K-12 School Programs: Each spring and fall, the Birch Creek Center hosts hundreds of school children from southwestern Montana to learn the ecology of streams, ponds, forests, and fire.
In 1993 the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and the University of Montana Western formed a partnership to enhance outdoor education opportunities at the Center. Through this partnership, a successful site-specific education program called Pioneering Discoveries allows 5-8 grade students the opportunity to conduct experiential, interdisciplinary studies of the native ecosystems at Birch Creek.
Low Ropes Challenge Course
Complementing a group’s visit to the Birch Creek Center is the Low Ropes Course.
The Low Ropes Course consists of a series of elements and challenges that a group must work together to solve and overcome. An experienced facilitator provides guidance through a series of challenges including problem solving games and the use of elements made of trees, planks, ropes, and cables. The course is designed so that each individual must participate in order for the whole group to succeed. Teamwork, rather than athletic ability, is the key to success.
Various workshops, conferences and teacher trainings are conducted at the Birch Creek Center each year. State, federal and private groups utilize the Center’s remote location for specialized trainings.
Geology Field Camps
Southwest Montana provides the ideal landscape for the study of geologic processes. Geology students come to Beaverhead County from all over the world to study this unique geologic environment. Geology in the area covers a spectrum of the geologic time scale from the Archean to the Quaterernary. The tectonic environments consist of extensional and compressional structures. The Block Mountain area is one of the best fold and thrust belt structures in the United States. The geology is well exposed, there is easy access to the field, there is minimal topographic relief and many of the map areas are located on public land.