Outings & Events

What’s going on!

There are many ways to experience Shrub-Steppe.

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy creates a variety of opportunities for all ages to connect with the shrub-steppe. We work with  partners including other non-profit organizations, schools, and local, state, and federal agencies to engage the community with our work and build support for local conservation. 

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Community events – live and virtual – aim to help our community engage

with our shrub-steppe in educational and inspiring ways. 

INTRO TO TRAIL TALKS FIELD TRIPS TRAINING

What: Intro to Trail Talks Field Trip Training – Spring 2024

When: Wednesday, March 13, 5pm to 6:30pm

Where: Cowiche Canyon Conservancy office (302 N 3rd St #201, Yakima, WA 98901)

 

For those interested in Outdoor Education in Yakima Valley, you’re invited to volunteer for Trail Talks, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy’s interactive outdoor field trip program! This training will cover the basics of the program — what it is, how it works, why it’s meaningful, and how you can get involved. There will be an informal meetup after the training, at Single Hill Brewing, for anyone interested in continuing the conversation.

 

We rely on community volunteers to help us run Nature Walks and Learning Stations. We hope you can join us!

 

Register here for the training.

 

*For more information about the field trip program, please go here.

 

*If you have questions or want more information about the training, please feel free to email our Education & Community Outreach Coordinator (eco@cowichecanyon.org). Thank you!

OUTDOOR TRAININGS FOR TRAIL TALKS FIELD TRIPS

What: Outdoor Trainings for Trail Talks Field Trip Program – Spring 2024

When: Saturday, March 16 OR Saturday, March 23, 10am to 1pm

Where: Snow Mountain Ranch trailhead

 

More info and Register for Outdoor Training #1 — March 16 — here.

More info and Register for Outdoor Training #2 — March 23 — here.

 

This training is for those who KNOW they want to be involved in Cowiche Canyon Conservancy’s Trail Talks field trip program and want to get a better sense of program logistics, volunteer expectations, and engagement options.

This training will cover:

• The flow and route of field trips at Snow Mountain Ranch

• Tips on how to be an effective Nature Walk co-guide and guide

• Details of learning stations – science concepts covered, and how to run an engaging station for different age groups (should this be a challenge you want to take on!)

 

*If you have any questions about the program or the trainings, please contact our Education and Community Outreach Coordinator (eco@cowichecanyon.org)

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY WALKS

Our guided Community Walks are a great way for families to engage with the shrub-steppe, learn about plants and other wildlife, and become more comfortable with CCC trails. 

GET TO KNOW A TRAIL: KONNOWAC PASS RIDGE (EN ESPAÑOL TAMBIEN)

SOLD OUT! SORRY

 

What: Get to Know a Trail: Konnowac Pass Ridge (también en español)

When: Saturday, March 9, 10am to 12pm

Where: Konnowac Pass trailhead (2159-2101 Konnowac Pass Rd Wapato, WA 98951)

 

Register here

 

A great introduction to trails at Konnowac Pass! This guided community walk will be strenous and have great views of the Yakima Valley. We will start by walking up Two Trees and then taking a moment to enjoy the view from the top of Konnowac ridge before coming back down on the service road.

Distance: ~4 mi

Grade: Steep (~500 feet elevation gain)

*Please bring water, sturdy shoes, and clothes for variable weather. Pets are welcome if both pets and owners follow trail rules.

 

 

Conocer un Sendero: La Cresta de Konnowac Pass

Que: Cresta de Konnowac Pass

Cuándo: Sábado, 9 de marzo, 10am a 12pm

Dónde: Principio del Camino de Konnowac Pass, Konnowac Pass Rd.

 

Regístrese aquí

 

Una gran introducción a caminos del Konnowac Pass! Este paseo por la communidad será ardua y con grandes vistas. Vamos a empezar a caminar en Two Trees, luego tomamos un tiempo para disfrutar el mirador encima del cerro antes de bajar por el camino de servicio.

Distancia: ~4 mi

Cuesta: Empinada (~500 ft ganar en elevación)

*Por favor llevar aqua, zapatos fuertes, y ropa para variabilidad en el clima. Mascotas son bienvenidas SI dueños y mascotas siguen las reglas de senderos.

