CORE Meeting Full Meeting Notes: November 7th, 2018, Flathead Conservation District Office

  • Corrie Halloway, with the Glacier Children’s Museum is working to develop their first exhibit. The exhibit will be wildland fire themed and will be located at the Whitefish Central School. They are currently seeking fire memorabilia and gear donations for the exhibit.
  • Recent workshops, include the Education Trunk Workshop and a Project WET workshop were a success!
  • Winter Trails Day will be January 19th. Flathead CORE members will be working to coordinate events around the Valley and help outreach for these community events.
  • The steering committee for Flathead Watershed through the Seasons recently met to discuss planning. They are seeking 12 teachers who can commit for this workshop which will meet once each season for a year, starting in June 2019. Some curriculum will be shown but teachers will be encouraged to use the workshop to develop their own curriculum that can be incorporated into their classrooms.

There was much more discussed at the meeting, so click the link above for the full meeting minutes.

The next CORE meeting will be January 16th, 2019. It will be held at the Flathead Conservation District office (133 Interstate Lane, Kalispell) from 3:30 – 5:30 PM.

CORE Meeting Minutes 9-18-2018, Creston Fish Hatchery

  1. Cheyenne is moving next month so this is her last meeting – Good luck Cheyenne! There is no one slated to fill in behind Cheyenne but Bob is continuing with education and outreach for the hatchery.
  2. Trunk Workshop – Hailey updated everyone on progress for workshop planning. There are only 3 people signed up right now, so we need to get the word out. The last day for people to sign up is now Monday, Oct. 15. We need at least 10 people between PIRnet and Event Brite to make it a “go.”
  3.  Project WET workshop on Oct. 13 at Flathead Lake Biological Station (3225 Biostation Lane, Polson, MT 59860) is a “go”! Steve Thompson, Project WET facilitator is currently working at Glacier and will be conducting the workshop. Glacier National Park Conservancy will be covering the cost of the books. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and teachers/participants need to bring their own lunches. Laura and Steve will be getting a flyer out to the CORE mailing list asap.
  4. There was much more- see the link above to read the full meeting minutes.

Next meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. Hailey will be confirming if the Flathead Conservation District Conference Room is available and we will send a reminder .

CORE MEETING Full Meeting Notes  – March 15, 2018, Creston Fish Hatchery

Just a Quick List of Highlights from the Meeting

  • Fall meeting, September 19, 2018 at the Creston National Fish Hatchery
  • Educational Trunk Workshop, October 18, 2018 – thank you Sheena and Hailey for organizing workshop!
  • Look for updated Aquatic Invasive Species Education Trunk/Materials from Flathead Lake Biological Station in the coming year.
  • Audubon Classroom Ambassadors & Audubon education trunks are now housed at Lone Pine State Park Visitor Center.
  • Lots of great summer activities from a Swan Valley Bear Fair and state-wide Aquatic Invasive Species Trainings for Educators, to teacher trainings hosted by Glacier Natl. Park, Glacier Institute and the Flathead Lake Biological Station, plus the Montana Birding Festival and celebrating our 3-Forks of the Wild and Scenic River. Please see the link above for the full meeting notes.

See you Sept. 19, 2018 again at the Creston Fish Hatchery Shelter- have a great summer!

CORE MEETING MINUTES – January 17, 2018. Next Meeting is March 15, 2018 at the U.S. Forest Service Office in Kalsipell.

These are just the notes from the “Round Robin” of people at the meeting:

Glacier NP – Park in the midst of their winter programming for area schools. Schedule booked for the season. Planning for the June Discover Glacier through Science and Culture teacher workshop.

Hockaday Museum of Art—Check out all the winter programming and exhibits including the Flowers, Trees and Honeybees Children’s Art exhibit – January 12 through February 17.

Montana Conservation Corps-Some of the seasonal staff that will be working out of the Kalispell office started work on 1/15; first group of crew leaders starting in Feb.; will be hosting a Global Service Day event on April 21; recruiting for summer middle and high school programs, contacting area teachers to get the word out – contact Carolan (406.755.3619) if you have teacher contacts to share; also recruiting for youth crew leaders – those positions start in April and run through August.

Flathead Lake Biological Station-Station hosting the National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Summer Institute, June 20-22, targeted to middle school teachers; working on AIS trunk curriculum targeted to middle school students; working with the Lakers to plan for May 3-5 grade field trips to station;

Check out the new Wings over Water program, multi-disciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education program based on Ospreys. Targeted to middle and high school teachers.

Check out this article in Rural Montana Magazine about Seeley Lake 8th graders working with local electric cooperative to build osprey nesting pole as their Wings over Water project.

Flathead Audubon-Denny teaching a FVCC Senior Institute 6-week course that starts mid-February; the annual Beauty of Birds class will take place at Flathead High in April; will participate in the 2018 International Migratory Bird Day Celebration in May at FVCC; busy upgrading Audubon education trunks-incorporate more on the value of birds, climate change; Montessori School offered use of their parking lot on Willow Glen for Owen Sowerwine Natural Area visitation-Audubon building trail connecting parking lot to area; MT Birding Festival takes place June 8-10, numerous field trips in the area.

