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First Tuesday Program - “Tracking Purple Martins - to South America and Back"”Purple Martins
Tuesday, May 1st, 7:00-8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn, free

Methow Valley resident and wildlife biologist Julie Hovis will share information from a ground-breaking study she helped run in South Carolina on Purple Martin migration using geolocator tracking devices.  Julie managed and monitored a purple martin colony in South Carolina that successfully fledged over 900 nestlings during a 12-year period.  Learn about the Purple Martin’s life and migration cycle, nesting biology and pre-migratory roosts.  Julie will also talk briefly about the status of the Purple Martin in Washington.

The doors open at 6:30pm.  The event is free and open to everyone.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.

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Methow Conservancy Volunteers Celebrate Earth Day on Lewis Butte
Lewis Butte 3A group of fifteen hardy volunteers hoofed up the face of Lewis Butte on the blustery Saturday of Earth Day Weekend to help decommission a very steep and eroded section of trail. This habitat rehabilitation project was the kick-off of the 2nd annual “Save-A-Trail” project spearheaded by the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative (MVTC), of which the Methow Conservancy is a member.  The MVTC is comprised of many local organizations and agencies, and their mission is to support andenhance sustainable trail experiences in the Methow Valley.  The focus of this year’s project is to make the trail system on the Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) lands around Riser Lake and Lewis Butte sustainable and a better experience for users. 

Volunteers created water diversion features that will get water off of the trail tread and out of gullies that have developed over time.  By diverting water and capturing sediment, this trail can begin to reclaim itself over time, without the need for heavy machinery.  The Methow Conservancy has taken the lead on this part of the multi-faceted trail and restoration project to help decommission and rehabilitate trail sections that will be abandoned in place of more sustainable trails.

Save the Date - Saturday & Sunday, May 19-20
The biggest push for the Lewis Butte and Riser Lake trail project will be on the weekend of May 19th and 20th, when volunteers from many MVTC organizations will begin building the new trail sections on Lewis Butte.  Please put this weekend on your calendar and invite your friends to improve this great community resource.  We will soon share an online volunteer registration link!

We would like to again thank our hard-working Earth Day volunteer crew and also thank our WDFW office for being so supportive of this project, recognizing that it is possible to offer a maintainable trail system for the residents and visitors of Winthrop, while also protecting and enhancing habitat for wildlife species.

Be a Methow Conservancy Volunteer

Our volunteer projects are updated regularly on our page on Volunteer Methow.  Browse tasks and register there, or contact us anytime.  In addition to the Lewis Butte work-party, we also need help Tuesday, May 1st.  We are looking for 5 people to help set-up chairs for the “Purple Martin” First Tuesday program before the program starts.  If you can come at 6pm to the Winthrop Barn to help with chairs, click here to register on Volunteer Methow, or contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org.  Doors open at 6:30 and the program starts at 7pm.

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Arrowleaf BistroMore Earth Day Thanks!
A big thank you to the Arrowleaf Bistro for donating the proceeds of their Earth Day dinner to both Methow Recycles and the Methow Conservancy's Agriculture Program -- and for supporting our local farms on Earth Day and all the other days of the year!  Good, local food and caring for this community are an awesome combination and we are so grateful!

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New Employees!
Last month’s E-News noted that we were looking for seasonal help with our field work and other projects.  We were so impressed with our applicant pool!  We’re pJohnnie Duguayleased to announce that we will be introducing two new seasonal staff members to our team this summer!

Johnnie Duguay joins us as our Stewardship Technician. Johnnie was born and raised in the Methow Valley and brings a combination of impressive educational experience (including a dual major in political science and environmental studies from Gonzaga University), a deep love for the Methow Valley, and several unique field experiences involving natural and human communities and their interface. As an experienced wildland fire-fighter, and soon to be Wilderness First Responder, she is also plenty comfortable working in the field. We were inspired by Johnnie’s enthusiasm, knowledge of the Methow landscape and its community complexities, and her passion for field work.Daniel Senner

 

Daniel Senner joins us as our Conservation Fellow.  Raised in Alaska, Daniel is a Western Washington University graduate who most recently served as the Acting Stewardship Director at the Whatcom Land Trust after serving as their Stewardship Associate in 2016 and 2017.  Daniel, too, knows and loves this Valley having spent time volunteering with the Methow Beaver Project and with us through the years on different projects.  He has also worked with the Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement group out of Wenatchee.  We think you will agree that Daniel brings a personable approach to conservation and is a deep thinker who listens well and who is genuinely curious about inspiring people to care for the land.  Daniel will be helping with our outreach and educational efforts and with field work and conservation projects.

