First Tuesday Program - “Tides: The Science & Spirit of the Oceans”
Tuesday, May 2, 7:00-8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn.

After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide. He knew the moon had something to do with it, but what exactly? He read a book, then two. Ten years later, he had read three hundred books and crisscrossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. In China he confronted the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five foot tidal bore that races eighty miles up the Qiantang River; at London’s Royal Society, he dug into the earliest Western tide science, which preoccupied thinkers from Da Vinci to Galileo to Newton; and in the Arctic he followed an Inuit elder down a small hole through thick winter ice to gather fresh blue mussels in the cavities left by low tide.  With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide. 

Plus, Trails End Bookstore will be there with his new book, Tides!  Jonathan lives in the Washington San Juan Islands and is on a nationwide book tour with Tides.

The doors open at 6:30pm.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.

Methow Grown
We are excited to launch a new resource for the engaged eater!  We’ve put together a simple online directory of active Methow Valley farms with products available for sale – at the Farmers’ Market, at local stores, and directly from the farm.  We are calling it Methow Grown.  Check it out! 
                                           
Now that the quiet calm of winter is fully in our rear-view mirror, local Methow farmers are bustling.  We are busy along with them!  We will be hosting an intimate, in-depth, hands-on soils workshop for growers, bringing soil scientists from WSU and the Okanogan Conservation District to present soil chemistry and fertility basics, as well as new research for instant nitrate testing and cover-cropping for soil health and forage production.  We will also be collaborating with the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s “Small Farm Direct Marketing Team” to host a networking event for local farmers and local chefs, grocers, and food purveyors.  If you are a grower or buyer or just want more information about either of these events, contact our Agricultural Coordinator Alyssa Jumars at 509-996-2870 or alyssa@methowconservancy.org

Earth Day Methow Valley Style
Earth Week in the Methow saw loads of people outside enjoying spring and cleaning our beautiful Valley, including roadside trash work parties, a town of Twisp clean-up, and a big debris clean-up in a section of Pearrygin Lake State Park.  Thank you all for taking care of the Methow Valley!

Thanks especially to all these volunteers who helped at Methow Conservancy clean-up events:  Laurelle Walsh & Frank Vanderwall, Lidija & Mike Kamansky, Jan Sodt, Wendy Sims, Patti & Rick Norby, Vicky Mullen, Jennifer Zajac, Scott Stluka, Jay Morrison, Barb Schneider & Jim Clement, Betsy Weiss, Carol & Dan Runyon, Alisa & Ken Malloch, Ken Young, Sally Ranzau, Sarah Brooks, Debbie Miller, Sam Israel, Sam & John Owen, John Harter and his wife and granddaughter, Kathy & Greg Fowler, John Daily & Shaun Seibel, Val Stouffer & Eric Zytowski, Dan Weinstein, Gordy Reynaud, Drew Katz, Neil Johnson, CJ Peterson, Debbie Grable, Eliot & Darlene, and five NCCC Americorps members working in the Methow for 6 weeks.

The Methow Conservancy partnered with the State Park to host an Earth Day clean-up of the old Graves homestead on the eastern end of the park on Sunday.  Over 40 volunteers worked to unearth and pile a wide variety of metal (that will go to the metal drive!), tires, wood, and trash.  The area was literally transformed from a junky old burned-down mess to an organized stack of piles that will now be removed. Over 175 volunteer hours were contributed.  One volunteer said, “We were like an army of ants!”  Another said, “Dirty. Muddy. Destruction. So satisfying to help out!”  Ranger Rick Lewis said, “We are forever grateful to the Methow Conservancy for the commitment to improving and enhancing our landscapes community wide, and especially grateful for this past Sunday's work party.”  It was great fun.  Stay tuned for more work parties around the valley!

We also spent some time with our 4th grade “School Yard Science” class.  We were joined by Classroom in Bloom, Methow Recycles, and Methow Trails for an extra-special Earth Day extravaganza!  See below for more details.

