Cowiche Canyon Conservancy holds a variety of events and activities to increase opportunities for kids and adults to learn about the unique natural environment of the shrub-steppe and connect people to these lands. We work with a variety of partners including other non-profit organizations, schools, and local, state, and federal agencies to engage the community with our work and build support for our conservation work.
CCC and Yakima Symphony Orchestra present Pollinators: A Hero’s Life — an exhibit celebrating the heroic lives of pollinators. This exhibit features 47 works of art in various mediums from 31 local artists. The exhibit will be displayed at 2 locations from March – May.
Pollinators fertilize flowers by moving pollen from the male part (anther) of a flower to the female part (stigma). Pollination results in seeds and fruits and the next generation of plants. Bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and bats are some of the pollinators that carry pollen from one plant to another as they collect nectar. These heroic pollinators play an extremely important role in our food supply, local economy and ecosystem.
Fritillary Butterflies on Sage
by artist Sara Cate
When: Tuesday, May 14, 7pm to 8:30pm
Where: Yakima Area Arboretum – Jewett Interpretive Center
How can we tend our gardens and landscapes to support pollinators? Ann Autrey, of the Heritage Gardens of the Columbia Basin program, and Debra Kroon, of WSU’s Master Gardener program, will demonstrate how pollinator plants can save water while improving the beauty and health of our communities.
By Michelle Baumbach
When: Wednesday, May 15, 7pm to 8:30pm
Where: Yakima Valley College – Deccio Building
Pollination is a miraculous dance between insect and plant. But how does it work? Who’s helping who? Local beekeeper and orchardist, Brian Felix, and YVC Biology Instructor, Claire Carpenter, offer different perspectives on a phenomena that supports our health and our economy.
By David Hagen
When: Saturday, May 18, 10am to 12pm
Where: Snow Mountain Ranch
Snow Mountain Ranch supports 64 species of butterflies – more than all of Great Britain. Renowned entomologist David James (Washington State University) will lead an interpretive tour through this pollinator paradise.
‘Jach Lily and the Tiger’ by Betsy McCann
When: Tuesday, May 21, 7pm – 8:30pm
Where: Yakima Valley College – Glenn Anthon Hall – Room 213
Pollinators have odd and astounding superpowers, which serve both plants and us. Renowned entomologist David James will describe the diverse powers of these heroes — from bees to bats. James will also share some of his recent work to increase pollinator habitat in local farmland.
When: Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 7pm – 9:00pm
Where: Seasons Performance Hall
Regionally renowned wildlife professional and folk singer, Ken Bevis (kenbevis.com), is partnering with Yakima Symphony Orchestra musicians and the beautiful harmonies of local folk duo Julie & Sally (Julie Conley & Sally Rose). This family-friendly event will celebrate the music of nature.
Boxx Gallery and Cowiche Canyon Conservancy are seeking images inspired by the shrub-steppe lands of Cowiche Canyon Conservancy. All media welcome. Entry fee is $25 for up to 3 pieces. Entries are due June 5.
Download the prospectus here.
The Images of the Shrub-Steppe Art Exhibit will be on display at the Boxx Gallery July 6 through August 24.
Exhibit opening: July 6
Artists reception: July 24
Special Events and Awards to be announced
by artist Sara Cate
Multiple tour options through a wildflower land in full glory. Co-hosted by the Washington Native Plant Society, this event will cater to all ages, levels of plant knowledge, and walking abilities. Walks will explore the unique flowers on display at different ecological zones: riparian, meadow, a stunning lithosol zone, and along the higher slopes of Cowiche Mountain.
Community Walks are open to all ages. Walkers should wear sturdy shoes and outdoor clothes and come prepared for any weather. Walks typically last 1.5 – 2 hours. Feel free to bring binoculars and cameras. Call (509) 248-5065 with questions or email email@example.com. Directions to all of our trailheads can be found on the Trails Page.
Terri Knoke, of the Washington Native Plant Society, will describe her own personal journey into the world of native plants, especially those of the shrub steppe of the Columbia Basin. She will relate how, at the age of sixty, she fell down the rabbit hole of botany and art and into the wonderland of native plants. The desert parsleys were her downfall, and in tribute to them she will relate stories about ten species of Lomatium that live here on Cowiche Canyon Conservancy lands. How are these plants connected to fish and grapefruits? Come find out at this presentation on the diverse and fascinating genera of native plants.
Terri Knoke is a retired chemical engineer who lives in Burbank, Washington. She was first formally introduced to the study of wildflowers in 1998, attending a 4-day North Cascades Institute wildflower class. In 2014 she was asked to illustrate a new species of Lomatium discovered by her uncle, Don Knoke, and thus started a new passion: botanical art. Terri recently received national recognition as “Best of Show” for a watercolor as part of the University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History in 2017, and is currently part of a travelling nationwide exhibition. As a member of the Washington Native Plant Society she continues to promote wildflowers through her art and volunteer service.
Like in many streams in the Yakima Basin, salmon and steelhead runs in Cowiche Creek disappeared when development blocked fish passage and diverted stream flows. In this talk, Alex Conley, Executive Director of the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board, will describe the partnerships that were built and the projects that have been completed to return salmon and steelhead to Cowiche Creek. It’s a great success story about restoring a creek and continuing to sustain the farms it runs through. He’ll also touch on the restoration work now happening in the watershed, and how climate change may affect streams like Cowiche Creek.
Alex is Executive Director of the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board. He spent his early years wandering the woods and backwaters of New England, and then got lost in Senegal in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer- and later trainer- doing agroforestry work in Wolof villages. He has an undergrad in biology and environmental studies from Williams College and a Masters from the University of Arizona in Renewable Natural Resource Management, where his research work focused on collaborative approaches to managing forest and grazing lands. For the last 16 years he has run small locally-based organizations focused on watershed management and salmon habitat restoration in eastern Oregon and Washington. He is happiest when trying to puzzle out how natural and human history, current land use, and policy come together to shape the landscapes we live in.
Author Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and salmon lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”―including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens―recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier than those without them. Ben’s talk will cover the extraordinary ecology of this influential species; describe how beavers transform landscapes; and detail how these remarkable rodents can help us fight drought, wildfire, biodiversity loss, and climate change.
Ben Goldfarb is an award-winning environmental journalist who covers wildlife management and conservation biology. His work has been featured in Science, Mother Jones, The Guardian, High Country News, Audubon Magazine, and many other publications. He holds a master of environmental management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Ben is the author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, named one of the 50 most notable nonfiction books of 2018 by the Washington Post.