Missoula is full of wonderful little pockets of nature, and there’s something particularly special about the wilder, more untended areas, where kids can witness the life cycle of the forest in action. We recently took a field trip to the Tower St. Open Space, a city-owned parcel of wilderness a few blocks west of Reserve St., an amazing slice of riparian habitat just off of one of Missoula’s busiest thoroughfares.
Along a side channel of the Clark Fork River, we heard chickadees, Canada Geese and flickers, watched a family of mallards take flight, and saw evidence of beavers in the numerous chewed-off trees branches. We checked out woodpecker holes, climbed on a huge fallen-down cottonwood tree, and did a wilderness scavenger hunt. The morning started out with a snowstorm, which gave way to sun and blue skies, and then the snow started again as we hiked out. Truly springtime in Montana.
It was incredible to watch the kids work together as they navigated the sometimes tricky terrain. The snow made things slippery, but plenty of hands were extended to help one another out. What a team!
I am a nature-loving, animal-loving, child-loving, art-loving, Missoula mom, educating the next generation of confident, free thinkers.