Mary Kiesau

Natural History Events in the Methow Valley

First Tuesday Presentations

The Methow Conservancy sponsors a monthly “First Tuesday Series”. The place varies so please check each event for the location. All First Tuesday Lectures are free and open to everyone. And, please note that they might not always fall on the first Tuesday of the month. For more information contact us at 996-2870 or email us.

First Tuesday Presentations Coming Up:
by Peter Bauer
First Tuesday April - Tuesday, April 2nd
Avian Ambassadors: Stitching Continents Together with Don McIvor 
Doors Open at 6:30pm, Presentation is from 7-8pm. 
Free. @ The Merc Playhouse

Join local ornithologist Don McIvor as he considers migratory birds as international citizens who know no borders. In the Methow, our avian migrants knit us together with landscapes as distant and exotic as the high arctic tundra and the pampas of South America. So come explore the fascinating natural phenomena of bird migration, tying in what we know—or can guess—about the seasonal movements of “our” migrating feathered friends.

Photo of Rufous hummingbird at left by Peter Bauer.


First Tuesday May - Reflections on Salmon Recovery with Jennifer Molesworth
Doors Open at 6:30pm, Presentation is from 7-8pm.  Free. @ The Winthrop Barn

Join recently retired local Bureau of Reclamation fisheries biologist Jennifer Molesworth who has worked in the Valley for over 20 years as she takes us on a personal account of the genesis of the salmon recovery process, into the modern era, and extrapolates into the future. Jennifer has been an important presence in this Valley and this will be one presentation that you should not miss.

Methow Conservancy Educational Classes, Workshops, and Field Trips & Other Events

Tuesday, April 16th - Rocking and Rolling: A Presentation on Sediment in the Methow River
Doors Open at 6:30pm, Presentation is from 7-9pm.  Free. @ The Grange
The Methow Watershed council has invited Jennifer Bountry who has worked as a hydraulic engineer for over 20 years for the Bureau of Reclamation and was recently named Federal Engineer of the Year for her effort on the Elwha Dam Removal Project to come and speak. Jennifer will discuss where different important sediments in the Methow River come from, describe more about an ongoing project to pit tag rocks in the Methow, and how sediments will affect western rivers into the future.

Thursday, April 18th - Molly’s Soap Tour
4:30-5:30 pm, Free.
Introducing our new Methow Share Your Knowledge series! This tour will be an incredible opportunity to experience an inside look at a local craft. Soap maker and small business owner Gabby Beaudin will share her talents for hand-crafting natural, small batch soap made with essential oils and botanical ingredients. For more information about Gabby’s product, visit Registration is necessary and space is limited to 12. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot.

Birders by Mary KiesauTuesday April 23rd and Wednesday April 24th - Two Spring Mornings of Bird Watching in the Methow with Libby
8am – 1pm, $55 for both days, Location: TBD
Join longtime Washington naturalist and Methow avian expert Libby Mills for two full mornings of learning to use one's ears to recognize bird songs. Libby will also explore how migratory birds use the Methow Valley and how birds tell us what places need protection. Registration is necessary and space is limited to 12. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot. Photo at left by Mary Kiesau.

Thursday, May 2nd - Spring Flower WalkThrough the Heckendorn Hillside with Mary
3pm – 4:30pm, Free.
Join local botanical expert Mary Kiesau as you meander through the Heckendorn Hillside Property uncovering the surprising variety of wildflowers in the shrub steppe! Registration is necessary and space is limited to 12. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot.

Wednesday, May 8th - A Methow GenNxt Event- Beers of the Shrub-Steppeshrub steppe   
6pm – 8:30pm, Free. @ TBD
During this GenNxt gathering we will be exploring the relationship between hiking in shrub-steppe and the beers that make it better. Whether it’s the similarities in flavor, aroma, essence, or just the thoughts they can both inspire, they undoubtedly have a bond. And we intend to explore it!! “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). Registration is necessary, as space is limited. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot.

Friday, May 17th - A May Special Presentation –The One-of-a-Kind Bird Life of Trinidad and Tabago
7pm – 8pm, Free. @TBD
May is not usually when Methow Valley residents dream of heading south to a tropical island. So, instead, the tropical island and its residents will be coming to the Methow! Martyn Kenefick is a world renowned ornithologist who has spent the last 15 years leading tours and studying the bird life of Trinidad and Purple HoneycreeperTabago. He will be sharing a glimpse of this incredible world and other wonders from theAtlantic coast of South America!

Photo at left is a Purple Honeycreeper by Noel Snyder.

Saturday, May 18th - The Dual Life of our Spring Migrants
8am – 12pm, $20, @TBD
Join world renowned ornithologist Martyn Kenefick from Trinidad and Tabago as we go bird watching in the Methow Valley and hear the other side of the story of our spring migrants as we get the South American perspective on their life histories. We will finally find out if they behave the same in the U.S. as abroad! Registration is necessary and space is limited to 12. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot.

Monday, May 20th - Spring Bird Walk with Mary
8am – 9:30am, Free, @TBD
Join local avian expert Mary Kiesau for a morning bird walk in a place you’ve probably never been. This is a good time to brush up on those bird songs! Registration is necessary and space is limited to 12. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot.


Volunteer Oppportunities with the Methow Conservancy!

We keep all of our volunteer opportunities up to date on the Volunteer Methow website. Here are few upcoming chances to do some work for the land:

Bluebird Boxes by mary KiesauSaturday, April 6th - Nest Box Maintenance & Relocation
9am – 1pm, Location: Carpool meets at the Winthrop Barn
For our first in-the-field volunteer work party for the season, we are teaming up again with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. We will be building on last year’s efforts to install wooden bird-boxes for local cavity-nesting species around the Methow Wildlife Area land near Winthrop and Twisp. This year we will be relocating nest boxes that were in unsuccessful locations to new locations and installing predator guards around boxes. We will provide the expertise and tools. You will just need to bring warm clothing, work gloves, water, snacks, and sturdy footwear. Registration is necessary and space is limited to 15. Sign up via Volunteer Methow here.