Flathead National Forest-Winter Discovery field trips for grades K-8 taking place now through mid-March, through the Forest Service Summit Nature Center, partnership project with Whitefish Mtn. Resort, all program slots filled; Applications being taken for the 2018 Artist-Wilderness-Connection, artist-in-residence program, interested artists can learn more and submit an on-line application at the Hockaday Museum of Art website.

Lone Pine State Park-Park is hosting two AmeriCorps members, January through November, education specialist and evening program/special events coordinator; Welcome Derrick, new Park Ranger!

Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center-Richard Menicke, GIS specialist working with Whitefish and Columbia high schools on hands-on GIS projects; GNP nursery manager position is vacant; bringing on a citizen science coordinator for education groups; check out the new ‘storymap’, see link below….

“Along with our newsletter, we are excited to share the CCRLC’s new storymap, Avalanches on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The storymap highlights the challenges of opening the Going-to-the Sun Road in the spring and how a partnership between Glacier’s road crews and USGS avalanche forecasters is improving safety for all.”

Crown of the Continent Geotourism Program-Program recognizes its 10 year anniversary with special programming to take place over the next three years and includes working with Montana’s new Office of Outdoor Recreation .


CORE MEETING MINUTES – November 8, 2017

November 8, 2017 Meeting Highlights – These are just a few of the events that were discussed, see the full meeting minutes to find out more.

  • The 2017 Trunk Workshop on Thursday, October 19th was a huge success. We had 14 teachers attend and featured 10 trunks. Learn about our many local trunks.
  • Save the Date in 2018: Winter Trails day is January 20th; Earth Day is Saturday, April 21st; Family Forestry Expo is May 7-12th
  • FLBS and Flathead Lakers are hosting a Science on Tap featuring Diane Boyd, Wolf Management Specialist for FWP, who will be speaking about wolves on Tuesday, December 5th at 6pm. FLBS is about to launch a new website.
  • MT Lake Book 3rd edition is available from Whitefish Lake Institute and Flathead Conservation District.
  • Every Kid in a Park offers free Christmas tree permits which will be available starting next Wednesday at FNF offices. Kids should bring their certificate and pick up a free permit

Next 2018 Meeting – January 17th at Fish Wildlife and Parks’ Conference Room, 490 N Meridian Rd, Kalispell 3:30 – 5 pm

CORE MEETING MINUTES- September 20 2017 

September 20, 2017 Meeting Highlights – These are just a few of the events that were discussed, see the full meeting minutes link (above) to find out more.

  • Save the date for the 2017 Trunk Workshop on Thursday, October 19th at Lone Pine State Park. Register online at the CORE website
  • Winter Trails day – scheduled for January 20, 2018
  • FLBS and Flathead Lakers are hosting a Science on Tap featuring new FLBS faculty member Bob Hall, who will be speaking about stream ecology on Tuesday, October 3rd at 6pm. FLBS is about to launch a new website.
  • MT Lake Book 3rd edition went to the publishers and should be available soon.
  • Saturday, September 23rd the Flathead Lakers are hosting a Walk and Talk Native Plant Workshop and Tour. Visit for more information

Join us for our next 2017 meeting, 3:30 -5:30 p.m., Nov. 8th at Flathead Conservation District Office (133 Interstate Lane, Kalispell)


PDF of full meeting minutes 5_24_17

May 18, 2017 Meeting Highlights – Check these out to find out about the many educational opportunities around the valley. These are just a few of the events that were discussed, see the full meeting minutes to find out more.

  • Glacier Children’s Museum (link to flyer) concept presentation by Savannah Andrasko. She is looking for volunteers to join the board, work on committees, spread the word and fundraise/donate.
  • Arbor Day was April 28th, and Kalispell Parks and Rec. sponsored the event for 370 Kalispell School District 3rd graders at Kids Sport in Kalispell.
  • Earth Day in Whitefish was a huge success with 48 booths and 800-1,000 people estimated.
  • Flathead Biological Station is having an Open House on August 2nd at 1pm. Come tour the campus and learn more about the great science and education happening at Yellow Bay.
  • Save the date for the 2017 Trunk Workshop on Thursday, October 19th.

Join us for our next meeting,

CORE MEETING MINUTES_April 14 2017 – Check these out to find out about the many educational opportunities around the valley.

April 17, 2017 Meeting Highlights- These are just a few of the events that were discussed, see the full meeting minutes link (above) to find out more.

