Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Picture the Wenatchee photo contest ending soon...

Despite smoky conditions in Leavenworth there were still plenty of attendees at the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival this weekend. I was impressed with the amount and quality of the educational events featured at this year’s Salmonfest. I was able to check out some of the other activities and discovered that before this weekend I knew next to nothing about salmon. Did you know that millions of years ago salmon where ten feet long, had fangs, and weighed over 500 lbs!?
"Horseshoe Lake" Guy Crilly

While demonstrating healthy watersheds at Rolling Rivers I was reminded that our Picture the Wenatchee photo contest is ending soon!  If you didn’t already know, Picture the Wenatchee is our watershed stewardship campaign that promotes healthy rivers and streams. By pledging your support you can receive a free watershed care package! Of course the real prize will be the healthy rivers and streams you’ll be a part of creating. The photo contest will end on October 1st so if you’ve been meaning to submit those great photos you’ve taken, now is the time! We are still accepting entries in all categories but are especially in need of “Agriculture” photos. To submit your photos, check out previous winners, or read up on contest rules, visit
Your friend in conservastion conversation,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weekend Fun!

Working on last years Rolling Rivers model
The 22nd annual Wenatchee River Salmon Festival will begin this weekend on Saturday at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery.  This natural resource education event is held each fall to celebrate the return of the salmon to the Wenatchee River. Saturday and Sunday will provide the public with the opportunity to come celebrate and learn about salmon and their significance to the region. We’ll be there with the Rolling Rivers watershed display. This giant sand box allows students to observe the effects that small changes to a river can have on the entire watershed system.  For more information about “SalmonFest” Check out their website at
Having fun playing in the sand!
This will be my first Salmon Festival experience and I’m excited. I keep hearing about what a great event it is and how much everyone enjoys it.  This event will be especially interesting for me because so many of the activities highlight some of the Pacific Northwest’s attributes. I’m really looking forward to seeing the local artists’ sidewalk chalk art.  With music, food, “edutainment”, and more it seems like Salmon Fest has something for everyone and I can’t wait!  Hope to see you there!

Your friend in conservation conversation,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome to Washington

 photo by Mike Cushman
Hi, my name is Jon and I’m the new AmeriCorps volunteer working at the Cascadia Conservation District. Most of you are probably already aware that Cascadia’s past AmeriCorps volunteers have been responsible for keeping you updated on what’s happening here via this blog. However, some of you may not know what exactly AmeriCorps is and what their role with Cascadia Conservation District and the rest of the community is. So before I tell you who I am I’d like to briefly explain AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps is a national service program similar to the Peace Corps that allows people to serve communities in a variety of areas including education, environmental restoration, human needs, and many others. Unlike the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps members serve in communities here in the U.S. There are about 85,000 AmeriCorps volunteers working all over the country and this year I’m one of them. Cascadia Conservation District has partnered with AmeriCorps since 2008 and has used their volunteers for a variety of tasks and projects including this blog.
So who am I? I’m a recent graduate from the University of Montevallo, a small public college located near Birmingham Alabama, with a love for the outdoors. At Montevallo, I studied Fine Art, specifically drawing and painting, and Art History. You’re probably scratching your head wondering, “Why is an Artist from the other side of the country working for a conservation district here in Washington?” I first visited Washington when I traveled across the country with my brother on his move from Ohio to Seattle. Since that initial visit nearly 3 years ago I have made three or four trips out here to visit, each one of those including numerous day and weekend camping and hiking excursions across the state. After my last visit I made the decision to join my brother and move out west. I ran across Cascadia Conservation District’s AmeriCorps position on the web and knew that I wanted to serve not only people but the environment.
 photo by Mike Cushman
There are some big differences between Alabama and Washington. The most prevalent of those differences in my mind has to do with the lightning fires that started this past Saturday. Alabama does not see natural fires in the same scope or scale that other states, including this one, do. Before Sunday morning the biggest fire I’d ever seen was probably just a large bonfire. When I first saw the brush burning on the hills west of my apartment, a strange ominous feeling came over me. It was and is a new experience for me and I still am not used to looking up and seeing such a large amount of smoke drifting over my head.  For me the fires are somewhat scary but at the same time they excite me. They are a symbol of the new situations and experiences I’ll discover in my upcoming year here. 

The NRCS has already developed re-seeding information specifically for residents in the area. This information includes a native seed mix, a tree & shrub planting mix, and seeding operations. We’ll have a copy of this posted on our facebook page for anyone who’d like to view it.
I hope I’ve been able to introduce myself to you a little bit and I’d like to encourage anyone who’s interested in the blog to post their comments and questions here or on our facebook. I’ve only been here at Cascadia Conservation District for a few days but as I start to understand more and more about what we do, I am becoming more and more excited! I know that I will learn a lot this year and hopefully I’ll be able to help out as much as possible. 
Your friend in conservation conversation,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Help Capture the Beauty of the Wenatchee River Watershed

From the ridge tops to the valley bottom, the Wenatchee River watershed provides residents and visitors alike, with a spectacular place to live, work, and play. 

In celebration of everything the watershed provides, the Cascadia Conservation District is sponsoring a Wenatchee River watershed photo contest.  Anyone age 13 and up who shares our appreciation for the watershed is invited to participate.

From now until October 1 entries are being accepted from interested members of the public for six categories including plants, wildlife, agriculture, recreation, landscapes and water. 

All entries will be exhibited by category at participating local businesses in the watershed during the fall.  A panel of local judges selected for their commitment to the watershed will choose two winners from each category for inclusion in a 2013 Wenatchee River watershed stewardship calendar.

Help capture the beauty of the watershed and participate by sharing your photos. For complete contest rules, a map of the watershed, and an entry form visit or call our office at (509) 664-9370.