Earth Day Every Day with our 4th Grade School Yard Scientists
The second Danica Ready of Methow Trails held up a knapweed rosette with a nice long root and asked, “Do you think any of you can find a weed with a longer root out there,” the game was on.  Our dedicated Methow Valley Elementary School 4th Graders sprang into action on a weed infested area near one of our favorite spots for School Yard Science activities. 

The students learned quickly how to identify knapweed, Russian thistle, and mullein.  Small teams set out to pull weeds, while others raked disturbed ground, and still more re-seeded the area with bluebunch wheatgrass.  It was an all-hands on deck, teamwork filled activity and the students loved it.  We were amazed at how much we got done!

When they weren’t pulling weeds, the students learned how to make a re-usable (and renewable) grocery bag from old t-shirts.  We were impressed at their artistic skills!

All these efforts were part of an Earth Day celebration, hosted by Methow Trails, Classroom in Bloom, Methow Recycles, and our Methow Conservancy School Yard Science program.  It was a powerful opportunity to reflect on how much the school yard and our Earth give to us and to take a little time to show the land some appreciation.  Thanks to our community partners and some awesome volunteers for helping to make the Earth Day celebration a big success.

Volunteer Methow
The new valley-wide VolunteerMethow.org website is ready for your browsing, testing and feedback! 

See our volunteer tasks as well as those of numerous other organizations around the Methow.  All Methow Valley nonprofit and community organizations are invited to freely use this website to feature volunteer tasks and to promote involvement with their organizations. Each organization has a profile page where you can learn about who they are and what they do.  Find tasks using a calendar feature, or view tasks that match up with your favorite local causes and organizations, your unique skills, or what can be done at home on your own schedule.  Take a look and watch it grow in the coming months

We want to extend a huge thank you to Methow GenNxt for coming up with this idea, and especially to local software gurus Neil and Kelli Rotstan for spearheading this project with enthusiasm and passion.  Their love of the Methow and desire to help was the driving force behind what they say is a desire to “encourage more individual involvement with local non-profit & community organizations and make it easy for volunteers to push forward community action one task at a time.”

In late April, we held trainings for organizations to learn how to use the site, and now it’s time for some public testing.  You are our guinea pigs!  The website is still being “beta-tested” – it’s not a finished product and you might see little glitches or ways to improve it.  There’s a comment area on the site for you to submit any feedback – please do. 

You can also still see our current volunteer tasks on our Volunteer Page here. 

Spring into Field Classes!
Spring is here!  Flowers are blooming; more birds are arriving every day.  It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of the Methow!  If you need some extra incentive, check out the upcoming weekend workshops and free walks.  We’d love to have you join us!

Naturalist "Walk & Talk"

photo by Mary KiesauJoin Mary Kiesau, the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director, on a casual natural history “walk and talk” to see and learn what is happening in the natural world of the Methow.  We’ll look for and discuss birds and plants on all the walks but generally the morning walks focus on birds and the afternoon walks focus on flowers.  These outings are perfect for people of all ages and levels of knowledge - no experience required!  Children who are able to walk on uneven ground for two+ hours are welcome to attend with a chaperone. We’ll go to a different location on each walk, and the days and times change to attempt to accommodate a variety of schedules.  No dogs please. These mini-classes are free but space is limited so registration is required.  Contact us for more details or to reserve your spot at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870.

Monday May 1, 4:00-6:00pm
Saturday May 6, 8:30 - 10:30am
Thursday May 11, 4:00-6:00pm
Wednesday May 17, 8:00-10:00am
Friday May 26, 3:00-6:00pm
Monday May 29, 7:00-9:00am
Tuesday, June 6th, 5:00-6:30pm invasive weed walk
Monday, June 12th, 7:00-9:00am
Wednesday, June 21st, 7:00-9:00am
Saturday, June 24th, 8-10am  invasive weed walk

 

Spring NaturalistsRetreat
June 1st at 5pm through June 4th at 1pm, $200*  (3 spots left!)

