Flathead CORE

January 13, 2016

Mary Jo Gardner (retired teacher), Laura Law (Glacier NP), Kathy Martin (Hockaday), Tom Bansak (Biological Station), Lisa Flowers (Educator), Melissa Sladek (Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center), Sheena Pate (Crown of the Continent GeoTourism)


1.    Mary Jo will do a summary of the evaluations from the trunk workshop from October and get them back to Teresa. The date for the workshop next year is October 20, 2016. Sheena Pate and Mary Jo Gardner said they can co- coordinate for 2016 – hurrah! The United Way space had a great outdoor space, ample parking, and enough indoor room for multiple trunks. They will try to reserve that space again. It sounds like we could have some new or updated trunks to share as Heidi Sedivy is re-vamping the AIS trunk and Jenny was Cloutier talking about making an avalanche safety trunk. Plus, Flathead Audubon is updating the wetland trunk. If interested in helping with the workshop contact Sheenat Pate at:  Sheena@crownofthecontinent.org .

2.    Winter Trails Day was January 9, 2016 – Twelve people participated in snowshoe at Blacktail another six joined later. There were two groups. It was a beautiful day with enough snowshoes. Feedback from Jenny was to have better directions or a map on where to send people. Somehow the Beacon got the timing turned around. Lisa said it was important that she had folks sign-up nad had their phone numbers to help direct them. She also got questions like: Where can I go buy some snowshoes and where can I do this more? Glacier had over 50 people! Laura proposed having it January 14, 2017 since the national “day” is now multiple Saturdays throughout January. Teresa said she will ask Jenny to find out if that date is OK with Whitefish Legacy Partners and Lone Pine State Park.

3.    Website- we added 4 organizations - MT Conservation Corps; Foys to Blacktail; Patrol Fund; and Flathead Avalanche Awareness. The mini-calendar has been taken off the home page but all the programs and the main calendar are on the  “programs and events” tab. The art mobile is also interested in being added.  The following information is from last month’s notes: Teresa checked on these organizations: Women and Timber (OK as is), MT for Multiple Use- just keep as is; need to change society of American foresters to the local website (Mary Jo will do). Mary Jo will also contact MT Logging Assoc. about their listing. We will need to find out what Mary Jo learned about this.

4.    Mary Jo can put photos on website but folks need to make sure they have photo releases. For Winter Trails Day and the Flathead CORE trunk workshop we need to make sure we don’t take photos of people who sign that they don’t give permission.

5.    Folks can just email Mary Jo directly, mjgardner1234@gmail.com  if they have posts or events they want listed,

6.    It would be great if volunteers could do some new “featured” articles for the website. Laura said one of her winter volunteers is researching a winter “sounds” article that should be done in February. Kathy said she would consider doing something for a spring article – maybe wildlife photography or something on Elizabeth Walker.

7.    Watershed Sourcebook Curriculum (middle school) – Based on each chapter of the Sourcebook, there are inter-disciplinary /hands-on lessons. It is out there and being tested by teachers through May 2016. If other teachers want to review it, they should contact Valerie at Flathead Conservation District. Laura suggested that final lessons could be put on the CORE website. She saw Lori Curtis and Walt and mentioned that to them.

8.    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.

9.    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.

10. National Park Week- April 16 – 23 and it is free entrance days at national parks all week.

11. May 2-7th, 2016 – Forestry Expo.

12. MEEA – Region 1 – Diann is still looking for a way to engage more of our local teachers in MT. Env. Ed. The discussion was that we should all just get resources from MEEA and make sure we share them at all of our current venues with teachers rather than trying to schedule a separate event.


Round Robin

Š      Kari Musgrove sent information about the upcoming Envirothon support requests through Feb. 1. Also, college scholarship applications for local high school seniors wishing to pursue degrees in natural resources are due March 15, 2016. Flood Day for 100, 9th graders is scheduled for April 21. 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.

Š      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.

Š      Summit Nature Center is open weekends, 11:30 – 2:30 on weekends. “More kids in Woods” from USFS  - let Teresa know if you want to partner on a proposal.

Š      Tom will be passing Educ. Stuff to their new coordinator who will be on board soon. “Science on Tap” at Bigfork Brewery has been standing room only. Upcoming in February the speakers will be bear and lion conflict specialists. There is new Flathead Lake map. They are for sale for $20 and can be purchased through Tom.

Š      Steven Gnam exhibit will be at Gov. Conference April 8th-12th    in Kalispell and is at Sheena’s house so she will make it available for other venues in our area between now and then, just contact her if you have space for it.

Š      Vicki Forristal, 871-1729,  Vicki@edutrav.net , is new coordinator for Road Scholar and they are now hiring for this season.

Š      Lisa is re-doing trunks and they will still be checked-out at coop.


From Last Meeting:

Š      Shelby Johnson (Art Mobile of MTArt mobile- artmobilemontana.org – has a schedule a visit page so you can see what is available. The website uses the software calleweebly.” Shelby and Jenny said that it is very user friendly if someone is looking for a web software platform.

Š      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: https://www.everykidinapark.gov/  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.

Š      Laura is working with Teresa and Melissa Sladek (Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center) to see about a proposal to host a “Forest for Every Classroom” program here in this USFS Region in 2017. We would hope that many organizations from CORE would participate in the required four teacher workshop weekends throughout the year.


Next Meeting

4 – 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, 2016, location TBA but we will see if USFS is available again.