Your generous donations to the Glacier Conservancy assist the park’s native plant restoration efforts in many ways. Continue reading to find out how the community’s students, volunteers and park partners all collaborate in these efforts.

Helping Glacier Preserve Native Plants

All winter long, students at Columbia Falls High School nurture thousands of plants in a cooperative greenhouse partnership between Glacier National Park and School District 6.

School District 6 and Glacier National Park's Cooperative Greenhouse, located at Columbia Falls High School

Your support allows the Glacier Conservancy to help fund a propagation specialist who mentors the greenhouse student intern, funded by the Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates. The propagation specialist also oversees general greenhouse operations and maintenance of up to 6,000 native plants.

Propagation Specialist waters seeds at Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Propagation Specialist takes seeds out of refrigerator at Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Propagation Specialist plants seeds at Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Small plants in Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Students collect seeds for many of the plants grown in the greenhouse. These same students then assist with the seeding of the plants and participate in restoration activities the following spring. In total, the Native Plant Nursery cultivates approximately 250 species of native plants, including conifers, deciduous trees, shrubs, grasses, sedges and ferns from a variety of habitats found within Glacier National Park.

Students learn about propagation and maintenance of native plants in Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Photo: NPS

Students learn about propagation and maintenance of native plants in Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Photo: NPS

Hand touches plants in Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Once spring arrives, team members deliver the plants from Columbia Falls High School to the Native Plant Nursery in Glacier National Park Headquarters. The nursery staff then uses the plants in various restoration projects throughout the park.

Student plants a native plant in Glacier National Park

Photo: NPS

Nurturing Plants Throughout The Year

The Native Plant Nursery plays a vital role in upholding Glacier’s mission to preserve natural resources. It also serves as the hub for the park’s Native Plant Restoration Program. Thanks to private donations from people like you, the Glacier Conservancy was able to fund the building of a brand new washroom facility at the nursery last summer. With its close proximity to the nursery, the washroom provides a huge convenience for volunteers, visitors and staff.

Hose waters plants in Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Freshly watered plants in Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Tiny seedling at Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Tuesdays at the Native Plant Nursery begin June 18 and will continue throughout the summer until August 27. To learn more about how you can get involved, please contact the nursery at 406-888-7835.