  • Project Learning Tree Educator Workshop – 30 educators attended the all-day workshop at the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp on April 8th.
  • Citizens for a Better Flathead is organizing Earth Day on April 22nd at the Whitefish Middle School.  Many CORE representatives will be there with booths.
  • Youth Global Service Day is April 22 at Kalispell Middle School (106 NW Lane) 10 – 2pm. Center for Restorative Youth Justice is organizing. MCC will have a booth for volunteer opportunities. Contact Carolan ( if you have information about youth activities.
  • Montana Environmental Educators Conferencewas Mar. 9th and 10th, 2017 in Helena.
  • Arbor Day is April 28th, and Kalispell Parks and Rec. is sponsoring the event for 3rd graders at Kids Sport in Kalispell. They are looking for adult volunteers to help plant trees. Let Teresa or Rick Moore know if you are interested.
  • Columbia Falls Arbor Day Celebration is on May 5th at Columbus Park. Glacier Gateway 5th graders will be involved.
  • The 28th Annual EXPO is May 1-5th this year, Family Day is the 6th.

Flathead CORE next meeting:

CORE Full Meeting Minutes 1-25-17 

January 25, 2017 Meeting Highlights-  At Hockaday Museum of Art- Attendees:Denny Olson, Kathy Martin, Holly Church, Casey Fuson, Brian Schwartz, Teresa Wenum, Sheena Tate, Cynthia Ingelfinger, Mary Jo Gardner, Laura Law, and Melissa Sladek (phone).

  • Winter Trails Day was Jan. 14. (The national organization didn’t designate a certain day.) Lone Pine had 14 people snowshoeing. Brian was on KGEZ promoting the day. Audubon had 19 come to Owen Sowerwine and GNP had 49 attend. Glacier Nordic Club hosted at Grouse Mountain Lodge. MT Wilderness Association does winter walks.
  • Teresa gave an update on Forest For Every Classroom Planning (FFEC) . Teresa, Laura, and Melissa are heading the steering committee. It is a yearlong training for teachers learning place-based approaches to education. A community meeting will be Mar. 16th, 4:30-7:30, at the Flathead National Forest Service 650 Wolfpack Way 406-758-5218.
  • Project Learning Tree Educator Workshop is April 8th.
  • Earth Day is April 22nd. Citizens for a Better Flathead is organizing the event.
  • The County Science Fair is Mar. 9th.
  • Montana Environmental Educators Conference is Mar. 9th and 10th in Helena.
  • Arbor Day is April 28th, and Kalispell Parks and Rec. has in the past sponsored an event for 3rd graders.
  • Flathead Conservation District is presenting a weed workshop on Mar. 1st.
  • Snowshoeing in GNP is on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 2:00. School trips are booked.
  • The Summit House Nature Center has been busy and school snowshoeing trips are booked. There is a Science on Ice program, contact Teresa at 758-5218 for information.
  • Much more was discussed and can be viewed in the full meeting minutes link above.

Flathead CORE next meeting:

November 16, 2016 Meeting Highlights-  At Lone Pine State Park- Attendees: Brian Schwitz, Kathy Martin, Denny Olson, Mary Jo Gardner, and Laura Law.

  • Moving forward with Forest For Every Classroom Planning (FFEC) – possible dates to have the focus group (community meeting) are March 16 or March 20, 2017. Locations could include Lone Pine State Park. There will be a need for a coordinator. A list of possible partners needs to be generated.
  • The Oct. 20th trunk workshop had low attendance, but enthusiastic participants. There was a nice variety of trunks
  • Watershed committee will continue working on the curriculum. Laura attended NAAEE conference in Wisconsin in Oct. There was a presentation of the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook.
  • Denny (Flathead Audubon) reported work is continuing on the Riparian Wetlands Trunk. The Owen Sowerwine Mentoring and Monitoring Project was Sept. 27. High school students worked with elementary student
  • Brian (Lone Pine State park)reported there is a new person soon to be on staff.
  • Website committee meeting will be on Nov. 29th.Coming Events:  Dec. 17  Christmas Bird Count, Jan. 1  First Day Hike at Lone Pine State Park, Jan. 14 Winter Trails Day

Flathead CORE meetings schedule


Full Meeting Minutes September 2016

Meeting Highlights

  • Birds of Prey day @ Lone Pine State Park – Sept. 10
    • 2017 – will move event date as to not conflict with Dragon Boat races.
    • 2016 – approximately 350 attendees
  • October 20th – Trunk workshop Highlights:
  • United Way, Gateway West Community Room, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
    • 15 registrants as of 9/21, @15 more slots available
    • Target 2nd-8th grades
    • Workshop should be advertised on all Flathead CORE affiliate websites & social media to help promote
    • Wildlife theme trunks needed – 3 more trunk presenters would be good.
    • Scavenger hunt –
      • 1 question/trunk
      • Allows time for teachers to explore trunks, yet not make time too long, focus more time on the formal trunk presentations.
  • Flathead CORE Watershed Committee
    • Final Flathead Watershed Educators Guide
      • Lessons and activities tied to the eight chapters within the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook – over 50 lessons/activities.
      • Hosting October 21st, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, teacher workshop @ Flathead Lake Biological Station; guide targets middle school grades 5-8.