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Thank you, Mary Kiesau!
Mary  KiesauAfter 13 years of growing our educational programming, Mary Kiesau has announced that she will be leaving her post as our Educational Programs Director at the Methow Conservancy the first week of June.  We are forever grateful for the thoughtful approach Mary has taken to elevating natural history learning opportunities in the Valley, serving as an example for land trusts across the West.  Mary has inspired many of you to look closer at the birds, flowers, and wildlife of this Valley and to express your love for this place by learning more and more.  She has organized countless First Tuesdays, workshops, walks, volunteer projects and field trips and always enjoyed learning along with you.  Whether monitoring conservation easements, working with volunteers, writing E-News, or leading classes, Mary has always given all of herself to her work and our mission.  We’ll share a more formal thank you in our upcoming written newsletter, but please thank Mary for her service to conservation and the community when you see her next.  

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Spring & Summer Field ClassesField_Kiesau
Spring is here and we’ve packed the upcoming months with numerous ways to learn about and explore the natural world of the Methow!  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 for questions or to register for any of the following activities.  Space is limited and registration is required, even for the free events. 

Free Naturalist “Walk & Talks”
Our free, casual nature walks with Mary Kiesau continue through May and feature several bird walks.  In May, the walks are on the 1st, 9th, 14th, 24th and 29th, each at different times.  Read more and see all the upcoming dates and times here.

Nature Journaling “Near & Far”
JournalingOur natural history & nature drawing class series with instructors Perri Howard & Mary Kiesau has been a great way to enjoy the wonders of spring.  There’s are two classes left with just a few spots available!  Together, they help you become a more observant and engaged naturalist while growing creatively and with confidence through drawing exercises and field-sketching.  Each class starts with an hour walking in and exploring the outdoors followed by drawing practice in Perri’s studio in Twisp.  All materials are provided and no experience is necessary. 

The remaining classes are:
May 4: Spring Flowers TWO SESSIONS.  Choose from the morning session from 8:00am-12:30pm or the afternoon session from 1:30-6:00pm. 
May 25: Songbirds, 12:30-5:00pm
Classes are $65* each.  Space is limited to 10 people per class.  Read more details here

 

Spring Naturalists’ Retreat 
May 31st at 5pm through 1pm on June 3rd, $200*Naturalist Retreat


Our annual Naturalists’ Retreat begins the evening of Thursday, May 31 and goes through 1pm on Sunday June 3.  Led by renowned naturalist instructors Libby Mills and Dana Visalli, spend a long weekend learning and exploring Methow birds, flowers and plants, and whatever else we find (butterflies and other insects, geology, reptiles, scat and tracks and much more!).  With glorious days in the field and engaging presentations and group dinners on two evenings (one catered, one potluck) you will be amazed by all that you learn and soak up in this fantastic nature and educational experience! 

With a long winter and slow-starting spring, early June will be a perfect time to see numerous blooming flowers, shrubs, and other plants including Bitterroot, Chokecherry, Mountain Lady Slipper orchids, Tiger Lilies, Arnica and so much more.  Bright orange Bullock’s orioles, and tropical migratory birds like the red and yellow Western tanager, yellow warbler, Lazuli buntings and American Redstart will be flooding back into the Methow and singing all over the Valley, looking for mates after their long journey from Central and South America.  We’ll practice birding by ear when we can’t see the birds!  We’ll go to a variety of places throughout the Methow Valley on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to experience all that the natural world of the Methow has to offer.  The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*, including one catered dinner. Read more details here.

 

Butterflies and Moths of the Methow Valley and beyond
June 15, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Indoor Presentation, $5Bfly_Kiesau
June 16, 9:00am – 4pm, Field Class, $25

Get ready for the butterflies of summer with an evening lecture and full-day field class learning about the world of the Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths!  With instructor and passionate “Lep” expert David Dropper, learn about the butterflies that you often see during your outdoor adventures, including how to tell different families of “flutterbys” apart.  Over both sessions, we’ll cover butterfly biology, anatomy, ecology, phenology, and species identification.  We’ll also spend some time getting acquainted with some of our local moths that fly under the cover of darkness. 

The Friday evening lecture is open to about two dozen people and costs just $5.  The Saturday field-class will have some additional volunteers assistants and can accommodate about 20 people and costs $25*.  Take one or both!  We highly recommend that Saturday participants come to the Friday evening session, but it is not required.  Read more details here. 

 

Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 for questions or to register for any of the above activities.  Space is limited and registration is required, even for the free events. 

See the full Calendar of Events below for more field-classes coming up this summer!

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Weymuller_Wild PlumMethow Grown Film Festival Coming to Seattle
Tuesday, May 22nd, 7pm, free at the Bush School (3400 E Harrison St, Seattle—free parking in their garage!)

If you live in the Seattle area, we hope you’ve received a postcard invitation to the Seattle-premiere of the Methow Grown Film Festival on Tuesday evening, May 22nd. We hope you’ll join us (and bring a friend or two) as we share nine short films, each focusing on a Methow Valley agriculturalist and their innovative, can-do approach to farming in the Methow Valley.  Agricultural Director Alyssa Jumars created the films and they are fun and thought-provoking and will make you love this Valley even more. 

Movie snacks and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided, and the whole event is family friendly.  Please join us!
Photo by Rachelle Weymuller.

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What’s that Plant?weeds
We’ve been identifying lots of plants in our walks and in the office for people over the last few weeks.  But along with the spring wildflowers, unfortunately, come many noxious, invasive weeds.  Now and through the coming weeks is a great time to look around your property for non-native plants and get an early start on controlling weeds.

Our "Invasive Weed Guide" can help you identify local weeds and learn what to do about them, including encouraging native plants to compete with them. Click on a weed "card" to get details, photos and videos. 

You can also talk to our knowledgeable and friendly volunteers at our annual Weed & Native Plant Education Booth at the Methow Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays May 26, June 2 and June 9!  Or, email, call us or stop by our office anytime with plant questions. Our Restoring Shrub-Steppe in the Methow Valley handbook is also a great resource.


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From the Ag Desk
We’re really excited to be partnering with WSU next month, to bring a 2-day workshop to Okanogan County for livestock producers! Staff and students from WSU’s Department of Animal Sciences will be hosting a mini version of the popular “Beef 300” workshop.  The workshop will cover a wide range of topics, including cattle nutrition, carcass evaluation, meat quality, marketing strategies and pricing for beef products.  The program will comprise a mix of presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on opportunities (yep, that includes taste-testing!)  The workshop is open to producers, chefs, and the general public.  The workshop will take place at the Okanogan Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday, June 1st and 2nd.  For more information, email Alyssa at alyssa@methowconservancy.org

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Earth Day – 4th Grade Style!
weedingHere are three things we learned after our April Earth Day efforts with Methow Valley Elementary School students in School Yard Science:

  • Very large tumbleweeds of Russian thistle are incredibly prickly – and they really don’t like to go into trash bags easily.
  • Knapweed rosettes can have surprisingly deep roots – what you see on the surface is nothing compared to what lurks below.
  • Pulling weeds can actually be fun – especially when you share the work with friends, have a nice warm spring day, and can see your progress.

For the second year in a row, a partnership of some Methow Valley nonprofits (Methow Trails, Classroom in Bloom, Methow Recycles, and the Methow Conservancy) developed an afternoon’s worth of action for 4th graders in celebration of Earth Day.  Once again, we were impressed by their energy and even joy in taking steps to help care for their school yard.

The students went to four stations – working on composting, learning about leaving no trace on trails, making grocery bags from recycled t-shirts, and, of course, battling invasive weeds.  It was a great way to translate talking about caring for the Earth into actually doing something.  Thanks to our community partners and a crew of awesome volunteers for helping to make this Earth Day celebration a big success.

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GiveBIG!
GiveBIGBe a part of the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG on May 9th! As a general rule, we try to only ask for your support once a year (with a few reminders if you forget!).  But, every once in a while a great opportunity emerges and we break our own rules. Plus, if you decide to Give Big, we’ll promise NOT to send you your usual reminder in the fall! 

May 9th is the Seattle Foundation’s annual GiveBIG event.  The Methow Conservancy, along with several other Methow Valley organizations, is eligible, and you do not need to be a member of the Seattle Foundation – so feel free to spread the word about this event to anyone who loves the Methow Valley! 

You can actually register your donation now, and your credit card will be charged on May 9th.  Click here to schedule your gift for the Methow Conservancy! 

Just remember… all the GiveBIG giving has to occur online through the Seattle Foundation website!  Thanks for all your support – which we appreciate at ANY time of the year you choose to give it.

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New Members  - Thank You!
In April, we welcomed new members:  David Longmuir and Methow Green Clean. Thank you for inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley!

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Methow Conservancy Events

Birders_Kiesau May 1: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk,
 8:00-10:00am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 1:
 “First Tuesday” Program, “Purple Martins” with speaker Julie Hovis, 7:00pm, at the Winthrop Barn, free. See more details here.

May 4: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Spring Flowers” TWO SESSIONS with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, $65.  Choose from the morning session from 8:00am-12:30pm or the afternoon session from 1:30-6:00pm.  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details. 

May 9: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk, 8:00-10:00am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 14: Methow Conservancy Flower Walk, 5:00-7:00pm with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 19-20: Methow Valley Trails Collaborative “Save-A-Trail” project on Lewis Butte & Riser Lake.  

May 22:  Methow Grown Film Festival in Seattle, 7pm, free at the Bush School at 3400 E Harrison St, Seattle. Lilly_kiesauThe world-premiere of the Methow Grown Film Festival was such a big hit at the Winthrop Barn in February that we’ve decided to bring this free, fun, and super-inspiring event to the Seattle area.  We’ll share nine short films, each focusing on a Methow Valley agriculturalist and their innovative, can-do approach to farming in the Methow Valley.
  
