About our Education Programs

The crowd in the pub at a recent First Tuesday Lecture.

We take seriously the concept of being a community-based land trust, and education is a unique part of our mission. In addition to directly protecting land through conservation easements, we also strive to provide the information and resources community members want and need to learn about the natural history of the Methow, and practice land conservation and stewardship on their own.  We've found that educational resources are not only helpful and powerful tools; they are also invaluable ways for us to connect with and learn about our members and community. 

One of our most popular education programs is our First Tuesday Lecture Series. On the First Tuesday of each month we host a free community presentation on a natural history, Methow history, ecological or conservation-focused topic. The sessions are well-attended and create lots of discussion.  For a listing of upcoming First Tuesday lectures, see our Events Page.  Our First Tuesday programs were started in 1997.  For a list of our past presentations, click here.

Monthly, we share news about our work as well as relevant natural history and conservation information in our online E-Newsletter.  See and sign-up for our E-News here. We also post regularly on our Blog, where we are able to share more detailed information about numerous topics.  A paper newsletter is mailed to members twice a year.

We also share conservation information through our Good Neighbor Handbook and our Restoring Shrub-Steppe in the Methow Valley Handbook.  Originally published in 2000, then revised and reprinted in 2005, the Good Neighbor Handbook offers helpful ecological and practical information for landowners to consider before building or living in the Methow.  The 40-page “restoration handbook” is for anyone who lives on and cares for shrub-steppe lands.  It provides guidance on protecting and restoring this habitat on a small scale, strategies for weed control, and ways to rehabilitate disturbances.  Both handbooks are free at our office or via mail.  They are also downloadable at the links above.

In 2005, we initiated an annual "Methow Conservation Course" for people who wanted a more in-depth study of Methow Valley natural history.  The six-week Methow Conservation Course, held every winter, is designed for both the novice and the experienced naturalist (and for everyone in between).  The course topic changes each year, but goals are always to inspire more observation of, interest in and connections with the natural world so that people can help encourage conservation of the Methow Valley.

Photo by Mary Kiesau.
Grass ID Class

In 2011, we created both a Methow Valley Field Guide and a Young Naturalist Activity BookletThe field guide is a laminated “pocket” booklet that features 124 plant and animal species.  It is available for $7 at the Methow Conservancy office and vendors around the Valley.  The activity booklet features a variety of nature-related games, quizzes, and activities for kids 6 and up.  It is available as a free download on our website or hard copies are $3 at our office or stores around the Valley.

In addition to these educational tools, we also offer a variety of field-trips, workshops and classes. We host a weed and native plant education table at the Twisp Farmer's Market in early summer, and we have a conservation resource library with books, videos, and scientific reports anyone can check out.

Much of our educational work is guided by an all-volunteer Education Committee comprised of interested community members and Methow Conservancy Board members.  We are committed to providing the most current and accurate information we can about some of the most pressing conservation issues in the Valley.  Please feel free to contact us with questions or information.

315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870