As the environment in western Montana continues to change, WEN believes it is imperative to monitor changes in our riparian areas as well and empower the next generation of land/watershed stewards with the information necessary to understand how noxious weeds change and impair riparian areas. In addition to collecting data, there is a need for students to gain field-based science skills and gain knowledge and understanding of the reasons that noxious weeds pose a significant threat to Montana’s landscape. This knowledge and experience goes home with each student and is applicable to the awareness and management of weeds in their own backyard.
Through this program, students learn about native riparian plants and weeds in the field as they get to see how plant life affects the watershed as a whole. We are currently working with a class at Sussex School who has adopted a site at the John Pierce Native Plant Prairie. They had worked all spring to restore this piece of land back to its native state.Through this service project, they are able to get their hands dirty while seeing the change they make in their environment.