by Linda de Kort

Blue Camas – Photo Credit: Clancy Cone

West Valley Naturalists are proud to announce that Kathy Ross will be presenting a program on native plants on May 16. Kathy, Bigfork landscaper (and longtime FAS board member!), shares her experience of 26 years working in the Flathead Valley, around and with our native plant communities. Although a native plant enthusiast, Kathy has also worked extensively with exotic plants used to “enhance” native plant communities and has suggestions on what works best with native plants. Some of the topics she will cover are: What exactly is a native plant? Why leave or add native plants to your landscaping? Finally, Kathy will reflect on the importance of biodiversity and the special relationship between native plants, insects and birds in our local environments.

This presentation will be held in the boardroom of West Valley School, 2290 Farm to Market Road, at 7 PM on Tuesday, May 16. Guides will meet you at the main entrance to show you the way. What a perfect time of year to receive this information as we begin the garden season. Be sure to mark this on your calendar.

We will also be recognizing the young West Valley scientists who received the WV Naturalist Awards for using good scientific technique in asking questions that might shed light on understanding our local environment and/or the creatures that live here.” The First Place award went to Gracie Stolfus for her ambitious attempt to model the aerodynamic advantages of the V-formation of some migratory birds. Second Place award went to Carisa Cesarone who investigated the preferred prey species of various owls by analyzing their pellets. Students were presented with window bird feeders, donated by Flathead Audubon, and a sack of black oil sunflower seeds.