UM Natural Areas

Welcome to UM Natural Areas

The University of Montana has hundreds of acres of natural areas available for education, recreation and research.  This includes 500 acres on the face of the iconic Mount Sentinel, and 100 acres on the banks of the Bitterroot River at Fort Missoula.

These places are managed primarily for conservation of native plants and animals, but both areas receive heavy recreational use as well. For that reason, UM works closely with Missoula Parks and Recreation, multiple on-campus entities, outdoor advocates and conservation groups in Missoula.

Students and community groups frequently engage in volunteer stewardship activities including trail maintenance, invasive weed removal, planting native plants, and helping to spread the word about the importance of conservation efforts in UM Natural Areas. College students can enroll in an internship for 1-3 upper division academic credits, or simply volunteer as their schedules allow.

If you or your group (service club, scouting group, k-12 class room, or other organization) would like to get involved, please contact Marilyn Marler, UM Natural Areas Manager.

Thanks to our solid community partners: Montana Conservation Corps, Montana Natural History Center, Run Wild Missoula, Runners Edge, Montana Native Plant Society, UM Environmental Studies, and UM Society for Ecological Restoration.

If you support stewardship of Mount Sentinel and Fort Missoula Natural Areas but live out of town or simply aren’t available to participate in person, we encourage to make a donation of any amount to the UM Natural Areas Fund (via UM Foundation). Your donation is tax deductible!