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Community Programs

Open House

Come explore and enjoy the great outdoors! Ask a naturalist your burning questions, borrow a nature knapsack or field equipment, or rent a canoe to enjoy the ponds! Canoe rental free for members or $10/hr. Other activities free for all.

June, July, and August: Saturdays 11am – 3pm, Wednesdays 4pm – 7pm.

September through May: 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 11am – 3pm.


Saturday Bird Strolls

Enjoy a cool walk by the river and learn a few birds along the way. Great for beginning birders. Binoculars and guidebooks available to check out. Families welcome! $10/person, $5/students and children, members free.

Year-round, every 2nd Saturday of the month. 8:30 – 10:00.


Weekend Wonders Family Programs

These naturalist-led programs are designed for all ages of explorers. Every month features a different topic that will get you and your family outdoors, learning about the plants and animals in our big backyard. Monthly themes are posted on our website (see calendar). $5/person, members free.

March – May 2019: 3rd Saturday of the month, 3pm – 4:30pm

Starting in June 2019: 3rd Saturday of the month, 9:30am – 11:30


Coffee Walk with a Naturalist

Join us for a cup of coffee and a nature ramble. These easy to moderate walks focus on observing and learning about the natural world. Designed for adults and older children. Different month-to-month theme (see calendar). $10/person, $5/students, members free.

1st Saturdays of the month, 9:30am – 11:30am


Nature Nuts

Nature exploration comes naturally, especially for little kids! Children aged 1 to 4 (and an accompanying adult) join Montana Audubon teacher naturalists for guided outdoor play and learning about the local area. No registration required. $6/child or free for members. Different theme each week (check calendar).

Every Tuesday, year-round, from 10am – 11am.


Special Events: Winter 2018

Looking for a great event you heard about at the Center? Read about it here! All special events require pre-registration (look for the links on the calendar)

Kids Night Out: Art Workshop: Friday Dec 14 from 6:30 – 8:30pm

Parents – take the night off while your children join artist Dawn Nelson to learn a few basic drawing skills. We’ll practice capturing shape, proportions, and light and shadows in a unique winter-themed drawing. Students will have the opportunity to turn their work of art into a holiday gift with a hand-made nature-inspired frame. For children in 2nd – 5th grades. Course fee of $30/child ($27 for Center members) includes all materials

Extended care is available for an additional $6/child. This fee includes care before class (6 – 6:30pm) and after class (8:30 – 9pm). Registration here.

 

Full Moon Night Hike: Friday January 18 from 7 – 8:30pm

Discover the world outdoors at night. Over cocoa and tea, we’ll talk about nocturnal animals and their special adaptations for life in the dark. Then we’ll go for a hike in search of these denizens of the night.  If we are lucky, the full moon will reflect off a blanket of snow to bring the night landscape alive. Bring warm layers, a flashlight and good walking shoes. $5/person or free for members. Advance registration is preferred here.

EXTRA Full Moon Night Hike: Saturday, March 16th from 7 – 8:30. Registration required here.

 

Bat House Building Workshop: Saturday January 26 from 2 – 4pm

If you’ve ever been on one of our summer Bat Night Hikes, you know that we have clouds of bats hanging around our ponds. This spring, we plan to install a few bat houses on our property to improve their habitat options. Come get handy with us as we build bat houses for both the Montana Audubon Center property and for homeowners that want to exclude bats from their attics. All materials will be provided. Please bring a power screwdriver if you have one. Workshop provided in partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Montana Wildlife Federation.

Free! Registration required here.

 

Sip & Sketch: Saturday Feb 2 from 4 – 6pm

Artist Dawn Nelson will be teaching the basics of drawing using the Center’s collection of skulls and bones. Dawn will provide an introductory framework for the process and assist with tips and tricks throughout the evening. Come sip some wine, start your artist sketchbook, and create wonderful drawings. All levels welcome! Course fee $30 per session ($27 for Center members).  Cost includes 2 glasses of wine. Participants should bring their own supplies (a journal, graphite pencils, watercolor pencils, brushes, erasers, and pencil sharpener). Registration here.

Dawn is a fine artist, a certified science illustrator, and an Audubon Center Teacher-Naturalist.

 

Owl Prowl: Saturday February 23 from 7 – 8:30pm

Come learn all about owls and the amazing adaptations that allow them to be skilled hunters and dwellers of the night. We’ll talk about the different species of owls that live in the area, and then we’ll head out for a night hike to look and listen for them. Come prepared to hike in near darkness on uneven ground: wear sturdy walking shoes and bring a flashlight.

$5/person or free for members. Advance registration is preferred at this link.

 

Native Plant Symposium: Saturday, March 23rd from 8:30 – 12:00

This annual event is to increase community awareness of the importance of using native plants in landscaping. Doing so is a great way to conserve water and improve habitat, especially for native birds and pollinators. The event will feature presentations and workshops and include plenty of resources for homeowners. For 2019, we are excited to partner with Montana Wildlife Federation in their work on the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program.

$10/person. Pre-registration requested here.

Thank you to Land Design, Inc. for your sponsorship of this event. Want to add your business as a sponsor or participant? Contact Carolyn, [email protected] or 406-294-5099.


Montana Master Naturalist

The focus of the Montana Master Naturalist Program is to increase natural history knowledge and promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Montana’s natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities. The core of this program is the Montana Master Naturalist Certification Course, which is approximately 40 hours of classroom and field time and offered in a variety of formats and schedules. The Montana Audubon Center is the Billings home for this program and works with the Montana Natural History Center in Missoula to offer state-wide certification.

Our Spring 2019 course meets weekly for 12 weeks on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 8pm (March 6 – May 22) and includes two Saturday field trips (April 27 and May 18).

Course fee is $250/person ($225 for Audubon Center members).

Advance registration is required at this link.

Official Master Naturalist Certification is available from the Montana Natural History Center for an additional $100 (to be arranged in the second week of class). The course has been approved for 40 OPI credits. We are also pursuing approval for step-up credits with School District #2 and professional development credits with MSU-B’s extended campus: stay tuned!


Birthday Parties

Looking for a unique birthday party program? Make it a fun and educational adventure at the Montana Audubon Center. We offer parties for children ages 2 and up. All of our programs are hands-on, and encourage inquiry-based learning and fun. Click here for more information.

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