Our annual Naturalists’ Retreat is from June 1st at 5pm to June 4th at 1pm. With guidance from naturalist instructors Libby Mills, Dana Visalli and Mary Kiesau, spend a long weekend learning and exploring Methow birds, flowers and plants, and whatever else we find (butterflies and other insects, geology, frogs, lizards and snakes, scat and tracks and much more!) With glorious days in the field and engaging presentations and group dinners on two evenings 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.  There are just 3 spots left!  Click here for more information

 

True Nature:  The Art and Craft of Field Journaling
Saturday & Sunday, July 1-2, 9am-4pm both days, $160 plus materials

Do you get inspired by the natural world?  Are you interested in learning how to jot, draw and write, exploring nature as subject?  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.  During the first half of each day, we will master drawing with pencils and pen, and loosen up with some fun writing exercises.  We will then apply our new skills in the field, working at a beautiful location in the Methow Valley.  This class is designed to grow your thoughts, feelings, and observations of the natural world, while providing easy-to-learn techniques for drawing, journaling, and composition. 

This workshop is held in Perri’s studio in the Tree Cooler (Building 6) on the TwispWorks campus and at an outdoor location, TBD.
No experience is necessary, though Perri’s “How to Draw A Leaf” classes or other beginning classes are recommended as a preparatory course (see her website for details about this separate class)

Class fee is $160.  Materials cost is $30 including a sketchbook, colored pencils, pens, erasers, sharpener and a carrying case for you to keep.  Space is limited to 8 people.  Contact Mary at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org to register. 

Salamander Night Crawl
June 8th, 8:30pm-11pm, $15*

Come out for a night-time adventure of searching for young (larval) salamanders.  Salamanders in the Methow can be difficult to find.  One of the easiest way to find them, and to learn where they are breeding, is to go to breeding ponds at night, when the animals are active.  This field trip will start with an indoor session where we’ll learn a bit more about these animals, as well as frogs, and then we’ll head on out to the field.  Bring waders if you have them.  If not, bring rubber boots or sandals and shorts.  Do be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp, and be prepared to wade into some mucky water.  Lead by the Methow Conservancy’s very own amphibian expert Julie Grialou!  Space is limited to 10 people and registration is required.  Contact us for more details or to reserve your spot at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870.

Invasive Weed Education
Puncture VineAlong with the spring wildflowers, unfortunately, comes many noxious, invasive weeds.  Now and through the coming weeks is a great time to look around your property, especially if it burned in previous summers, 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. Click on a weed "card" to get details, photos and videos.  Stay tuned for more cards soon.

You can also email, call us or stop by our office with weed questions anytime, or talk to us in person at our annual Weed & Native Plant Education Booth at the Methow Valley Farmers Market later this spring. Our Restoring Shrub-Steppe in the Methow Valley handbook is also a great resource.

GiveBIG 
Be a part of the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG on May 10th!  Click here to schedule your gift for the Methow Conservancy!.

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 10th 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 10th.  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.

High School Student Summer Internship
Liberty Bell High School Students: we’d love to have you intern with us!  We’ve hosted Liberty Bell high school volunteer interns for many summers and are looking for one or two eager and motivated students to join us this summer.  A minimum of 20 hours is requested (think community service hours or senior project!). 

Download the application form here and submit it by June 16.  Questions?  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870.

Public Notice: Comment on our Compliance with National Land Trust Standards
The National Land Trust Accreditation Commission recognizes land conservation organizations that meet quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Methow Conservancy is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.  Learn more here!

Methow Conservancy Events

May 1st: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 4:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

May 2nd: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” Program, “Tides: The Science & Spirit of the Oceans” with Jonathan White, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Winthrop Barn.  With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide. See above for more details

May 6th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 8:30 - 10:30am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

May 11th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 4:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details. Free.

May 17th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 8:00 - 10:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details. Free.

May 26th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 3:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

May 29th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 7:00 - 9:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details. Free.

