Thursday, November 29, 2012

2013 Picture the Wenatchee Watershed Stewardship Calendar

The 2013 Picture the Wenatchee watershed stewardship calendar is almost here!

If you haven’t already heard, the Picture the Wenatchee watershed stewardship campaign has put together a 2013 calendar featuring winning photos from the annual photo contest as well as watershed stewardship tips and resources.  The photos, categorized as landscape, water, plant, wildlife, recreation, or agriculture, act like a “best of the Wenatchee watershed – 2012.” With stunning views of Saddle Rock, Lake Minotaur, Eightmile Creek and more, this calendar will have every outdoor enthusiast smiling and in awe of the beauty found right here in our own back yard.  To view the wining photos featured in this year’s calendar visit
 or click here.

Drew Gaylord - Mission Peak Snowshoe
This $7 calendar makes a wonderful, inexpensive stocking stuffer and will be available for purchase mid-December. You can pre-order by calling our office at (509) 664-9370.

Photographers: Get out there now and start taking pictures for next year’s Picture the Wenatchee photo contest and maybe you’ll make it into the 2014 calendar! The contest is open to anyone and everyone who has an appreciation for the Wenatchee River watershed. Stay tuned for contest details to be released in April 2013!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Success in Entiat

While some people understand “success” to mean something resembling:  an endeavor resulting in a positive outcome. This implies that, once accomplished, a successful endeavor is ended. This is certainly an understandable assumption to arrive at and in many cases is true. However, in Entiat, WA, success seems to be ongoing. A town that has moved twice, dealt with ravaging wildfires, flooding and many other obstacles has learned that constant improvement and proactive thinking are vital elements of success .
Last week, the Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship (IRIS), chose to host the North Central Washington Success Summit “Entiat Rocks” at Entiat High School. From the start of the day one thing became immediately apparent - the Entiatians in attendance were proud of their history and happy to showcase their success.  Students from the high school presented a history of the Entiat Valley that included a huge timeline covering an entire wall in the gymnasium.  Lunch was provided by Mom’s Kitchen, a local Mexican restaurant in Entiat.  “Mom” and her daughter got on stage to talk about their restaurant and its success, but didn’t say too much. Their cooking spoke for itself. Peter Ringsrud from Snowdrift Cider was one of the few speakers at the Summit who was not either an Entiat resident or someone working in the Entiat Valley. He spoke about the success of his East Wenatchee hard cider making business and credited some of that success to the innovative idea of growing varieties of cider apples that aren’t usually grown in our region.
Although there were many success related themes floating around the gym during the summit: communication, collaboration, “quiet volunteerism.”   When I look at Entiat, the word I find best describes their success is diligence. With each victory, a new challenge is identified and embarked upon and thus success is not a project that has gone well and has now ended. Success is the continuation of that. This hard-working community constantly works towards new goals, and strives to make things better.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tyee Tour

Upper inlet breach at Tyee Ranck
Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first board meeting since starting here at Cascadia Conservation District.  It was a good experience to meet some of the board members and others who are involved with the conservation district at a different level then me and the rest of the staff. I found it especially interesting to not only hear about how things are going with some of the projects we are currently involved in but also some proposed projects for future work. Board meetings are open to the public and every meeting allots time to hear public comments. This is not only an opportunity to voice any questions or concerns you have but also an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the  projects we are involved in. The next board meeting will be held on December 13th at 3:30pm at 215 Melody Ln. Wenatchee. 

Northernmost log habit structures at Tyee Ranch
Following the board Meeting I tagged along for a tour of some of the Entiat projects Cascadia Conservation District has been working on.  The tour focused on some of the recently installed Fish Habitat structures that are part of the massive Entiat restoration project. Kurt Hosman, one of Cascadia’s Project Coordinators, led the tour and did a great job explaining the purpose of these structures and also provided valuable insight into the construction and sustainability of these structures. We had discussed some of these structures during the meeting but trudging through the mud to see them with my own eyes provided me with a far better understanding of how they will provide juvenile salmon with a safe place to hide until they get big enough to head downstream.
If you’d like to see some of the Entiat projects yourself, contact Susan Dretke at or (509) 664-9348.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The New Kids in the Creek Website

Students collecting macroinvertebrates at the "Invert Investigator" station

Kids in the Creek, a hands-on outdoor education program, has launched a website intended to be a resource for anyone interested in this valuable program. The website is broken down into sections: Teachers, Activity Leaders, Students, Volunteers, and Adults in the Creek.  Each of these stations provides appropriate levels of information and materials to interested website viewers. Students can go online and find out what they will learn at each station as well as what they need to bring with them.  At the same time, teachers, are able to use the website as a resource for important information such as student worksheets, planning sheets, an application to attend and more.

Measuring stream width at the "What's in that H20? (Quantity)" Station

There are six stations at Kids in the Creek that students attend; Invert Investigator, Riparian Rx, Habitat Sense, What’s in that H20 (Quality), What’s in that H20 (Quantity), Fish Health, and Watershed Wonders.  On the website, each of these stations has their own section of images found on the gallery page and their own resource specialist training videos (found on the activity leader’s pages). These videos, along with the rest of the KITC curriculum/materials allow anyone to not only gain valuable knowledge on how to prepare for and attend Kids in the Creek, but how to implement the lessons on their own!

Learn more by visiting the new Kids in the Creek website.
Make sure to visit the Kids in the Creek face book page to Like!

“To connect students with aquatic and riparian ecosystems for an understanding of watersheds and the critical role of human land management activities.” – Kids in the Creek Mission Statement.