KALISPELL - A local brewery is pitching in to help a state park in the Flathead Valley support programs that foster the next stewards of our public lands. Purchasing just one pint at the Kalispell Brewery's Benefit Beer Night helped provide educational opportunities for kids.
“One of our company values is to celebrate the place where we live and play. I think really to fully achieve that value we have to be involved with non-profits," said Kalispell Brewing Company co-owner and head brewer Cole Schneider said.
This week the brewery donated a dollar from each beverage purchased Tuesday night to the Lone Pine State Park located in Kalispell.
Along with the donations, the Park also sold raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes and set up a table with information about the local wildlife in the Flathead Valley.
Lone Pine doesn’t just serve as a place for people to hike and enjoy, but also provides a number of free educational classes and field trips for over one thousand kids in the Flathead Valley.
“We’ve got skulls, skins and bones which focuses on mammals of Montana, and we’ve got forest habitat which focuses on more of the vegetation here. But all of our programs are focused -- very place-based on Montana and northwest Montana specifically," AmeriCorps member Casey Fuson said.
The Tuesday evening event was held in hopes of supporting those classes -- and to help offset the cuts to funding that Lone Pine has seen over the years. Fuson says the park hasn’t done much fundraising in the past but is now looking to the community for help.
“So, it is now becoming a need where it’s like we really need the community to come out and be involved and help us out because if they don’t, these programs and these field trips that we’re providing are going to go away," explained Fuson.
Fuson also told MTN News that she believes that if these programs are cut it will have a much larger impact beyond the current generation.
“We are teaching and fostering and encouraging the next generation of hunters and fisherman and recreationalists and stewards of our public lands. These kids are the people who are going to be taking care of these lands in the future and so, if they are not learning about them now then we can’t expect them to care about them in the future," Fuson said.
The visitor center at Lone Pine State Park is open to the public year-round.