May 30th: “River Restoration:  Comparing tSpring Naturalist's Retreat June 1-4.he Elwha and Methow Rivers” with award-winning engineer Jennifer Bountry, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Merc Playhouse.  Join Bureau of Reclamation engineer Jennifer Bountry, the 2017 “Federal Engineer of the Year,” for an in-depth look at the natural and engineered work of river restorations, both in the Methow and on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula where Bountry served as a lead scientist. (This program serves as the June "First Tuesday" program!)

June 1st – 4th: Methow Conservancy Spring Naturalists’ Retreat.   The Naturalists’ Retreat is an annual celebration of the Methow Valley in springtime! The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner. To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.orgThere are just 4 spots left! Click here for more information

June 6th: Methow Conservancy Invasive Weed Walk & Talk, 5:00 - 6:30pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

June 8th: Salamander Night Crawl, 8:30-11:00pm, $15.  Come out for a night-time adventure of searching for young (larval) salamanders!  See above for more details

June 12th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 7:00 - 9:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

Tumble mustard growing along a fence line.June 21st: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 7:00 - 9:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

June 24th: Methow Conservancy Invasive Weed Walk & Talk, 8:00 - 10:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

July 1st-2nd: True Nature: The Art and Craft of Field Journaling, 9am-4pm both days, $160* plus materials.  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.  See above for more details.

October 7-8th:  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, with the goal being to attain 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 (four spots left!). Lodging and food are on you own. Contact Mary to register at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org

News from Other Organizations

MethowReady Neighborhood Leader Training will be Thursday, May 4, from 5:30–7:30 pm at Aero Methow Rescue Service in Twisp.  These workshops train you in the “Map Your Neighborhood” program which is designed to help families and neighborhoods prepare for disasters. In a major event, you and your neighbors will be the first responders!  Attend a Methow Ready Neighborhood Preparedness Leader Training and find out what you can do to prepare your home and your neighborhood. Free pizza and dessert will be provided!  For more information or to register call Hayley at 206-251-2993 or email info@methowready.org.

The Methow Valley Clean Air Project is hosting a spring vegetation drive and chipping event!  This is a free event where they will be collecting all natural, unprocessed vegetation as an alternative to outdoor burning.  Collections will be taken Sunday, May 7th through Saturday, May 13th from 9am-3pm at the end of Riverside Ave in Twisp, adjacent to the Public Works buildings.  Please bring your all-natural, unprocessed brush, wood, and tree prunings up to 6 inches in diameter to the drive. NO weeds, please!  After the collection, materials will be chipped and made available to the public for mulching, landscaping, etc.  Click here for more information, or contact Liz Walker at 520-907-7868.

Okanogan Trails Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation hosts its 4th Annual Banquet & Auction, Saturday, May 13th, 5:30-10:00pm,at the Elks Lodge in Omak, WA. For more information, contact Chris Branch at 509-322-0735 or cddelvobranch@q.com

The Society for Range Management is hosting a Restorative Grasslands Tour, June 6-8th.  The Society’s Pacific Northwest Section is joining forces with the Society for Ecological Restoration to offer a series of unique tours of restorative native grasslands in the Columbia Basin, as well as a variety of engaging workshops about native plants, pollinators, and birds.  Click for details and registration, or contact Catherine.Cannon@wa.usda.gov.

Classroom In Bloom is hiring an Executive Director to further the mission of the Methow Valley’s thirteen year old, garden based education program (501c3).  Their mission is to deepen the relationships between people and the land through school and community gardening.  Candidates will have a passion for exploring and sharing the natural world and for local sustainable food systems.  Strong communication, development and management skills are essential.  Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.  Review of candidates will begin May 10th.  Position will be open until filled. For more information or to apply, contact Jen Schumacher at jschum20@gmail.com.  Applications should include a detailed letter explaining your interest in the position, a resume, and 3 professional references.

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center is open for the season!  See all their “Last Sunday” presentations, upcoming exhibits, workshops and other news here.

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

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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