Upcoming Events

  • Winter Trails Day 2017 – January 14
    • Promote each of our sites/events on the same day – idea not to overwhelm individual sites and visitors can have choice of sites/activities to select from….
    • Forward your event information to Teresa by mid to late November.

Flathead CORE meetings schedule

  • November 16th – Lone Pine Visitor Center – 4:00 pm
  • January 25th – Hockaday Museum of Art – 4:00 pm
  • March 15th – Hockaday Museum of Art – 4:00 pm
  • May 24th – Lone Pine Picnic Shelter – 4:00 pm

Full Meeting Minutes May 2016

Meeting Highlights

  1. The Flathead Watershed Sourcebook endeavor is quite successful and will be used as a model for other areas. Contact Lori Curtis at the Whitefish Lake Institute or Valerie Kurth at the Flathead Conservation District. .
  2. Flathead Audubon has plans for multi age mentoring watershed education activities at Owen Sowerwine Natural Area. .
  3. The Hockaday Museum of Art has a new Educational Program-A timeless Legacy-Women Artists of Glacier National Park. A workshop is May 24 at the NW MT Educ. Co-op. .
  4. National Trails Day is June 4 th at various sites and lunch at Lone Pine State Park.
  5. To see the full meeting minutes, open the link above. Have a great summer and see you at the fall meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 4 p.m. at the Hockaday Museum of Art.

Full Meeting Minutes March_2016

Meeting Highlights-

  1. Earth Day – There will be an event again in Whitefish on April 23, 2016 centered around the pillars of, “Grow it, Fix it, Save It, Live it!”. That same day, there will be a Bioblitz Event at FVCC.
  2. Public Lands Travel Grants – still available for any educators who want to get their children to public lands this year.
  3. Forestry Expo – get ready for another full week of helping 5th graders connect with valley resources.

Next Meeting, May 18, 2016 is to be outside! We will meet at 4 p.m. at the big shelter at Lawrence Park and if someone has it reserved already, move to the Hockaday.


Full Meeting Minutes January 13_2016

Meeting Highlights- Upcoming Events

  1. Earth Day – Xanterra, NPCA, Crown of the Continent GeoTourism, Citizens for a Better Flathead had that event in Whitefish last year but it’s not clear if there is funding/sponsorship this year. It sounds like Citizens for a Better Flathead is planning something for April 22 (movie night) -23 (Saturday fair) and hopefullys something at Whitefish again with up to 30 booths and hands-on activities. Sheena will contact Mayre from Citizens and keep us updated. Andrew Lahr, GNP, is interested in participating. Melissa Sladek said the Green Team from Glacier wants to participate.
  2. Arbor Day – tentative date of Friday, April 22? Kalispell Parks & Rec. did a big event last year with a big planting event. Columbia Falls is also having an Arbor Day Celebration – usually the week before Expo. Fifth graders from Glacier Gateway helped with stations last year.
  3. National Park Week- April 16 – 23 and it is free entrance days at national parks all week.
  4. May 2-7th, 2016 – Forestry Expo.
  5. Kari Musgrove sent information about the upcoming Envirothon support requests available from Flathead Conservation District  through Feb. 1. Also, college scholarship applications for local high school seniors wishing to pursue degrees in natural resources are due March 15, 2016.
  6. Flood Day for 100, 9th graders is scheduled for April 21.
  7. On April 6, speakers about Flathead’s Deep Aquifer will be at FVCC courtesy of the Flathead Basin River Commission. Kari emailed a copy of an article about it. These same speakers will be at the “Science on Tap” on April 5th.
  8. Flathead Conservation District is hosting another weed workshop on March 3 and March 9 at FVCC, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The Beacon will be writing a community interest piece about it.
  9. The Summit Nature Center is currently open weekends and many winter education ecology programs are in progress across the valley.
  10. There was much more discussed. Please read the full meeting minutes and join us at our next meeting in March!


