Native Plant Nursery, Glacier National Park, Montana

candice and i signed up to help out in the native plant nursery in glacier national park.  we weren’t quite sure what we’d be in for but knew we’d be getting our hands dirty and learning a bit about some plants and the park.

we met Heidi at the nursery just outside the park gates at 8am — as we were instructed to do by phone — and she told us volunteers don’t start until 9!  bummer, but this gave us time to grab an excellent breakfast sandwich across the street at a diner and get some liquid energy — our other plan was to nap.

once we got back to the nursery, we were given a brief lesson about some of the plants in the park then handed a flat of (some kind of???) grass and shown how to trim everything.  we cut the overgrown roots, trimmed the tops and got rid of dead blades.  this, for some reason, took us a lot longer than we thought it might…

just before lunch Heidi walked us over to headquarters where we joined one other lady — a certified master gardener from wisconsin — for a tour and lesson on some of the things they do with vegetation in the park.  it’s crazy that a staff of about 5 can handle 2.3 million acres!  we also spotted our first bear (black bear) of the trip, casually walking through the parking lot in front of the headquarters building.  pretty sweet morning!

after lunch (awesome turkey wraps by one chef candice) we got to weeding some beds and sweeping up the pathways around the nursery before saying goodbye around 3.

overall, we learned a good bit about gardening, and got a good prep for the next day when we’d be volunteering at purple frog farms (more to come in another post).  hopefully the park will be able to keep or grow their budget to keep these super knowledgeable folks around and keep the native plants thriving for generations.

more GNP plant info here: