First Tuesday Program - “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth?”
Tuesday, March 6th, 7:00-8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn

Learn about this mysterious and iconic Northwest creature and weigh the evidence both for and against its existence!  Throughout the Northwest, people have been reporting encounters with the Sasquatch for hundreds of years. Despite footprints and numerous eyewitness accounts, no scientifically accepted evidence establishes this being’s existence.  Author and “science communicator” David George Gordon evaluates the data, shares rules of scientific methodology, and teaches YOU how to become an effective “citizen scientist” to determine if the Sasquatch is real or myth. Attendees are encouraged to tell their tales and experiences with this mysterious creature!

This Methow Conservancy First Tuesday Program is co-sponsored by the Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau.

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

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Make a Match:  Donate in March and Every Dollar Doubles!
basketballMarch is the final month of our fiscal year.  While many of you will be eagerly awaiting basketball's March Madness, we prefer to celebrate March “Matchness,” our super-exciting, drive-to-the-hoop bonus time when every dollar donated to our Annual Operating Fund is matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 total until March 31st. It's always thrilling! 

We’re focused specifically on encouraging new members and those who haven’t yet renewed their membership in the last 12 months.  So, if you have already supported our conservation efforts in the past 12 months, thank you!  You can still help us play great offense by sharing this message with others you know who love the Methow Valley.

If you haven’t yet supported our conservation efforts this fiscal year (April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018) and you can help with a few “hoops,” simply click here and put your gift in our basket today!  We’d love to count you on team Methow Conservancy.  Thank you!

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Volunteer Time Well Spent
Our volunteer projects are updated regularly on our page on Volunteer Methow.  Browse tasks and register there, or contact us anytime.  If you haven’t checked out the new Volunteer Methow website yet, we highly encourage you to browse around for a few minutes.  There are dozens of tasks listed by over three dozen Methow organizations! 

The Featured Activity this month is:
Building Bird Habitat in the Methow Wildlife Area
Saturday, March 17th, 9am-- NOTE Date Change to March 31st

bluebird_kiesauThis will be our first in-the-field volunteer work party for the season! Just in time for bird breeding and nesting season, we are teaming up with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) to give native birds more places to raise young. We need your help to install wooden bird-boxes for our local cavity-nesting species on the WDFW “Methow Wildlife Area” land near Winthrop and Twisp. We’ll have boxes for Western bluebirds and other songbirds, plus bigger boxes for kestrels, owls, and ducks such as wood ducks, mergansers, goldeneyes and more.

We'll provide the boxes and other equipment, and there’s no experience necessary. Some areas will be accessed via car and are not strenuous, and other areas may require more physical ability. We will place experienced volunteers in different small groups, and we can put you where your physical ability suits you. Each team will have a trained leader.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE & SIGN-UP TO HELP INSTALL BIRD BOXES.

We also need help on March 6th!
Help set-up chairs for the “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth?” First Tuesday program before the program starts.  We need 6 people.  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.

Coming up:  Mark your calendars for an Amphibian Survey Training on April 8th, Earth Day activities around the weekend of April 21/22, our Spring Adopt-a-Hwy clean-up (date TBA), and much more!

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Follow Along with Fellow HerpersColumbia Spotted Frog
Our annual “Methow Conservation Course” is “Herpetology: The cold-blooded but totally cool world of reptiles and amphibians,” and it started in mid-February with a fantastic class lead by Central Washington University professor Dan Beck.  Even if you aren’t in the class, you can follow along and take the class “virtually” by reviewing the class materials here, and reading post-class notes and watching a video recording of each class on our blog here.  Stay tuned to the blog through March for weekly updates.

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Spring & Summer Field Classes
Even though the skiing is still great, it’s March and we are starting to think about spring!  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. 

spring beautyFree Naturalist “Walk & Talks”
Starting in just a few weeks and then running throughout the spring and early summer, Mary Kiesau will once again lead free, casual naturalist “walk and talks” at a wide variety of places around the Methow for all ages.  As a group, we’ll be paying attention to all things “natural history,” but some walks will focus on specific topics such as flowers or birds.  The first one is scheduled on the first day of spring, March 20th from 3-5pm.  Read more and see upcoming planned dates here

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Nature Journaling “Near & Far”

We are having so much fun with our Friday afternoon natural history and nature drawing classes with drawing instructor Perri Howard and naturalist/educator Mary Kiesau that we are continuing them this spring!  Together, they will help you become a more observant and engaged naturalist while growing creatively and with confidence through drawing exercises and field-sketching. The spring series is titled “Nature Drawing Near and Far,” and each class will combine both close-up and distance drawing.  We’ll start each class with about an hour walking in and exploring the outdoors followed by drawing practice either outside (if the weather is nice) or in Perri’s studio in Twisp.  All materials are provided and no experience is necessary.  Themed classes will be Friday afternoons, 12:30pm-5:00pm, on the following dates:
April 6: Mountains, Clouds & Rivers
April 20: Leaves & Trees
May 4: Spring Flowers
May 25: Songbirds
Classes are $65 each or $240 for the whole series.  Space is limited to 10 people per class.  Read more details here.  

coyote and mouse_mkWildlife Tracking Intensive Series
Back by popular demand after last year’s excellent series, local wildlife tracker and educator Nate Bacon will teach a once-a-month, six-month long wildlife tracking series to explore the lives, behavior, and ecology of local wildlife through track and sign identification and interpretation. Instruction will focus on the fundamentals of wildlife tracking in the field, animal behavior, ecological tracking, gaits and locomotion, the aging of tracks, foot morphology, and trailing (actually following the tracks of animals).  In a true “experiential learning” process, participants will be asked to be actively engaged throughout the course, sharing their questions and knowledge, teaching others, reflecting on their observations, and practicing with different study techniques, including one afternoon session with drawing instructor Perri Howard learning basic track drawing techniques.  The course will meet outside at various field locations throughout the Methow, from 8:30am to 4pm on April 7, May 5, June 9, July 7, August 4, and September 8. It’s okay to miss classes, but registration is for the whole series.  Tuition is $460*.  Space is limited to 12 people.  Read more details here.   

Spring Naturalists’ Retreat binocs
Our annual Naturalists’ Retreat begins the evening of Thursday May 31 and goes through 1pm on Sunday June 3.  Lead 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!  The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner. Read more details here.

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

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Methow GenNxt Meets Again! 
Monday, March 26th, 5:00-7:00pm at the Merc Playhouse

Hancock springsMark your calendars Methow GenNxters!  The Methow Conservancy is holding its next “Methow GenNxt” gathering on Monday, March 26th in partnership with the new multi-organization group, “The Methow Trails Collaborative” (MTC), to create a gathering that is informative, engaging and meaningful for the young adult GenNxt attendees as well as the member groups of MTC.
 
It’s free and snacks and drinks will be provided!  RSVPs appreciated but not required. Bring a friend!

We’ll email more details out to our Methow GenNxt list.  If you are not on this email list and would like to be, please contact Mary at the Methow Conservancy at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org, and/or request to join our GenNxt Facebook group
 
“Methow GenNxt” is the Methow Conservancy’s effort to engage, learn from and support the “next generation” of young adults (early 20s to early 40s) who love the Methow Valley, whether they grew up here, live here now or just visit.

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Harvesting Community Happy Hour & Auction Success!
Ag EventWe were truly blown away by the turnout for the Methow Grown Film Festival on President’s Day weekend.  Three-hundred and twenty-five people came to be inspired by our local agricultural community -- and each went home having learned something new about our thoughtful, hard-working farmers and ranchers!  

If you did not get a chance to attend, you can still watch all of the "virtual farm tour" videos at www.methowgrown.org/stories.  Stay tuned, too, for the potential of the Methow Grown Film Festival coming to Seattle!

In addition to the Methow Grown Film Festival, the Harvesting Community Happy Hour featured the exciting conclusion to our Experience the Methow on-line auction.  Bidding was fast and furious in the last few minutes, helping us raise more than $14K for our annual operating fund – that magic fuel that makes conservation in the Methow Valley happen.  Thank you to all who won a unique experience or item, those who bid on items, and all who help spread the word about our auction.  It was our most successful Experience the Methow auction ever and with more than 8,000 page views on the site, we feel so much gratitude for just how much people love this Valley!


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Keen Observations in the 4th Grade
Our School Yard Science day in February was very, very cold – so cold that we decided it School Drawingwas safest to keep our young scientists indoors.  We made the best of it and tried to bring the school yard experience inside. 

The students were starting an International Baccalaureate unit on “How We Express Ourselves” and we talked about the many ways scientists express themselves:  presentations, writing, drawing, etc. 

We then recognized that in order to express ourselves well as scientists, we first have to be really keen observers.  Several different exercises helped us test our observation skills – from using all of our senses to tricks that help you “remember” better (e.g., notes and sketches!). Using beautiful local bird photography and Methow Valley landscapes, we also practiced noticing big and little details, asking questions about what the images make us wonder, and doing some 90-second sketches.  The students were very keen observers – and quickly realized that doing the swift sketches helped them see deeper than just looking.  We can’t wait to take these skills back out into the School Yard (hopefully snow free!) in March!

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New Members  - Thank You!
In February, we welcomed new members Jenny Fry, Susan Graham, Kristen-Marie Kirkby, Sue & Mike Megaard, Tracey & Jacques Peschon, and Sonia Wolfman. Thank you for inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley!

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Methow Conservancy Events
March 6: “First Tuesday” Program, “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth?” with speaker David George Gordon, 7:00pm at the Winthrop Barn. Learn about this mysterious and iconic Northwest creature, and weigh the evidence both for and against its existence!  Click here for more details.

flower walk_mkMarch 20: Methow Conservancy Spring Equinox Walk.  Join us for a free walk to see what’s sprouting on the first day of Spring!  3:00-4:30pm, free but space is limited.  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 to register.  See more details and more walk dates here.

March 26: Methow GenNxt Gathering, 5:00-7:00pm at the Merc Playhouse, free.  This gathering will focus on recreation, trails and public access with the “The Methow Trails Collaborative.”  For more details contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org

March 30: Methow Conservancy Good Friday Walk.  Join us for a free naturalist “walk and talk.”  4:00-5:30pm, free but space is limited.  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 to register.  See more details and more walk dates here.

NOTE: Date change to March 31 (from March 17): Building Bird Habitat Volunteer Work-Party, 9:00am.  We are teaming up with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) to give birds more places to raise young!  We need your help to install wooden bird-boxes for our local cavity-nesting species, including Western bluebirds on WDFW “Methow Wildlife Area” land near Winthrop and Twisp.  Click here for more details and to sign up!

April 3: “First Tuesday” Program, “Native Bees” with speaker Don Rolfs, 7:00pm, at the Merc Playhouse, free.

April 6: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Mountains, Clouds & Rivers” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.   

April 7: Wildlife Tracking Intensive, first of six sessions, once a month from April to September, with instructor Nate Bacon, $460.   Click here for more details.

tiger salamander kiesauApril 8: Amphibian Survey Training.  Get trained to survey a local pond or wetland this spring, searching for frog and salamander egg masses and larvae.  After the training, surveys will occur on your own schedule from mid-April to late-May.  Most people work in small groups of 2-3 people and pick one to three areas to survey.  We’ll work with you to choose your areas.  The training location and time is TBD, cost is $20.  Space is limited.

April 11: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk.  Join us for a free naturalist “walk and talk.”  4:30-6:30pm, free but space is limited.  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 to register.  See more details and more walk dates here.

April 19: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk.  Join us for a free naturalist “walk and talk.”  8:30-10:30pm, free but space is limited.  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 to register.  See more details and more walk dates here.

April 20: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Leaves & Trees” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  

Earthday!  Stay tuned for fun plans!

April 26: Methow Conservancy Flower Walk.  Join us for a free naturalist “walk and talk” for Native Plant Appreciation Week!  5:00-7:00pm, free but space is limited.  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 to register.  See more details and more walk dates here.

bb_mkMay 1: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk.  Join us for a free naturalist “walk and talk.”  8:00-10:00pm, free but space is limited.  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 to register.  See more details and more walk dates here.

May 1: “First Tuesday” Program, “Purple Martins” with speaker Julie Hovis, 7:00pm, location TBD, free.

May 4: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Spring Flowers” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  

May 25: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Songbirds” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  

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 5: “First Tuesday” Program, “Crown Jewel: Creating North Cascades National Park” with speaker Lauren Danner, 7:00pm, location TBD, free.

June 22-23: True Nature: The Art and Craft of Field Journaling, 10am-4pm both days, $160* plus $30 for materials if needed. Join professional artist and teacher Perri Howard along with Mary Kiesau, naturalist and educator at the Methow Conservancy, in this hands-on class to explore the natural world of the Methow and learn the fundamental aspects of field sketching, note-taking, and journaling to creatively engage your surroundings.  Space is limited to 8 people. Contact Mary at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org for track_cert_mkmore details or to register.

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.  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 to for more details or to register at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.  This class is also being offered October 6-7th and registration is open for that as well.

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News from Other Organizations

The Methow Valley Citizens Council is hiring an Executive Director.  See details here.

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center presents the film “United by Water,” March 4th, 6-8pm at the Methow Valley Community Center.  Read more here.

The Methow Housing Trust is hosting informational meetings for people who want to learn more about this new organization, home-ownership opportunities, and application and eligibility guidelines.  There are three opportunities:  March 14th, 5-6pm at the Mazama Community Club; March 21st, 5-6pm at the MV Elementary School Library, and March 22nd, 5-6pm at the Education Station at Twispworks.  See more details here

Classroom in Bloom presents the film, “SEED: The Untold Story,” March 19th, 6pm at the Barnyard Cinema.  See more details here.

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center presents the “Rock Images of the Columbia Plateau” with speakers Bill Layman & Randy Lewis, March 25th, at 2pm and 5pm at the Merc Playhouse.

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.

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