Flathead CORE November 4_2015 Full Meeting Minutes PDF

Meeting Highlights-

  1. Participants reported that three fall events all had good turnouts and went well: 1) the PLT Workshop done by the Flathead Conservation District with Women and Timber and PLT; 2) the Flathead CORE traveling trunk workshop: and 3) the Lake Honoring Day at the Bio Station. Congratulations to all who worked on these!
  2. Sounds like there are 3-4 organizations interested in being added to our Local Providers list. Laura will work with the website committee to make this happen.
  3. We are looking for volunteers could do some new “featured” articles for the website. Patti Mason offered to do a migration article. Laura will ask a Glacier NP seasonal ranger to do a winter article in January. Kathy said she would consider doing something for a spring article – maybe wildlife photography or something on Elizabeth Walker.
  4. Watershed Sourcebook Curriculum – the workshop for teachers who are interested in piloting the lessons is Nov. 21, 2015 and is being coordinated by Valerie at FCD. Teresa sent out a flyer and we will work to get it posted on the CORE website.
  5. World Soil Day is Saturday, December 5, 2015 and the Flathead Conservation District will be hosting and event at Flathead High School that day. Starting at 5:30 p.m. there will be locally grown treats followed at 6:30 p.m. by the movie, “Symphony of Soils.” More information about the event is available at the FCD website.
  6. Winter Trails Day is January 9, 2016 – Teresa said she can again spearhead getting the information out about this. Traditionally Lone Pine State Park, Swan Ecosystem Center, Whitefish Legacy Partners, Flathead Audubon, and Glacier National Park had events that day. The idea was brought up to have a series of events throughout the month of January, but at this point, we will just follow the same thing we’ve done in the past until we can get more help organizing multiple events.
  7. Planning for other winter/spring events. Diann is thinking about a 3rd annual MEEA Region 1 MEEA teacher get together. She said she could check with Eliza and see if there is already a meeting going on in February that we could piggy back on. Diann would like help to coordinate what this might look like. Previously, Mary Jo had suggested a “training” session type meeting from 4-6:30 some evening with PLT lessons or something that would be a “draw” for teachers. Laura noted that February 29, 2016 is a PIR day for Columbia Falls District so perhaps for 3 hours they could get PIR credits for a training a CORE participant would lead and also information about MEEA? Could this tie in with Lone Pine’s desire to recruit teachers to help with outdoor programs? Other suggestions?
  8. Jenny is getting ready for all the winter field trips at Big Mountain. There are still openings left. Teachers should go to to book field trips.
  9. Kathy said that the Donald M. Jones, “Wild and Free” exhibit is very cool- it is printed on canvas and stretched. Next Thursday, Nov. 12 is the opening reception. There has already been a call from a teacher to bring their students interested in wildlife biology to see the exhibit– a nice combination of science and art. Unfortunately, no one has taken advantage of the certificate that the museum gives to encourage students to visit. Kathy will email Mary Jo an image of the certificate to post on the CORE website. Maybe that will encourage teachers to tell their students.
  10. Art mobile- – has a schedule a visit page so you can see what is available. The website uses the software calle “weebly.” Shelby and Jenny said that it is very user friendly if someone is looking for a web software platform.
  11. Glacier National Park – Every Kid in a Park website – make sure teachers and 4th grade students know that they can get a permit for free entrance for their families to public lands by going to: Also, look for travel grants in the next year as part of the Montana National Park Units’ efforts to support getting under-served youth to public lands for outdoor education programming.
  12. Laura needs someone to help with covering the meeting minutes and posting to the website. Let her know if you are interested in helping with this.


View the Full Meeting Minutes Sept_16_2015

Meeting Highlights-

Welcome back to everyone and thanks for participating in planning for another great year with Flathead CORE. A special welcome to Vicki Forristal with Road Scholar and Joan West, Lone Pine Americorps.

  1. Watershed Sourcebook Curriculum – the drafts are being reviewed and need to go to teachers to pilot for the final. Hope to have all done by end of 2015. There is a meeting scheduled for Saturday, November 21, 2015 and folks can contact Vicki at the Flathead Conservation District, 406-752-4220.
  2. Trunk Workshop –October 15, 2015 on the PIR day. As part of this event, we will be posting an updated trunk list on the CORE website. Mary Jo and Sheena can help organize; Patti, Kathy, and Diann can help that day. Laura will have a seasonal ranger present the park’s new Repeat Photo Trunk and they will bring the park’s Land of Many Stories trunk. Patti will do owl and Kathy Martin will do a Hockaday trunk. Joan will see if she can do FWP. (Post meeting follow-up on this was that Joan couldn’t do this so Teresa had one of her staff bring the FireWorks Trunk to present). Sheena can help with PIRnet and updating trunk list. Diann and Mary Jo can MC that day J
  3. Winter Trails Day, January 9, 2016– start getting folks to participate. Teresa will check with Lone Pine State Park, Swan Ecosystem Center, Whitefish Legacy Partners has a big event, Flathead Audubon, Glacier National Park. We could do a series of events instead of one day.
  4. MEEA Regional meeting (for our region) – Diann said she could check with Eliza and see if there is already a meeting going on that we could piggy back on. Mary Jo suggested even a “training” session type meeting from 4-6:30 some evening with PLT lessons or something could be a “draw.”
  5. There was much more! Download an MS Word File of the Full Meeting Minutes for Sept_16_2015


Flathead CORE May, 13, 2015 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

It’s hard to believe another school year has come and gone. We had an extremely busy year with numerous events – Raptor Day 2014,  the CORE Education Trunks Workshop in October 2014, Winter Trails Day 2015, the MT Env. Education Conference in March, all of the Earth Day Events and much more going on with our local providers.

There are numerous great summer events happening around the Flathead Region:

  • Flathead Biological Station has a research cruise, July 14 – join researchers on a beautiful cruise to find out about ecological and water quality research being conducted.
  • Swan Ecosystem Center is coordinating a Bear Fair on June 20, 2015; they also have a childrens’ (ages 9-13)  “Wildlife Explorer’s Camp” on July 22-25; and on August 20, a “Biocontrol of Knapweed” workshop.
  • Flathead National Forest will be opening the Summit Nature Center on June 20, 2015 at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
  • Glacier Institute is hosting a “Teen Symposium” along with their many summer camps for children.
  • Glacier National Park will be conducting another “Climate Change Teacher Workshop” at the end of June. Plus the numerous ranger-led programs and Native America Speaks programs throughout the summer.
  • Visit the Local Providers link on our website to check out all of the educational resource options in our area.

