Opportunities to connect our community the land and engage with our partners in restoration, education, and public access continue to grow on the lands we own in Clinton, Missoula, and Lincoln.
The Rock Creek Confluence Property is thriving as both a dynamic outdoor classroom as well as a vibrant public natural area. Already this year, the Confluence has welcomed several educational groups, including Clinton School children with the Clark Fork Coalition’s Riparian Rx program, summer campers from UM Campus Recreation and kids getting a taste for fishing with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. In June, nearly 50 community members joined us for a Community Field Day at the Confluence, where they enjoyed birding with Five Valleys Audubon, experienced bird research firsthand at the UM Bird Ecology Lab’s bird banding station, studied insects with the Montana Natural History Center and took a tour of our all abilities trail with Summit Independent Living. We were honored to have Brenden Dalin, former Five Valleys intern, and Rex Koenig, an Eagle Scout, in attendance—both of whom have been instrumental to the trail project.
At Marshall Mountain, with leadership from MTB Missoula, a new bike-specific intermediate flow trail known as “Hello Kitty” opened this spring. Designed for a wide range of skill levels, and built using novel construction techniques to minimize impacts to the land, the trail includes berms, rollers, and a low grade in order to pack as much fun as possible into its 1.5 mile length. There are now six miles of multi-use and bike-specific trails at Marshall, which is helping reduce pressure on nearby recreational areas and provide world-class experiences to competitive riders and schoolchildren alike.
The Lincoln Community River Park continues to be a popular place for both Lincoln community members and visitors to enjoy the glorious Blackfoot River. It is indeed a beautiful place, and we are grateful to the Lincoln community for their help caring for the River Park so that it can remain a welcoming place for all.
Five Valleys remains committed to improving inclusive access and expanding educational opportunities on the lands we own, and we are deeply grateful to be able to collaborate with so many outstanding partners to achieve these goals.