Winds in the Wilderness…Diggers, Runners, and Scientists of all Ages

Before digging into this weekends’ events, I’d like to sound a great big “Thank You!” for last weekend’s outstanding outreach volunteers participating in some great returning local events: the Kinniknick Native Plant Society’s annual Arbor Day Plant Sale, and the second annual Pend d’Orielle Bay Trail Fun Run.

FSPW Volunteers Outreach makes huge strides in accomplishing our mission!
FSPW Volunteer Outreach makes huge strides in accomplishing our mission!
pob run
Way to go, runners!

On Saturday, FSPW greeted garden enthusiasts who were up early sifting through new spring blooms at Memorial Park in Sandpoint, during the KNPS’s Arbor Day Celebration and Plant Sale.  The following morning, FSPW volunteers were stirring once again, this time joining our Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail for a fun community race event benefitting this much-loved trail along Sand Creek in downtown Sandpoint.  Thanks Deb Hunsinker, Randi Lui, Carol Jenkins and everyone else who extended their energy and influence for our beautiful community last weekend.

Project Coordinator Kristen Nowicki shares a wilderness treasure chest and talks with kids about how to use our senses to observe the environment around us.
Kids take a well-deserved break! CW top to bottom: Project Coordinator Kristen Nowicki, FSPW Wilderness Ranger Joe Zimmerman, FSPW Volunteer Holly Clemens, and TIPS Staff Tami Martinsen.
Go forward and prosper!

This weekend, Friends volunteers drove out of the city limits to enjoy the onset of summer in the wilderness, now brimming with life.  FSPW, in partnership with Transitions in Progress, conducted the first in a series of Community Kids’ Hikes this Friday that will be ongoing throughout this summer.  Volunteers and Staff from both organizations met at the Morris Creek Trailhead in the Lightning Creek Treasured Landscape drainage, along with a van load of anxious young explorers.  By the time the group had advanced a mile down the trail, the eager kids had discovered a host of exciting and dynamic wilderness components:  from large, strong flowing rivers and inlets, old root masses resembling antlered wildlife, and boulders, to progressively smaller wildflowers, mushrooms and insects scattered throughout the forest floor.  They learned about using multiple senses to observe the world around them.  They also got to learn about working as a Wilderness Ranger, and enjoyed a question-and-answer session with FSPW Intern Joe Zimerman during our lunch break.  As they prepared for the van ride home, the kids recieved FSPW Nature Journals and a small, felt “Wesley Wolverine” to share in writing and drawing about the days’ experiences.  We are already excited for the next hike this coming July, when we get to explore more of our wonderful wilderness with this sweet and joyful group of Young Scouts.  Thanks all you kids, Tami Martinsen and TIPS, and all our Volunteers who helped make the day great.


brian B
Local Naturalist and Instructor Brian Baxter shares his knowledge of ecology with area communities.
Wetland wildflowers

Saturday, Friends convened for an informational lecture and hike by local naturalist Brian Baxter.  Approximately twelve participants journeyed to Heron, MT for a presentation on Botany and Wildflower Basics.  This event begin in a relaxed classroom setting and led to the trail, where participants got to experience hands-on taxonomic field identification of some of our region’s most beautiful wildflowers.  Thanks to Brian and co-lead Joe Zimmerman, and all our participants who attended this event.

Be sure to visit our Events Page and Hikes Page and checkout some great summer opportunities to work and play and preserve our beautiful wilderness.  Space is limited and is filling up quick!

Keep Wild!



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  1. Nice job, Nowicki!

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