On the calendar for next year already is:

  1. Flathead Audubon, “Birds in the Elementary Classroom”, August 21, 2015 – register on PIRnet or through the NW MT Educational Cooperative
  2. Raptor Day at Lone Pine State Park, Sept. 12, 2015
  3. CORE Education Trunk Workshop on October 15, 2015 (details still to be decided on location and specific trunks)

Flathead CORE Jan_20_2015 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

What a great turn-out for the January meeting! Lots of things happening in the valley.

  1. Whitefish Legacy Partners have lots of events planned on the Whitefish Trail.
  2. The UM Flathead Lake Biological Station is going to have Tom Bansak teaching a course this summer on freshwater ecology.
  3. Flathead Conservation District has a weed workshop coming up, and much more!
  4. On top of all of that, Heidi and the  MT Environmental Education Association Board are ready to post the MEEA 2015 conference schedule, so make sure March 19-20 are on your calendars.
  5. Diann Ericson, has also planned a region 1 MEEA meeting on Feb. 9 at Kalispell Middle School, 4-5:30 to re-invigorate membership and keep educators aware of all of the things going on in our region.
  6. We also bid a fond “farewell” and “stay in touch” to Amy Grout who has a new job with MT state parks working with the parks around Flathead Lake.

The next Flathead CORE meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at the Flathead NF Supervisor’s Office, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell

PDF Flathead CORE Jan_20_2015 Meeting Minutes


Flathead CORE November 2014 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

  1. New aquatic invasive species film on-line with the Flathead Lake Biological Station.
  2. MT Env. Ed. Association (MEEA) Conference planning in full swing. NEED EXHIBITORS!!! Business members ($100/year) get a free booth at the conference.
  3. A welcome back to Patti Mason as she takes the helm from Ashley as the Audubon Conservation Educator. Good luck Ashley and keep in touch!
  4. Glacier Institute has winter courses coming up as well as some wonderful grant projects funded for 2015.
  5. For links to more information about the above and to see what else was discussed- Road Scholar, CoC Geotourism Council, Winter Trails Day- click on the full meeting minutes link above.

The next Flathead CORE meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the Flathead NF Supervisor’s Office, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalisepll


trunk of educational treasures

Trunk Workshop

Flathead CORE Sept 2014 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

  1. Trunk Workshop is on for October 16, 2014!! Sign-up today.
  2. MT Env. Educ. Association (MEEA) Conference – SAVE THE DATE- for March 19-20, 2015 , Polson, MT. Registration on-line should be available soon.
  3. Thanks to everyone who made the Wilderness 50 event a success.
  4. Much more was discussed. Click on the full meeting minutes link above to find out more.

The next Flathead CORE meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19,2014, 4-5:30 p.m. at the Flathead National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Kalispell.

forest focus


Flathead CORE May 20_2014 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

  1. Forestry Expo had over 400 participants this spring.
  2. Wilderness50 planning for events is in full swing.
  3. FCD had a great Arbor Day event and Swan Ecosystem Center is doing water quality monitoring at Elk Creek.
  4. Much more was discussed. Click on the full meeting minutes link above to find out more.

The next Flathead CORE meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 24, 4-5:30 p.m. at the Flathead National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Kalispell.

March 12_2014 Full Meeting Minutes- Note the date change for the next meeting! It is May 20, 2014, NOT May 14 as stated in the meeting minutes.

migrating birds at Freezeout Lake

March is a time for migration.

  1. Lori Ortley was nominated for the MT Environmental Education Association’s (MEEA)  “Educator of the Year” award and won! Congratulations Lori! The award will be presented at the MEEA conference this week in Butte.
  2. The science fair was at the fairgrounds in Kalispell this year and organizers are seeking feedback and suggestions for next year.  Call Laurie Lapan at Deer Park School with your ideas, 406-892-5388.
  3. The Glacier Insitute has some great opportunities this summer for students and teachers. The climate change teacher workshop will be June 23-26 and applications are being accepted on-line on the Institute’s website,  The Institute also has a symposium week planned for high school students to learn about invasive species. The week is free and applications will accepted online on their Institute’s website.
  4. Much more was discussed. Click on the full meeting minutes link above to find out more.

The next Flathead CORE meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20, 4-5:30 p.m. at the Flathead National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Kalispell.

