Conservation Course 2021
Photo by Sasha Swerdloff

Conservation Course 2021

Open for Registration Now!

Overlooked – How Under-represented Peoples and Communities Shape the Past, Present, and Future of the Methow Valley.

When: Monday Evenings, March 8th– March 29th, 7 – 8:15pm
Where: Your home computer. This will be a Zoom series.
You can register by emailing Daniel (
Cost: $90 for full 4-session course or $30 per class. Scholarships are available.
Registration proceeds from this course will be used to compensate speakers and make a donation to a non-profit of each speaker’s choosing.

This winter, we will be acknowledging and honoring the role that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) peoples have played in shaping the conservation and environmental movement, including in the Methow Valley. By opening this conversation in our community, we hope to engage all of us in learning, reflecting, and working on stewarding our Valley for everyone.

We recognize a four-week course can only begin to scratch the surface of this deep and complex topic. We wish, however, to plant the seed, to start the conversation, and to learn with you.

This year’s topics will include:

Khavin Debbs medium

March 8th: An Introduction to the Conversation - Explore the complexities and challenges inherent in the relationship between race and the outdoors.

Speaker Khavin Debbs is the Partnership Manager for Tiny Trees Preschool, an all-outdoors preschool in the Seattle area. Khavin earned a Masters in Urban Environmental Education at Antioch University while working at Tiny Trees. His thesis was called #naturesowhite: Decolonizing the Outdoors for Families of Color. Khavin was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and he notes that it was there that he cultivated his love for being outside and experiencing nature. He attended Sacramento City College, where he first started his career in Early Childhood Education. He then worked at Mustard Seed School, an emergency school for homeless children. In 2013, Khavin relocated to Seattle, where he taught at a Montessori preschool and finished his BA from The Evergreen State College and his MAED from Antioch University. He is currently working on a doctorate in Educational and Professional Practice.

Monique Wynecoop medium

March 15th: Traditional Ecological Knowledge- Discover how thousands-year-old Indigenous knowledge can help guide us in a changing natural world. NOTE: This class will run from 7 to 9pm because we have two speakers!

Speaker Monique Wynecoop is Pit River/Maidu and her children are Spokane Tribal members. Since 2008, she has been working as a Region 6 Fire Ecologist for the US Forest Service (USFS) as part of a two-person NE Washington Area Ecology team, within the ancestral homeland of the Spokane, Kalispel, and Confederated Colville Tribes in Northeastern Washington. Her work has emphasized promoting Tribal sovereignty on and off the reservation by sharing stories and history and promoting cross-boundary collaboration with tribal and non-tribal agencies, as well as building transparency and trust between agencies and incorporating tribal and community feedback into forest management practices.

Keith Matt photo medium

Speaker Keith Matt was born and raised in Omak and is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. He is a first generation college graduate who attended the University of Washington with his B.A. in Education, Communities & Organizations and American Indian Studies, along with a minor in Comparative History of Ideas. In addition to working as a Youth Advocate for the Foundation for Youth Resiliency & Engagement (FYRE), Keith continues his work as an Adviser for the UW’s Undergraduate Research Program. As an Indigenous scholar, Keith's lived experiences ignited a catalyst for advocacy, liberation and social change; to foster cultural responsiveness and racial equity in underrepresented communities, higher education and across his own research, scholarship, and academic endeavors.

Rosalinda Guillen medium

March 22nd: Sustainable Agriculture Through the Lens of Solidarity - Join us to learn about and honor the contributions of BIPOC farmers to the sustainable agriculture movement in our region.

Speaker Rosalinda Guillén is a widely recognized farm worker and rural justice leader. She is Executive Director of the organization Community to Community Development in Bellingham, an organization dedicated to food sovereignty, immigrant rights, and environmental and climate justice. Currently she has provided support, training and mentorship to the leadership of WA State’s newest self-organized farm worker union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia. The oldest of eight, she grew up in LaConner WA in the 60's and began laboring as a farm worker with her family in the fields of Skagit County at the age of ten. Her current efforts are focused on developing ag policy with a culture that transforms farm labor from low-wage, unhealthy, oppressive work into a well-paid, respected profession.

Elisa Lopez Picture

March 29th: Safe/Brave Spaces- Begin to understand the BIPOC experience with open spaces and outdoor recreation, and reflect on how we can all be more inclusive in nature.

Speaker Elisa Lopez is Project Director for Team Naturaleza, a non-profit organization that works to unite Latino/Hispanic families in the Wenatchee area to the outdoors. Team Naturaleza is a resource for the Spanish-speaking community in North Central Washington to reach out to if they are in need of fresh air and want to learn about the environment bilingually. Team Naturaleza provides the skills and knowledge to inspire people to be able to return to natural areas independently and safely. Elisa will share her story on becoming an outdoor leader for her community and the accomplishments of the Team Naturaleza project within Chelan and Douglas counties.

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