Monday, October 29, 2012

Recent Volunteer Projects

AmeriCorps members pack down soil and perform a raindance.

Pollinator Garden

Located in the front of our office building, the pollinator garden was installed in the spring of 2012.  The garden was spearheaded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Cascadia Conservation District, but every organization in the building donated funds and/or labor so it's been a great collaborative project! 
The purpose of the garden is to inform visitors about pollinators- specifically native bees- that are responsible for a significant amount of the pollination of everything from native ecosystems to agricultural crops, and to demonstrate how we all can do our part to provide healthy habitat for pollinators on our own properties.
This weekend I was able to get out there and do some work! In addition to seeding (which required the ground to be prepped/raked, then seeded, and then gently packed down again) we also planted a few remaining plants in the southwest corner of the garden. It was a great opportunity for me to learn firsthand about pollinators while helping out!

WHS students work in teams to remove browse guards

Riparian Restoration Project

A few weeks ago we organized a volunteer event with some of the 9th grade Wenatchee High School students. Students helped in the removal and storage of browse guards and bamboo stakes from a riparian planting project we implemented along the Entiat River in the fall, 2011.  Throughout the day we were able to discuss the importance of native plants, identify invasive species, as well as discuss simple eco-friendly practices that students (or anyone else) can follow at home, at work, or in the car. 
We’d like to thank all of the students, teachers, chaperones, and volunteer group leaders from Wenatchee High School, Cascadia Conservation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and AmeriCorps who were able to come out and make our project a huge success.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fire Rehab Efforts

Smoke from the Canyon's Fire fills the
air on Saturday, Septermber 8
The Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, local counties, cities, and various communities are working together to assess fire damage in an attempt to prevent potential flooding and debris runoff from specific burned areas. In areas that were exposed to intense heat, the soil does not absorb as much rain water as lightly burned or healthy areas. This causes water which would normally infiltrate into the soil to bead-up and run off in increased volumes.  This increase in runoff can be especially dangerous downhill in the form of increased flood flows and sediment which will flow into streams, rivers, and storm drains.  This increase in water volume and sediment can clog culverts, effect fish health, and even flood roads.  The good news is that it’s possible to reduce the impacts of these potential threats with proper planning.
An "After the Fires" workshop will be held Thursday October 25th from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Wenatchee Convention Center, Gala Room. This workshop is a collaborative effort and is geared toward residents who live within or own property within the burned areas near Wenatchee and Cashmere as well as residents and landowners who might be affected by runoff from those burned areas.
Resources will be added to this site for your reference:
For Entiat and Chelan area residents:
A second "After the Fires" workshop will be held Thursday, November 1st from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Entiat Grange Hall (14108 Kinzel St, Entiat, WA). This will be the only meeting in the immediate area this fall that will address these issues.

Direct questions to Ray Faini at WSU Chelan County Extension:
Some of you may also be interested in this article, released by Wenatchee Outdoors, dealing with the history and future of wildfires in the Wenatchee valley: "Taming Fire with Fire"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Storm Drain Awareness

Our friends at Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group have been working on implementing a storm drain marking program in our area.  Storm drain marking is a way of raising awareness about the effects pollutants can have on our waterways.  Most storm drains drain into rivers and streams.  Here in Wenatchee those storm drains run directly into the Columbia River. It isn’t hard to understand why keeping our rivers clean is important to the environment, but it can be easy to overlook the fact that roads, parking lots, roofs, lawns and farms are all part of the same watershed and therefore affect those rivers.  Contaminated storm water creates hazardous situations for all life using an affected waterway.  Not only Salmon and other marine life are affected.  Humans use the rivers too, and polluted waters can make recreation areas and drinking waters very dangerous. 
You can find out a lot of information on how to prevent water pollution on our Picture the Wenatchee website:  It is important for us to remember that regardless of where we are or what we are doing, we are a part of a watershed and our actions will affect that watershed.  If you’d like to find out more about the storm drain marking project or would like to volunteer, contact Sean Koester at

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Photos are In!!!

 Kim George - Autumn Serenity

The Picture the Wenatchee Photo Contest has ended and all qualifying submissions will be displayed by category at local businesses throughout the Wenatchee valley area. We received over 170 entries from 32 different photographers. Each photo was entered into one of six categories (recreation, water, wildlife, agriculture, plants, and landscape).  Two photos from each of these categories will be displayed in our 2013 Wenatchee watershed stewardship calendar.  The twelve photos selected for the calendar will be judged by a panel of local photo experts and three will be awarded “Best in Show.” We would like to thank all of the photographers who have shown their support to the Wenatchee River watershed by taking the time to participate in this competition.  We would also like to thank the businesses listed below for allowing us to use their space as a gallery for display of the photos. You can view the contestant’s photos by visiting these local businesses from October 8-19, 2012. Each of these businesses will be displaying one category so be sure to stop by all six to see every photo!

Marcia Fall - What a Grape View
Leavenworth Mountain Sports
220 US Highway 2, Leavenworth
Open Daily 10 am – 6 pm
Icicle Brewing Company
935 Front Street, Leavenworth
Sunday-Thursday noon – close
Friday-Saturday noon-11pm  

 Der Man Shoppe
220 9th St. #E, Leavenworth
Thursday-Monday 11am-5pm

Judy Meyer - Cutest Apple in the Bunch
Lemongrass Natural Foods
1052 Springwater, Wenatchee
Open Daily 9 am – 6 pm

Mountain Springs Lodge
19115 Chiwawa Loop Rd, Plain
Open Daily 9 am – 6 pm
Anjou Bakery
3898 Old Monitor Road, Cashmere
Open Thursday—Monday
7 am – 5 pm