Author Archives: MaryJo Gardner
January 2018 meeting minutes
Flathead Community of Resource Educators
January 17, 2018 Meeting – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 Office
In attendance: Holly Church (Flathead Lake Biological Station);
Kathy Martin (Hockaday Museum of Art);
Diann Ericson (retired teacher, Education Coordinator Swan Ecosystem Ctr.);
Laura Law (Glacier Natl. Park);
Karla Miller (NW Montana Educational Cooperative);
Cheyenne Owens (Creston Natl. Fish Hatchery); Mary Jo Gardner (retired teacher); Sheena Pate (Crown of the Continent GeoTourism Project);
Derrick Rathe (Lone Pine State Park);
Brian Schwartz (Lone Pine State Park);
Denny Olson (Flathead Audubon);
Carolan Coughlin (MT Conservation Corps); Ryder Delaloye (Whitefish School District/Center for Sustainability;
Melissa Sladek (Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center);
Teresa Wenum (Flathead Natl. Forest)
Center for Sustainability – Whitefish School District
Ryder Delaloye shared with the group a brief overview of the newly created Center for Sustainability, and invited CORE members/participants to bring feedback and share ideas on how the center could complement, support existing programs and activities valley-wide.
• Ryder stressed how community connections will be a key center piece for the center.
• The center will support a ‘net-zero’ facility on 3 acres just north of Whitefish High School and include classrooms, greenhouse, labs, energy systems, production gardens, experimental forest. Ryder suggested facility could be used by the community for workshops, training, conferences and other activities when school is not in session, such as during the summer months.
• The April 21st community Earth Day celebration will take place at Whitefish High School and showcase the new center with facility tours, a workshop and presentation.
• The WF School District and Center for Sustainability will be integrated in the city’s Climate Action Plan.
• Ryder suggested for the future, the Flathead area could consider the development of an environmental literacy plan – and perhaps this would also be something to consider at the state level.
“Center for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship Fund (CSE) is an innovative educational center at Whitefish Schools, providing hands on learning experiences for K-12 students in sustainable energy, agriculture, forestry, natural resources, and entrepreneurship. The fundamental objective of the program is to prepare Whitefish students for college, career, and citizenship by immersing them in interdependent, real-world programs.” —from Center for Sustainability Executive Summary
Winter Trails Day – January 20
Thank you Flathead Audubon, Glacier Natl. Park, Lone Pine State Park, Flathead National Forest and Foys to Blacktail Trails for hosting a community Winter Trails event!
With the federal government shut-down, GNP was unable to host their two scheduled snowshoe walks.
Thank you Dick and Karen Lauer, volunteers with the Foy’s to Blacktail Trails group for taking the lead to host the Blacktail snowshoe walk! Two couples joined Karen and Dick on a two mile walk. Two individuals were new to snowshoeing and borrowed shoes.
Ten folks joined Denny for a Flathead Audubon lead snowshoe along the river bottom at Owen Sowerwine Natural Area – treated to views of a Pileated, Red-tailed Hawk and bald eagle fly overs!
Lone Pine State Park hosted 51 people! Derrick felt about 10 people showed up due to other venue(s) being cancelled. There were families from Cut Bank that drove over and folks that lived just a mile away, was their first time to the park. About 25 people were new to snowshoeing.
Montana Environmental Education Association Annual Conference
March 22-24, Great Falls – Steve Running is the keynote speaker.
Registration now open. Laura and Melissa are presenting a session at the conference sharing the Discover Glacier through Science and Culture teacher workshop.
4th Annual Flathead Earth Day Celebration
Saturday April 21, 11am to 3pm, Whitefish High School
To apply for booth space –
Applications due by March 23 – space limited
The 29th Annual Family Forestry Expo
May 7-12, Trumbull Creek Educational Forest
May 7-11 for 5th grade classes; Saturday, May 12 family event
If interested in coordinating the Wildlife Station, leading a 5th grade class to their different stations, teaching at a station, know of a group interested in organizing the Saturday lunch? Contact Teresa, 758-5218, [email protected]
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. http://www.montananaturalist.org/wings-over-water/
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.
Creston National Fish Hatchery-Hatchery has been working through staff reductions-wanting to get back to community outreach involvement; reminder that hatchery hosts a nature trail and streamside amphitheater, a multi-use pavilion, and an Arbor Day Foundation Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom; looking at ways to reach out to older youth and wanting to bring back the “Fun Fish Day” event that in the past targeted 3rd grade students, possibly hosting event in Sept or Oct? Open to suggestions, ideas for event and getting involved with other events/projects.
NW MT Educational Cooperative- In March, the Cooperative will be moving from their current location at Linderman to the Gateway Community Center off of Hwy 2 in Kalispell; Organizing a “STEAM” (Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math) conference Aug. 13-14 – good opportunity for CORE, CORE members to participate, reaching out to teachers.