Community briefs for Nov. 14

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Tree removal

In September the city of Whitefish Parks and Recreation Department completed a health assessment of a large cottonwood tree adjacent to the playground at Kiddie Park and Baker Park. Core samples revealed that a significant portion of the tree was rotting. Although the city of Whitefish values trees, it says the top priority is public safety. To address this, the tree will be removed on Nov. 20. Please contact the Whitefish Parks and Recreation Department at 863-2470 for further information.

Decorations

Whitefish Shines, with the help of community volunteers, Flathead Electric Co-op and the city of Whitefish, on Sunday, Nov. 18 will hang the Whitefish Christmas and winter decorations. Volunteers should meet at the corner of Third Street and Central Avenue downtown Whitefish at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers should dress for cool weather and bring gloves if they have them. Please contact Chris Schustrom at 260-1198 with questions, or for more information.

Blood drive

The American Red Cross will host the last 2018 Whitefish Community Blood Drive on Thursday, Nov. 15 at The Wave at 1250 Baker Avenue from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Appointments are recommended and a blood donor card or a driver license is required at check-in. To schedule your appointment for Nov. 15, please call Jean at 406-862-4332. You can also schedule your appointment online, go to www.redcrossblood.org and search for blood drives in the Whitefish ZIP code. Walk-in donors are welcome; however, there may be a short wait. It is suggested that you eat a hardy meal and drink plenty of water prior to giving blood. Snacks, water and juices will be provided for you at the blood drive. The snacks will be provided by Zucca’s in Whitefish.

FEC scholarships

Flathead Electric Cooperative is accepting applications now for two scholarship opportunities for the 2019 academic year. Basin Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC) awards one $1,000 scholarship each year to a Flathead Electric member’s child, and the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association (MECA) awards one $500 scholarship to a regional electric cooperative member’s child.

To be eligible, the applicant or their parent/guardian must be a member of Flathead Electric Cooperative, and they must be graduating from high school or currently attending an undergraduate college. By completing one online application, students will be considered for both scholarships. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2019. Awards will be announced in March 2019. For more information or to apply, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/scholarships.

Wildfire forum

A community forum about establishing Whitefish and other Flathead towns as fire-adapted communities will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m. at Whitefish City Hall.

The forum will feature several panelists discussing the threat of wildfire to our communities and how to protect homes and businesses. Brief presentations will be followed by open discussion with the audience. Panelists include: Joe Page, Whitefish Fire Chief; Bambi Goodman, Whitefish Area Fire Safe Council; Jeff Mow, Superintendent of Glacier National Park; Rick Trembath, Retired Bigfork Fire Chief and fire historian; Ed Lieser, fire behavior specialist; Richard Hildner, Whitefish Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Whitefish Climate Action Plan Committee.

Glacier National Park has experienced major fires, including the loss of structures, during three of the last four years. And wildfire no longer is restricted to rural, forested areas. Wildfire has razed thousands of homes in urban areas across the West over the past year.

Flathead communities have been fortunate to avoid catastrophic wildfire on their doorsteps, but Whitefish Fire Chief Joe Page is concerned that luck may not last. The 2017 Montana Climate Assessment highlighted the likelihood of future summers that are much hotter and drier than in the past, even though annual precipitation might be higher. They have referred to this type of weather pattern as “flash drought,” which suggests a future of much more extreme fire danger in the Flathead.

For further information please contact Karin Hilding at 406-863-2450 or khilding@cityofwhitefish.org. The forum is sponsored by the city of Whitefish, Climate Smart Glacier Country and Firesafe Flathead.

Hike

Whitefish Legacy Partners is teaming up with REI Kalispell to host an OptOutside guided hike on the Whitefish Trail during Black Friday, Nov. 23. Burn off that turkey dinner and join WLP Executive Director, Heidi Van Everen, for a guided hike to the newly completed boardwalk and viewing platform in Haskill Basin. The hike will start at 11 a.m. from the Big Mountain Trailhead on Big Mountain Road. Come prepared for the day’s weather and snow conditions — mostly likely boots will be fine with yaktrax or trekking poles if needed. The hike is easy to moderate and approximately 3 miles round-trip. This event is free, open to the public, and is appropriate for all ages.

For more information about the photo program or other scheduled outings, visit www.whitefishlegacy.org or call 406-862-3880 or email info@whitefishlegacy.org.

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