Saturday and Sunday, April 13th and 14th - Homestream Park Weekend Work Party
First round 9 – 12pm, Lunch 12-1pm, second round 1-4pm, both Saturday and Sunday
As you may have heard, Methow Conservancy Board Member Phil and his wife Kathy Davis have purchased two acres downstream from the town of Winthrop and are in the process of turning that land into a public park! With plans to build a trail, sculptures, and a public gathering area it will be another jewel in Winthrop’s cap. But to get all of this started we need your help.Highway Clean up We will be conducting a general cleanup of the property by making piles of the various debris, doing some careful demolition of the structures (so that materials can be reused), and sorting materials. Sign up via Volunteer Methow here.

Monday, April 22nd - Earth Day Work Party
Join us for a volunteer work party at our property in the Heckendorn neighborhood from 5:30 to 8pm.  We’ll be celebrating Earth Day and the one-year anniversary of our purchase of the backdrop to the town of Winthrop-- the Heckendorn Hillside Property. We will be picking up, sorting, and hauling off whatever ever debris we can find on the property in order to get the land safe and ready for more work to come! We will provide the expertise and most of the tools. You will just need to bring layers, work gloves, water, snacks, and sturdy footwear. Sign up here.

Saturday, May 4th - Walk a Mile & Clean-Up the Road, 9am – 11:30am
The snow is melting and it's time for our first Adopt-a-Hwy clean-up of the year! Volunteers help us twice a year to clean-up our 2-mile section of Hwy 20 between Winthrop & Twisp. Sign up via Volunteer Methow here.

Events from Other Organizations

March 31st - The Russians Are Coming!  Join in a dialog with six Russian environmental educators from Siberia and the Russian Far East on Sunday, March 31st at 7pm at Trails End Bookstore.  The Russian botanists/educators are in Washington State to study the American approach to environmental education and they will share their approach, too.

April 19th - Spring Thaw & Draw nature journaling series with Perri Howard and Mary Kiesau:  themed classes will meet on Fridays, 12:30pm-5:00pm, on April 19th, May 3rd, May 17th and May 31st.  You can attend individual classes for $65 each or the whole series for $240.  Each class will begin with a nature walk and lesson, then will move indoors to Perri's studio at TwispWorks.  There are also two day-long sessions for more experienced drawers on April 27th and May 18th.  All materials are included, and space is limited to 12 people per class.  See the themes and other details, and register online at  

April 19th - MVCC Climate March: Join MVCC in Twisp on the afternoon of Friday April 19th for the Methow Climate March! In solidarity with actions taking place all over the world, marchers will travel from the TwispWorks campus to the Methow Valley Community Center calling for real action on the climate crisis. Listen to inspiring speakers, learn about education and activism opportunities, and enjoy local food, drink and music. This gathering is about creating positive solutions together as a community---all are welcome! The march starts at 4:30pm at TwispWorks, with event continuing into the evening at the Community Center. Event organized by Methow Valley Citizens Council & North Cascades Indivisible. Email Cameron Green with any questions.

April 20th - Community Celebration for Methow Headwaters Campaign.

5-9pm @ The Winthrop Barn
Mark your calendar and plan to come celebrate clean water and clear community voices with appetizers, drinks, live music and a program celebrating the community who made it all possible!

April 22nd - Earth Day & Arbor Day celebration in the Twisp Commons Park (the one by the Community Center) from 11 to 1pm. Dwight Filer, long-time Twisp resident, spearheads an effort every year to raise our community awareness and appreciation for trees.  He’ll be in the park from 11 to 1pm on Earth Day with a demonstration on how to effectively plant a tree, pruning tips, and more to keep your trees happy. 

April 27-28th - Methow Recycles Metal Drive - 9am - 3pm each day. Methow Recycles annual metal drive will be at Cascade Concrete on Horizon Flats Road in Winthrop. More details here.

April 28th - Ruby Slippers Farm is offering a 4-part class on Korean Natural Farming Methods. Join them every Sunday on the farm, starting April 28th, and learn how to make traditional preparations that enhance plant growth and encourage beneficial microbes.  For more information, call Cloudbird (509) 997-2348.

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

Help NCW Audubon across the finish line! Join NCW Audubon on the Sagebrush Songbird Survey, a multi-year shrub steppe avian occupancy study of the Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington. The Survey is a partnership of Audubon Washington, local chapters and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife since 2014 and they are hoping to complete field work in 2019! Field trainings provided in early April. Surveys are performed once a month in spring; one within the last two weeks of April, one within the first two weeks of May and a final survey within the first two weeks of June. For more info and to sign up Contact Christi Norman Audubon WA Program Director or North Central Washington Audubon Chapter Chair, Richard Scranton.

The Okanogan Conservation District is offering a series of "Landowners Wildfire Boot Camp" classes in April and May for landowners who want to learn the best management practices to care for their forest and shrub steppe land and to protect their land and homes from wildfire. The classes will be held in Omak at Wenatchee Valley College. Class descriptions, dates and registration can be found on the web at or call 509-682-6900.  Stay tuned for announcements of fire preparedness classes and activities in the Methow Valley.

Check out a full calendar of Methow Valley community events here.

If you are with a community organization and you would like to submit an event to our Enews or Events calendar, please email us before the 25th of each month for consideration.


*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