Outings & Events

What’s going on!

There are many ways to experience Shrub-Steppe.

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. 


A collaboration of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, and friends celebrating nature as a storyteller, through which we learn about the science and myths of the natural world and our connections within it


Call to artists!


From the rugged Garry Oak tree to the fragile threads of a spider’s web, nature is full of stories that reveal our intimate connection to the natural world.


We are seeking artwork that celebrates nature as a storyteller.  Download entry form here.


Submissions are due November 15, 2019.

The art exhibit will be on display January – March 2020 at Essencia Artisan Bakery.


Email info@cowichecanyon.org with questions.

19-20 Nature's Storytellers Poster Spider Web
19-20 Nature's Storytellers Poster Raven
19-20 Nature's Storytellers Poster Garry Oak -Photo by David Hagen- 16-Garry Oak Garry Oak Trail Snow Mtn Ranch_DH27642_edited-2


Are you one of nature’s storytellers? Do you have a story to tell about the land, water, or wildlife around you? Share your words with the community!


We’re looking for original writing about or involving nature, especially the nature that lives and breathes in our special place on this earth, in Central Washington. Stories can involve nature as a character, a narrator, a hero, a villain, a trickster, or something totally different. It’s up to you!


We’re seeking submissions in prose and poetry, from adults and youths. Submissions are due by Sunday, January 12, 2020.


We will announce first and second place prizes for every category. Prize winners will take home gift certificates to Yakima area businesses. Winners will also be invited to read their works at a special live reading event on Wednesday, February 19.


Winners will be selected by a panel of judges from the Yakima Coffeehouse Poets and the Board of Cowiche Canyon Conservancy.


See the full Writing Contest Submission Guidelines here.

fox sill image
dragonfly sill
Raven sil


Our Community Walks are family friendly and educational. Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming walks in 2019.

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 info@cowichecanyon.org. Directions to all of our trailheads can be found on the Trails Page.


Our Winter Lecture Series explores scientific concepts and phenomena related to the shrub-steppe. Stay tuned for announcements about our 2020 lecture series.


Wednesday, January 8, 7pm 

Yakima Valley College – Kendall Hall

Join local legend Nick Zentner for a talk honoring the 40th anniversary of the eruption of St Helens. Zentner will also go into depth on other Cascade eruptions that we know about, even cinder cone eruptions when the Cascades were deep in the Ice Age.


About Nick Zentner

Nick has been with CWU Geology since 1992. He teaches a popular “GEOL 101 – Geology of Washington” course to CWU students every Fall Quarter and Winter Quarter – and his course is open to townspeople for free! He also teaches “GEOL 351 – Pacific Northwest Geology” every spring. Nick’s outreach to the public includes a popular Ellensburg evening lecture series “Downtown Geology Lectures“, a PBS TV series “Nick On The Rocks“, and he leads the Ellensburg Chapter of the Ice Age Flood Institute. In 2015, Nick received the prestigious James Shea Award, a national award recognizing exceptional delivery of Earth Science content to the general public. Past Shea Award recipients include John McPhee, Jack Horner, Robert Ballard, and Stephen Jay Gould.