May 24: Methow Conservancy Flower Walk, 5:00-7:00pm with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 25: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Songbirds” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65.  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  

May 26: Weed & Native Plant Education Booth at the Methow Valley Farmers Market

May 29: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk, 7:00-9:00am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 31– June 3: Methow Conservancy Spring Naturalists’ Retreat.  Lead by renowned naturalist instructors Libby Mills and Dana Visalli, spend a long weekend learning about and exploring the natural world of the Methow.  The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner.  Click here for more details.

June 1-2:  Beef workshop co-sponsored by WSU and the Methow Conservancy.  Open to producers, chefs, and the general public.  The workshop will take place at the Okanogan Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday, June 1st and 2nd.  For more information, email Alyssa at alyssa@methowconservancy.org

June 2: Weed & Native Plant Education Booth at the Methow Valley Farmers Market

June 5: “First Tuesday” Program, “Crown Jewel: Creating North Cascades National Park” with speaker Lauren Danner, 7:00pm, at the Winthrop Barn, free.

June 9: Weed & Native Plant Education Booth at the Methow Valley Farmers Market

June 15:  “Butterflies and Moths of the Methow Valley and beyond” indoor presentation, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, $5.  Click here for Kiesau_butterfliesmore details.

June 16:  “Butterflies and Moths of the Methow Valley and beyond” field class,9:00am – 4pm, $25.  Click here for more details.

July 10: “First Tuesday” Program, “The Ecology and Conservation of the Cascade Red Fox” with Jocelyn Akins of the Cascades Carnivore Project, 7:00pm, location TBA, free.

July 14-15:  Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $200*.  Spend two full days in the field with professional wildlife tracker, naturalist and educator, David Moskowitz.  This class is full but we encourage people to get on the waitlist. 

August 7:  “First Tuesday” Program, “Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast” with speaker Jim Walker 7:00pm, location TBA, free.

August 8: Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast” field class with Jim Walker 11:00am-2:00pm, $15*, limited to 15 people.

Oct 6-7: Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $200*.  Spend two full days in the field with professional wildlife tracker, naturalist and educator, David Moskowitz.  David's approach is highly interactive, with "test" questions starting the moment we meet-up. David actively engages participants in identification and interpretation of tracks and signs, and builds in lots of time for questions and discussion, too.  This style is an excellent way to learn and investigate, and you might even achieve a wildlife tracking certificate through Cybertracker Conservation. Certificates are awarded on three levels. The whole experience is a lot of fun to boot!  The class is limited to 11 people, and costs $200* per person. Lodging and food are on you own. Contact Mary for more details or to register at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.  

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News from Other Organizations
Washington Butterfly Association offers three “Idie Ulsh Young Naturalist” scholarships to their annual Weekend with Butterflies. Each scholarship covers registration, lodging for two nights, three meals, and round-trip mileage from home to the venue for a 10- to 17-year-old nature enthusiast and an accompanying parent or guardian. Applications must be received by May 4.  See more details here.

Methow Ready Spring Neighborhood Leader Trainings based on the Map Your Neighborhood Program and are designed to help families and neighbors prepare for disasters. Upcoming training dates are Thursday, May 17th - 5:30-7:30pm and Saturday, June 2nd - 10:30am-12:30pm.  Please register in advance by emailing methowready@gmail.com or calling 509-449-0069.  Refreshments will be provided!

Kids’ Fishing Day, Saturday June 9, 10am - 2pm, Winthrop National Fish Hatchery.  After having a passport stamped by various learning activities, kids up to 13 years of age may head to the pond with a fishing pole to try their luck at catching a rainbow trout!  Loads of other activities await kids and parents alike, from art to cooking to fly-tying and much more.  

The Okanogan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society offers flower and other naturalist hikes through the spring and summer.  See their offerings here.

Looking for a job with a Washington Land Trust? There are several great job postings from organizations in WA (and OR too) at the Washington Association of Land Trusts jobs page.

Get on the ENews mailing list
If you got to this Newsletter through our website, but would like to get the link monthly in an email, let us know by emailing Mary.

Republishing of any part of Methow Conservancy E-News is by permission only. 
Contact us at 509-996-2870 or info@methowconservancy.org

*Our Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel or leave a fee-based course for any reason:
Full refunds will be given if the request is received two weeks or more before the day of the program (class, workshop, field trip, etc.).  If the cancellation is made less than two weeks before the start of the program, the Methow Conservancy will give a full refund only if we are able to fill your spot.  If you cancel 24 hours or less before the start time of the program or after the class has started there will be no refund of the program fee.  Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a program.  In this case you will receive a full refund.

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