Join the Montana State Parks Foundation for a fundraiser to support Milltown State Park at Imagine Nation Brewing Co. on Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Milltown State Park is the newest state park in Montana, and its confluence area is set to open on June 23, 2018.
Once improvements are completed, Milltown State Park will include trails, an interpretive shelter and river access for boaters and floaters. Interpretive displays, placed throughout the park, will explore the natural and human history of the area.
The location of Milltown State Park has a long history starting with the Glacial Lake Missoula floods that helped to shape the landscape. The Salish and Pend d’ Oreille tribes consider the confluence area as an ancestral home and as the place of big bull trout. Meriwether Lewis made a passage through the confluence in the 19th century, and years later the Mullan Expedition spent a winter there.
In 1908, a dam was built to produce power for the surrounding communities and the mills located in Bonner. Just months after the dam was created, a record flood on the Clark Fork sent toxic mining sediment rushing downstream to settle in the former reservoir bed behind the dam, creating a 6.6 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated with arsenic, lead, zinc, copper and other metals. Labeled a Superfund Site, the cleanup process began in 2006, and in 2008 the dam was removed, allowing the Clark Fork River and the surrounding floodplain to be restored.
In honor of the ten year anniversary of the dam removal, the Montana State Parks Foundation plans to improve Montana’s newest state park with benches, trees and landscaping. At the fundraiser, individuals and families can secure their legacy at Milltown State Park by purchasing a bench made from logs recovered from the bottom of the Milltown Reservoir, crafted by Bad Goat Forest Products, or buying a tree to be planted in the park. There are limited quantities of benches and trees, so everyone is encouraged to attend the fundraiser early.
Along with the benches and trees, there will also be a select number of posters by Monte Dolack available for those who donate $250 or more. This is a one-time run of only 17 posters of Dolack’s “Witness to Change,” and anyone interested is encouraged to donate soon to secure one of these limited edition posters.
There will also be raffle prizes from local businesses. This is a family-friendly event with a food truck on site, so bring the whole family and enjoy great beer, food and support Milltown State Park improvements at Imagine Nation Brewing Co. on Thursday, March 29 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.