Center leads native plant coalition-building in Billings
The Montana Audubon Center held an inaugural Native Plant Symposium on October 7 and 8 at its location in Billings. Friday consisted of a forum with 15 invited guests, each with professional or amateur-level interest in native plants. Center Director, Jonathan Lutz, facilitated the two-hour discussion with the stated goal of creating a baseline of information about existing capacity and resources devoted to native plants in Billings.
Saturday morning featured three guest speakers and a native plant sale–all open to the public. 40 attendees learned about the relationships between insects and native plants, how community gardens are taking shape in Billings, and how native plant landscaping affects neighborhood planning. 50 native plant seedlings were distributed and each attendee received a complimentary packet of native wildflower seeds. Center staff are evaluating the results from the Friday-Saturday Symposium, and are in the process of determining next steps. The event was inspired, in part, by Douglas Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home.
Fledglings Nature Preschool expands to 5-day weekly schedule
Due to the overwhelming success of its pilot year, the Montana Audubon Center expanded its early childhood program offerings to begin the 2016-2017 school year. Fledglings Nature Preschool–coordinated by Montana’s 2016 Environmental Educator of the Year, Sarah Chatwood–now includes 2 classes. A group of 8 students attends the preschool on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while a second group of 8 attends on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Fledglings program is founded on the basic idea that kids learn best through play and hands-on experiences. The Center’s preschool students spend the majority of their class time exploring and learning in the outdoors. Keep up with preschool happenings, including pictures of the students sledding on October 11, via the Center’s Facebook Page.
Center Memberships make a great holiday gift
With the first snow of the season having already fallen in Billings, we are reminded that the holiday season is little more than 2 months away! The gift of membership to the Montana Audubon Center has many benefits, including: discounts on programs, complimentary canoe rentals (seasonal), regular program announcements via the Montana Audubon eNews, a bi-annual newsletter, and special recognition during the annual Evening Under the Big Sky event. Future benefits may also include discounts on Center-branded merchandise (announcement coming in 2017). Please consider joining or giving the gift of membership this holiday season. Purchase a Center Membership online.