January, 23, 2014 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights

  1. The CORE website has some fresh updates, new events and resources, and we’re working on getting the resource provider contact information updated. You may be getting and email from us asking to help get your information current. Not only that but the hosting fee for this year was covered by Lone Pine State Park. Thanks Lone Pine!
  2. The Flathead County Science Fair is looking for resource providers to have booths at the two fairs this year – March 4 and March 11. Contact Laureen Lapan at Deer Park School, 892-5388 before Feb. 18, 2014 if you can help.
  3. The Swan Ecosystem has re-scheduled their Winter Trails Event  (which was cancelled because of the bad weather,  for Feb. 8, 2014). It will still be at the Holland Lake Day Use Area, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. , contact the Swan Ecosystem Center, 406-754-3137 for more information .
  4. Much more was discussed – 50th Wilderness Anniversary Events, upcoming spring events in the Flathead Valley, teacher workshops, etc. See the full meeting minutes at the link above.

The next Flathead CORE meeting will be March 13, 2014 at the Flathead Conservation District Office, Kalisepell.

November 7, 2013 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights –

1.  It was a great turnout for this re-schedule of our October meeting. We decided to reschedule the education trunk workshop that had been cancelled in October to August 2014.

2. No progress was made on the GO Passport or the PLT Outdoor Site Use Survey.

3. Final preparation for the upcoming MEEA outdoor education opportunities meeting were discussed.

4. Payment of the web hosting fee for 2014 was decided.

5. Winter Trails Day activities were discussed and Teresa Wenum is coordinating this event again. Thanks Teresa!

The next Flathead CORE meeting will be January 23, 204 at the Flathead Conservation District Office, Kalispell.

Please Join Us!


September 2013 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights –

1. Two new faces were at the meeting- Jill Jolly  (did I get that spelling right Jill?) the new Education Coordinator for the Swan Ecosystem Center and Susan James, from Libby Dam. Thanks for being with us and sharing all that is going on with your organizations!

2. Errin Koehler shared with us that Raptor Day at Lone Pine was a big success with even more participants than past years.

3. There are 2 great teacher workshops coming up on the October PIR days – a FireWorks Education Trunk training by Jane Kapler Smith, and our Flathead CORE Education Trunk training day. See the full meeting minutes for more details and watch the CORE website for updates.

The next Flathead CORE meeting will be October 10, 2013 at the Flathead Conservation District Office, Kalispell.

June 2013 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

1. Upcoming Teacher Workshops:

  • Jane Kapler Smith is conducting a 1-day teacher workshop, Friday, October 18, 2013 in Kalispell. We discussed whether we should start advertising now for it since it is early in the fall and decided it is best to get the word out.
  • CORE trunk workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 17. It is not on PIRnet but again, Ed. Coop. will be putting on the website asap. Sheena will be working on the details for that over the summer.
  • “Fire Speaks the Land” Dance performance is funded for a date around March 25-26, 2014 at Whitefish Middle School Theater. Whitefish will have their classes attend the dance performances since they are hosting it. More information about how other classes can participate will be worked out this summer.

2. Many more things were discussed. Please click on the link above for the full meeting minutes.

The next Flathead CORE meeting will be September 12, 2013 at the Flathead Conservation District Office, Kalispell.

March 2013 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights-

  1.  GO (Get Outside) Passport – Sheena and Kathy are working on a symbol (raised metal engraving for rubbing) to be designed for it. Kathy will try to come up with a list of some artists who would be interested in designing it. Tim Sievers (BBBS) and Sheena  will keep working on this. Sites interested include– Lone Pine, Glacier NP, the Hockaday, Creston Fish Hatchers, Whitefish Lake Institute, Whitefish Legacy Partners, Summit Nature Center (Big Mtn), etc.. It would be great to have this be linked with the outdoor classrooms guide on the Flathead CORE website. In a related activity, Kalispell Parks & Rec. Dept. has purchased a geocache trail activity kit that they are going to work with Lone Pine SP  and other locations on getting it set up.
  2. Wilderness Investigations Workshop is set for for Sept. 14-15, 2013 at Glacier Institute Field Camp in Glacier National Park. We hope to get it put on Pirnet soon. If the COCEEC grant comes through the cost for teachers will be minimal for the weekend ($20 for food and lodging). Plus, they will get access to the on-line curriculum.
  3. Earth Day (April 22) – Citizens  for a Better Flathead- Renewable Resource Club is doing a recycled art contest and a 4th movie night also on April 20. Patti will find out if this is in conjunction with FVCC or separate. It sounds like it is at the college and that they are hosting a big fair on that Saturday. The theme this year is “Go Walk”. Angela Bulik is the contact for FVCC and Patti will call her.
  4. Many more things were discussed. Please click on the link above to download the full meeting minutes.

The next Flathead CORE meeting is Thursday, June 13 at the Flathead Conservation District Office.


