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Montana Education Programs

 

 

Rain barrel painting workshop 

Even in the spectacular natural setting of the Northern Rockies, many kids spend more time indoors looking at electronic screens than outside. The National Wildlife Federation in Montana works with schools, teachers, and communities across the state to engage students with the natural world.

 

Garden for Wildlife

Volunteers filling garden boxes Our Certified Wildlife Habitat® program engages people to make it a priority to provide habitat for wildlife by providing the basic elements that all wildlife need. If you love gardening and connecting with people in your community, the National Wildlife Federation can help you certify your community as a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat™ through our Garden for Wildlife™ movement. A Community Wildlife Habitat™ is a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the community—in backyards, on school grounds, and in public areas such as parks, places of worship and businesses.


The Northwest, including Montana, boasts over 12,000 Backyard Habitats, nearly 250 Certified Schoolyard Habitats, and the most certified Community Wildlife Habitats™ in the nation. Montana has two actively engaged communities in Missoula and Billings.
Follow us on Facebook at Missoula's Community Wildlife Habitat and get involved or you can follow us on Instagram @gardenforwildlifemissoula.

Teachers and Educators

Eco Schools USA logoEco-Schools USA

Eco-Schools USA engages PreK-12 schools in a 7-step framework to help combine environmental learning with hands on experiences. The program provides resources and curriculum to meet your state’s education standards. Visit our Eco Schools USA page or email NWF’s Montana Education Manager, Naomi Alhadeff to learn more.

WildlifeXing logo

WildlifeXing Program

The National Wildlife Federation has partnered with Miistakis Institute in Calgary, AB, Canada to expand the WildlifeXing Program along the Hi-Line region of Montana. This community-science based approach engages rural communities by training volunteers to use the WildlifeXing app to support agency wildlife-transportation mitigation efforts. An additional 8-lesson high school education unit engages students in wildlife biology and connects data collected in the classroom with management decisions. To learn more visit the WildlifeXing website or email Naomi Alhadeff at alhadeffn@nwf.org.

Professional Development Opportunities

There are numerous professional development opportunities available for educators to become familiar with Eco-Schools USA, WildlifeXing Program, Project WET, Project Learning Tree, and Project WILD. These workshops train educators on diverse wildlife and water related topics for the classroom to connect global challenges to local solutions. They provide educators with the knowledge to teach wildlife-based conservation principles in the classroom or outside of the classroom. NWF staff works with schools, teachers, and educators to bring these workshops to you. Participants receive project guides, additional resources or supplies, and Montana certified Renewable Units.
If you’re interested in hosting or attending a professional development workshop, please email Naomi Alhadeff at alhadeffn@nwf.org.

Early Childhood Educator Workshop
Saturday, January 21, 2023  |  9:30am - 3:00pm
Fish, Wildlife, and Parks  |  4600 Giant Springs Rd, Great Falls, MT 59405
Become a certified Project Learning Tree (PLT) educator! PLT is an award-winning environmental education program designed for educators working with youth from pre-K to grade 12. Benefits include: new PLT guide with 12 ready-made Environmental Ed. based lessons; Growing up Wild guide with 27 activities; Project WET guide with 64 activities; activities require few materials; includes background info & lessons; reduces teaching prep time.
Cost: $30.00. Fee includes PLT and Project WET guide, activity resources, handouts, snacks, and much more.
Note: Growing up Wild guide is free, provided by Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
Contact info: Christina Oppegard 406-243-2773, Christina.oppegard@mso.umt.edu
Registration information: https://montana.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cTHx4rqwgi4xOXI Deadline to register: Friday, January 13

Montana License Plate

Get Outside license plate

Calling all Montana residents! Did you know that, on average, kids spend more than 50 hours a week indoors in front of electronic devices? That's more hours than an average full-time job. Help us build our programs to promote better health and teach our future conservationists. By purchasing a National Wildlife Federation "No Child Left Inside" license plate, you contribute to our youth education and habitat programs. And here's our challenge: pick a day, turn off the TV, unplug those video games, leave your phones at home ... and get outside! Twenty dollars from every plate purchased goes directly to programs that give Montana's children opportunities and encouragement to get outside and play.
Montana residents can visit the Montana Motor Vehicle Division website and scroll directly to the National Wildlife Federation's "No Child Left Inside" plate.

