by Denny Olson, Conservation Educator

OSNA Boardwalk Installation – Photo Credit: Denny Olson

In years past, there has been a conundrum regarding the field trip access to OSNA. The best birding is always in May and June, and that’s when flooding keeps everyone except the ducks, frogs and fish out. When combined with the parking access limited to about 2 cars, school field trips have been nearly impossible in the spring. No more!

Civic-minded Terry Welder and his wife Sally, owners of the Kalispell Montessori Building and grounds, have struck a deal with us to offload public school buses and park FAS field trip vehicles in the Montessori parking lot (by pre-arrangement), and allowed us to build a substantial boardwalk across the barrier slough dividing their land from OSNA. Please thank them if you have a chance!

So, on September 5th, Carolan and Samantha from the Montana Conservation Corps staff, Pat Jaquith, Pam Willison, Rod Wallette, Rick Mace and myself from FAS – built the “Bridge to Somewhere” well over the highest waterline we have encountered in years (see photo!)

Jim Watson, no slouch in civic-mindedness himself, supplied the 4-inch-thick larch planks with his sawmill, Western Building Center supplied two hundred dollars worth of the other lumber, and Brent and Kay Mitchell and myself supplied some extra materials for connectors and steps up the banks. September 25th is our date for building handrails and steps, to complete the project.

Bring on the kids!