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. 

POLLINATORS: A HERO’S LIFE

A collaboration of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and friends celebrating the work and lives of pollinators in our midst.

POLLINATORS: A HERO’S LIFE
ART EXHIBIT 

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.

The exhibit is currently on display at Essencia Artisan Bakery, 4 N. 3rd Street, Yakima.  Starting, Thursday, March 21, additional artwork will be on display at Gilbert Cellars, 5 N. Front Street, Yakima as part of a Larson Gallery Pop-Up. View the Exhibit Program.

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

POLLINATION APPRECIATION TALK: PLANTING FOR POLLINATORS

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

POLLINATION APPRECIATION TALK: THE BEEKEEPER AND THE BOTANIST

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

POLLINATOR WALK WITH DAVID JAMES

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

POLLINATION APPRECIATION TALK: POLLINATORS: SUPERHEROES OF THE PLANT WORLD

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.

 

HEAR NATURE SING: THE VOICES OF BEES, BUTTERFLIES, AND BEARS

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.

 

IMAGES OF THE SHRUB-STEPPE

An art exhibit juried by Monica Miller, Executive Director of Gallery One Visual Arts Center, featuring artwork inspired by the shrub-steppe lands of Cowiche Canyon Conservancy.  

IMAGES OF THE SHRUB-STEPPE
CALL TO ARTISTS

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

Hikers
by artist Sara Cate

UPCOMING COMMUNITY WALKS

Our Community Walks are family friendly and educational. Get outside and join us! The 2019 schedule is below.

EARTH DAY WALKS

When: Saturday, April 20, 2019, 10am – 12:15pm

Where: Meet at West / Weikel Trailhead of Cowiche Canyon

 

Get outside to celebrate Earth Day weekend! Our annual Earth Day walk, meandering through Cowiche Canyon, offers a series of expert presenters who will help you interpret the wonders of the natural world. Join us, and bring the kids! Presenters include:
  • David James (Associate Professor, WSU-Prosser) on butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Pedro Chavarria (Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Heritage University) on the hidden world of bugs.
  • Hillary Goodner (Geology Instructor, YVC) on the unique geology of Cowiche Canyon.
  • Jerred Seveyka (Biology Instructor, YVC) on birds and bird-spotting.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Meet in the Weikel / West Parking Lot of Cowiche Canyon.
  • Walks leave at 10am.
  • Please bring water and/or snacks.

PEAK WILDFLOWERS – WITH THE WASHINGTON NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY

When: Saturday, May 4, 2019, 10am – 1:00pm

Where: Snow Mountain Ranch

 

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.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Meet in the Snow Mountain Ranch Parking Lot. Walks leave at 10am.
  • Please bring water and/or snacks.

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.

WINTER LECTURE SERIES

Our Winter Lecture Series explores scientific concepts and phenomena related to the shrub steppe.

TERRI KNOKE: “HOW I FELL FOR LOMATIUM AND TEN WAYS YOU CAN TOO”

When: Tuesday, January 15, 7pm

Where: Yakima Valley College

 

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.

ALEX CONLEY: “BRINGING BACK SALMON AND STEELHEAD TO COWICHE CREEK”

When: Tuesday, February 26, 7 pm

Where: Yakima Valley College – Glenn Anthon Hall (Building 4, Room 215)

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.

BEN GOLDFARB: “BEAVERS: THEIR LANDSCAPES, OUR FUTURE”

When: Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm

Where: Yakima Valley College – Deccio Higher Education Center, Building 8, Parker Room

 

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.

COWICHE CANYON ROCKS!

Save the date for 2019!  Sunday, April 28, 2 – 5 pm at the Yakima Area Arboretum

EARTH DAY

Saturday, April 20, 2019

 

Stay tuned for events to come!