The Kelsey Chapter formally donated the specimen collection to the Lewis and Clark Library in 1999.
For more information about the collection or to make suggestions, contact the Montana Native Plant Society, Kelsey Chapter at [email protected]