January 2013 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights –

  1. Winter Trails Day events  are happening this weekend. A press release went out this week from Flathead National Forest and mentioned Flathead CORE.  Lone Pine has free snowshoe rentals from 10-5 p.m. that day.  They have the snowshoes for rental all winter (sizes = 4 medium, 3 larges, 7 youth, cost is $5). Whitefish Legacy Partners is working with Stillwater Lodge and Ravenwood to host the event from 10 – 2 p.m.  Swan Ecosystem Center is doing snowshoe hike for any beginners.  A suggestion was made that we should email this info. to places like Blacktail and Big Mountain to let them know about it. Glacier NP will have their 10:30 and 2 p.m. walks. (It says 1:30 in the press release but it is actually 2 p.m. and these walks will continue every weekend until March 17.
  2. Road Scholar is still planning and hiring for this summer. They have positions for this summer, has the position descriptions and information. Spread the word with teachers and others who have summers off.
  3. GO (Get Outside) Passport – Laura will check in with Tim to see if he still is interested in working on that. Evie said that Creston could be included. Sheena is super interested and said she could start working on it – Lone Pine, Glacier NP, the Hockaday, Creston, etc.. would want to be in the book.
  4. Many more things were discussed, use the link above to download the full meeting notes.


Diann and Teresa looking at award in the shape of a bird house

Diann Ericson presenting Teresa Wenum with the “Sense of Wonder” award from the Montana Environmental Education Association

November 2012 Full Meeting Notes

Meeting Highlights –

  1. The Montana Environmental Education Assocation presents an inspirational award every year to someone in the state who motivates people to be good stewards of the environment. This year, our own, Teresa Wenum, was nominated and selected for the award, called the “Sense of Wonder” award.
  2. Teresa has spent many years promoting conservation education in Flathead National Forest and throughout the Flathead Valley.
  3. Congratulations Teresa!


  1. G lacier Institute got the Tom’s of Maine grant! Hurrah! “50 States for Good”. They have company that’s putting in solar and wind at Big Creek and another group doing curriculum development with renewable energy. They will need a lot of volunteers to help with this project as part of the grant. It was suggested that they contact: The Center for Restorative Youth Justice, Kalispell; as it has young adults that have to put in a set amount of service hours.1.
  2. Website updates – the Sourcebook is now online and there are CDs available for free! (Laura will contact Eliza to see if we can put this on the coop website- also on the CORE website).
  3. Events – Past and Future
  • Raptor Day –there was a fantastic turnout with people staying to participate in multiple events, Amy Grout noted that there were 224 people.
  • Teacher workshop, October PIR day – Early Childhood “Reconnecting” Workshop in the morning and then did 3 hours of Project Learning Tree Certification in the afternoon – 33 teachers
  • Teacher Workshop, October PIR day – Project WET- Clean Water Practices Workshop – 24 teachers. There is a new guidebook and a new trunk from the Flathead Lakers, “Clean Water Practices” educational trunk.
  • Suggestion to do the education trunk workshop on Oct. PIR day in 2013 (Oct. 17). Amy will work with us to see if we can do it at Lone Pine. Bozeman is requesting that we assist with a trunk workshop for the MEEA conference in March as an exhibitor.  Diann will be going and can give CORE members a ride. Laura said she could bring a couple of the Glacier NP trunks.
  • Many more events and updates were discussed- download the full meeting minutes to learn more!


September 2012 Full Meeting Notes

Meeting Highlights – Joyce Baltz, Director of the Glacier Institute, shared exciting information about a grant contest they are finalists in, Tom’s of Main, “50 States of Good” . The Institute’s project, “ Alternative Energy Surrounds Us” is a project for Big Creek to get alternative energy -solar/wind display.  Vote on Facebook once a day, every day until Oct. 9. Vote at

Tim Sievers, Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flathead County, introduced an idea for a “GO Passport” (Get Outside) to get kids to get out and connect with nature. It would need 15 sites that would be places for families/kids to go and get their passport book stamped.  The book would also have a place for the child to record something about what they did. Over the course of the year, if you could get to 10 sites or so, you would get a prize/reward.

  • Please email if your agency would like to be one of the sites in the passport book.
  • Patti Mason  will check the list of places in the “Teacher’s Guide to Outdoor Education Sites in the Flathead Region” to see if some of them would be good candidates.
  • Tim will contact Teresa Wenum for more feedback as the Flathead NF did a similar project with the school district in the past.

The next Flathead CORE meeting will be on November 8, 2012 at the Flathead Conservation District Office.


April 2012 Full Meeting Minutes 

Meeting Highlights – the website is no longer administered by Pixel Solutions; Flathead Leadership presentation went well and a good idea about a “Get Outside” Flathead activity; Nature Explore teacher workshop coming up at Creston Fish Hatchery.


March 2012 Full Meeting Minutes

Meeting Highlights – Flathead CORE website live; Project Learning Tree Workshop in April; Scholarships available for MT Natural Resources Youth Camp.


January 2012 Full Meeting Minutes 

Meeting Highlights – finalizing getting website live; results from Winter Trails Day; investigating Earth Day event options. Click on the “January” link to see the full meeting minutes.


November 2011 Full Meeting Minutes 

Meeting Highlights – Results of CORE trunk and Project Learning Tree Workshop. Thanks for all who assisted with these events. Planning for Winter Trails Day; website updates.