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Treading Lightly Lecture Series: Living Museums: Learning in Missoula’s Urban Forests

October 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

$5 – $10

From time immemorial, humans have found ways to explore, learn from, and connect with the natural world. We do this in a variety of ways, some of which leave more footprints than others. This year, our lecture series explores how we can study and observe the natural world while doing our best to minimize our impact. Join us as biologists, philosophers, conservationists, and more share their work and their views on how to learn from nature while treading lightly.

Our third speakers, Ken Stolz and Karen Sippy, share the stage tonight and bring a wealth of information about the vast diversity of tree species found in Missoula. Ken Stolz, treasurer of the State of Montana Arboretum, is a retired University of Montana Main Hall administrator, semi-professional photographer, and active volunteer at the Montana Native Botanic Garden. As a child, he frequented and drew inspiration from the Morton Arboretum in Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, living just a few miles from each. Karen Sippy is the executive director of Trees for Missoula. Since 2011, she has worked closely with Missoula’s Urban Forestry Division, and she served on the committee that wrote the 2015 Missoula Urban Forest Master Management Plan. Karen is also a founding board member and treasurer for Grant Creek Trails Association, a board member for Friends of Missoula Parks, and a member of the Conservation Lands Advisory Committee and the UM Arboretum Committee.

Join us for Ken and Karen’s lecture, Living Museums: Learning in Missoula’s Urban Forests. In 1908, Morton Elrod, founder of the Flathead Lake Biological Station and Glacier National Park’s first naturalist, oversaw the transplanting of 150 native trees from the upper Flathead valley to the University of Montana campus. Elrod remarked, “This planting of trees will, if they live, make possible the study of most of our native trees without long journeys into the woods to see them growing.” From this beginning, our local arboretum has grown into a hub for forestry and silviculture education.

Missoula’s Urban Forest is another collection of trees which today comprises 116 species. Both of these collections are curated, installed and managed with a purpose. They didn’t happen by treading lightly. But now that we have created these ecosystems, it is our responsibility to care for them with as light of an impact as possible. The State of Montana Arboretum and Trees for Missoula have worked hard to provide generations of students and residents with a way to study a wide variety of trees without long-distance travel and further ecosystem disruption, ensuring that nature is accessible to many people who would otherwise not be able to experience it. As caretakers of these collections, they are constantly learning by observing the nature that is right outside the window. Join us to learn more about Missoula’s trees, their history, and their future!

Check out our full list of speakers and topics here.

Cost per lecture: $10; $5 MNHC members; FREE for high school and college students. Tickets will be available August 1.  Purchase tickets here.

View our cancellation/refund policy here.

Thank you to our Title Sponsor, the Good Food Store, and to the Dram Shop for sponsoring our lecture series!



October 1
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
$5 – $10
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Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory Street, Suite A
Missoula, MT 59801 United States