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Building MT's First Firewise Demonstration GardenSpecial Events :: Volunteer also Education :: Environment
Building MT's First Firewise Demonstration Garden
9:00 AM
University of Montana
We are working to build Montana's first Firewise Demonstration garden to provide a resource to help homeowners adapt to increasingly long and severe wildfire seasons. To RSVP, please email melody.hollar@umontana.edu with which volunteer day date you would like to sign up for. Once you have RSVP'ed, you will receive more details about what to expect and where to meet us.

About the Volunteer Days:
Each volunteer day will run from 9 am - 2 pm with plenty of breaks in between to learn more about what firewise landscaping is and why it's important. We will be observing social distancing guidelines, so unfortunately we will not be able to provide snacks or water. Given that, we urge participants to bring their own lunches, water, and anything else they may want. This will be manual outdoor work, so we recommend that participants also bring work gloves, sturdy footwear, and clothes that are weather-appropriate and okay to get dirty.
The work will be outside, so we also urge participants to check the weather and dress accordingly. The work will vary on the day and on the productivity of prior days, but will generally involve weeding, landscaping, seeding, transplanting, and sign installation. We want this to be a fun, educational experience, so we will stop periodically to have discussions about firewise landscaping principles and casual conversation.

The Project:
We are working to build Montana’s first Firewise Demonstration Garden in the garden out behind the Clapp building as a part of our Ecosystem Science and Restoration Capstone Project. The garden will showcase firewise landscaping principles that can help landowners dramatically reduce their risk of losing their home to wildfire and, on a broader scale, help Montana adapt to climate change. 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 itself or, more probably, flammable materials around the home. This means that controlling the selection and arrangement of vegetation around the home can stop damaging fires before they even start. What that landscaping looks like in Montana is, unfortunately, still not widely known outside the scientific community. We hope to fix that by building Montana’s first Firewise Demonstration Garden that can provide an informative visual model and a platform that can raise awareness and prompt conversations about climate change adaptation.

We will be hosting a series of volunteer days from now until November on the following schedule:
Saturday, 9/12
Saturday, 9/19
Saturday, 9/26
Saturday, 10/3
Saturday, 10/10
Saturday, 10/17
Saturday, 10/24
Sunday, 11/1 (the only Sunday)

We hope to see you there! All are welcome, and no experience or skills are necessary.
Age Group: All Ages
Venue: University of Montana
Address: 32 Campus Dr. Missoula, Montana 59801
Phone: 3607134053

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