 

 

 

STARGAZING WITH YAKIMA VALLEY ASTRONOMY CLUB

What: Stargazing with Yakima Valley Astronomy Club

When: Monday, March 11, 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Where: Snow Mountain Ranch

 

Register here

Join us near a new moon (and dark skies) to learn about the planets and stars of our galaxy and beyond. Our guides, Zach Schierl and Sam Knox (with the Yakima Valley Astronomy Club), will help orientate us to telescopes and help us learn about stars, planets, and more.

*To help ensure a quality experience, there are limited spaces at this event. Please register to save your space.

*This event depends on clear skies! If this event needs to be postponed due to cloud cover, we will let those registered know within 24 hours of the event. The backup date for this event is Friday, March 15, 7:30p.

GET TO KNOW A TRAIL: TRAILBREAKER SUNSET

What: Get to Know a Trail: Trailbreaker Sunset

When: Thursday, March 28, 5:00pm to 6:30p

Where: Scenic/Uplands trailhead of Cowiche Canyon (8905 Scenic Dr, Yakima, WA 98908)

Register here

 

Join us for a guided community walk exploring Trailbreaker and part of the South Rim Trail. We will walk on the South Rim Trail to the Cowiche Canyon Overlook, before coming back along trailbreaker and the jeep road while witnessing a beautiful Uplands sunset.

Distance: ~3 mi

Grade: slight uphill, rocky

*Please bring water, sturdy shoes, and clothes for variable weather. Pets are welcome if both pets and owners follow the trail rules.

 

 

Que: Puesta del Sol en Trailbreaker

Cuándo: Jueves, 28 de marzo, 5pm a 6:30pm

Dónde: Cowiche Canyon Uplands/Scenic Trailhead (8905 Scenic Dr., Yakima, Wa, 98908)

Regístrese Aquí

 

Acompáñanos por un paseo guiado para explorar Trailbreaker y una parte del South Rim Trail. Empezamos en el South Rim Trail hasta el mirador de Cowiche Canyon. Entonces, regresamos por Trailbreaker y el Jeep Road durante una puesta del sol linda en los Uplands.

Distancia: ~3 mi

Cuesta: arriba suave, rocoso

*Por favor llevar aqua, zapatos fuertes, y ropa para variabilidad en el clima. Mascotas son bienvenidas SI dueños y mascotas siguen las reglas de senderos.

WINTER TALK SERIES

Winter Talks are hosted in collaboration with Yakima Valley College. Talks explore biology relevant to protecting, restoring, and living in our shrub-steppe ecosystem.  Watch for announcements about 2024 talks.  Recordings of past talks can be found here.

ELK, THEN AND NOW

What: “Elk, Then and Now: The History of Elk in Yakima County and Perspectives on Current Management” by Greg Mackey

When: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 7pm  POSTPONED (DATE TBD)

Where: Live at Yakima Valley College Conference Center (1704 W Nob Hill Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902). This event will also be livestreamed on Yakima Valley College’s YouTube channel.

 

Elk were nearly extirpated from the Northwest. Successful reintroductions have created new conflicts of interest with humans. Wildlife Manager Greg Mackey will describe elk’s natural history in our area, their unique behavior and physiology, and the management challenges created by such a powerful, mobile, and social animal.

 

About Greg Mackey

Greg Mackey is a Yakima Valley native. He received an Associate degree from Yakima Valley College and a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Washington State University. Greg worked in the timber industry before moving to government management with the Department of Natural Resources. Since 2017, Greg has served as the Oak Creek Area Wildlife Manager for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

 

 

 

THE ROOTS OF RESTORATION

What: “The Roots of Restoration: Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions in Native Plant Restoration,” by Tanya Cheeke

When: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 7pm

Where: Live at Yakima Valley College Conference Center (1704 W Nob Hill Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902). This event will also be livestreamed on Yakima Valley College’s YouTube channel.

 

Native plants can be difficult to reestablish in disturbed landscapes. What role do soil microbes, such as mycorrhizal fungi, play in the success of restoration efforts? How well and where do soil inoculations work? Dr. Tanya Cheeke will present how her research is seeking to answer these questions to inform restoration efforts in the Northwest and beyond.

 

About Tanya Cheeke

Tanya Cheeke is an Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University. Her research is focused on the ecology and evolution of plant-microbial interactions, particularly within the context of environmental change (e.g. disturbance, invasions, climate).

 

 

TRAIL CLOSURES (2/26/24):