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Building MT's Firewise Demonstration Garden Education :: Environment also Special Events :: Volunteer
Building MT's Firewise Demonstration Garden
9:00 AM
University of Montana
Join us in the UM Firewise Demonstration Garden this April 11th from 9 am - 2 pm for an in-person volunteer and education event. Help us install educational signs, check on plants, and put the finishing touches on garden construction that will provide an educational resource for Montanans seeking to adapt to worsening fire seasons.

RSVP and get your questions answered by emailing melody.hollar@umontana.edu. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Information about the event:
We will meet at the garden at 9 am. The garden is located on the southeasternmost corner of the UM Campus (see the link below for directions to the garden). We will begin with an educational discussion about firewise landscaping and the role that this garden will play for climate change adaptation in Montana. We will then get to work, leaving plenty of time for breaks and more educational discussions about native and firewise landscaping. We will be observing social distancing guidelines, so unfortunately we will not be able to provide snacks or water for the lunch we’ll take around noon. Given that, we urge participants to bring their own lunches, water, and anything else they may want. The work will be outside, so we also urge participants to check the weather and dress accordingly. In addition, they should bring gloves, sturdy shoes, and clothes they are comfortable getting dirty. We will be installing educational signs, checking on the native plants we transplanted last fall, and putting the finishing touches on the garden. We want this to be a fun, educational experience, so we will stop periodically to have discussions about firewise landscaping principles and casual conversation.

Get directions to the garden: https://www.google.com/maps/dir//46.8578339,-113.9828592/@46.8577429,-113.9830652,63m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e0

About the project:
We are working to build Montana’s First Firewise Demonstration Garden that will serve as an educational resource for homeowners in the WUI. Fires in the West are increasing in size, severity, and frequency. Montana is especially at risk of home loss by wildfire; one analysis in 2019 ranked Montana as the #1 riskiest state for property owners (proportionally speaking). Fire science continues to demonstrate that many ignitions are not caused by direct contact with the main flame front; rather, airborne embers land on and ignite the home or, more probably, flammable materials around the home. This means that controlling the selection and arrangement of vegetation around the home can stop destructive fires before they even start. What “firewise” landscaping looks like in Montana is, unfortunately, still not widely known.

Students at the University of Montana came together to address that gap. In collaboration with the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management and with support from the Missoula Conservation District and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, we are building Montana’s first Firewise Demonstration Garden that can provide an informative model and platform that can raise awareness and prompt conversations about climate change adaptation. This project will produce a physical demonstration garden and a website to go with it that integrates Montana’s various fire adaptation strategies and includes more information about the benefits of firewise and native, pollinator-friendly landscaping. The website will be available to the public by early May.
Age Group: All Ages
Venue: University of Montana
Address: 32 Campus Drive, Southeast corner Missoula, MT 59812
Phone: (406) 243-6880

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