Missoula’s Certified Wildlife Habitats™ Self-Guided Tour

Looking to explore Missoula’s Certified Wildlife Habitats™ and the best management practices they display to help improve our watershed? A Certified Wildlife Habitat™ is a step toward replenishing resources for wildlife—both locally and along migration corridors – and we want to show you some great Missoula examples.
Download this self-guided tour to learn the importance of gardening for wildlife, reducing the number of pollutants entering our river, and improving your wildlife habitat.

Click highlighted text for audio recordings describing each stop!

Missoula Certified Wildlife Habitat Guided Tour Map page 1Intro

Stop A: Western Cider was certified in March of 2020 and is the first stop on the tour that shows a healthy wildlife habitat neighboring the Clark Fork River.

Stop B: Created by a group of people who were passionate about urban sustainability, the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD) is the next stop on the tour and was officially certified in May of 2018.

Missoula Certified Wildlife Habitat Guided Tour brochure page 2Stop C: Soil Cycle aims to promote the natural food cycle by providing environmentally sustainable compost services and education and is the next stop on the tour, certifying their wildlife habitat in September of 2019.

Stop D: The Montana Natural History Museum is next on the tour certifying their habitat in July of 2015 and displaying a beautiful example of a pollinator garden filled with native plants.

Stop E: The last stop on the tour is the home of the Missoula Certified Wildlife Community celebration dating their habitat back to the Summer of 2017.

Meet Our 2023 Montana AmeriCorps Member

Dan French

Hello! My name is Dan, I’m from Potsdam “almost Canada” NY, and I’m an east coast skier. I graduated from Bentley University in 2021 with a major in sustainability sciences with minors in general business and management. While there, I played for their club frisbee team Bentley Icehouse all four years. I also had the opportunity to intern with the National Park Service’s Office of Policy for a semester in Washington DC.  In my free time I like to ski/snowboard, hike, and play ultimate. When it’s not so nice outside I let my inner nerd show and I enjoy the card game Magic the Gathering. I’m a Wilderness EMT, which means I care a lot about how hydrated you are on warm days, and how warm you are on cold ones. Above all else I enjoy being the person who gets to help others experience and enjoy the outdoors, wherever the outdoors are. Hopefully, I’ll get to be that person for you. To contact our current AmeriCorps member please email mteducation@nwf.org.

Photo courtesy of Dan French.

More Montana Resources

Montana Mason Bee Box Instructions and Information
Information about mason bees and how to care for a mason bee condo.

Montana Bat Facts and Bat Box Building Instructions
Learn about the many bats in Montana and instructions on how you can build your very own bat house!

Monarch Curriculum (English and Spanish available)
This curriculum was developed to complement the National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA and Schoolyard Habitat® programs, and to guide the construction of a school's monarch recovery garden and monarch observations.

Monarchs & Milkweed
Information about planting milkweed in Montana, the Rocky Mountains, and the Northern Plains. 

Montana Native Plant Guidebook
This guidebook, developed for the National Wildlife Federation, is to be used to lead native plant walks in the Missoula area for the general public and school programs.

Deer Resistant Ornamental Plant Guide - Montana
Find out what to plant so your garden doesn't become a tasty treat for deer!

Missoula County Flowering Plant Guide
Learn more about when common flowering plants in Missoula County are in bloom. PDF from the Missoula County Weed District and Extension Office.


For more information about the National Wildlife Federation’s Montana Education Programs, please contact Naomi Alhadeff at alhadeffn@nwf.org.



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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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