Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring with Cascadia Conservation


Spring is in the air! Everyone is getting ready to begin their spring planting as this warmer weather looks like it is here to stay. To celebrate the coming spring we have our Native Plant Sale going on here at Cascadia. Along with our plant sale we hosted our 8th annual Native Planting 101 Workshop on Saturday February 24th at the Wenatchee Valley College.
                This workshop features local experts that present on the benefits and the importance of incorporating native plants into landscapes, restoration projects, pollinator gardens, and yardscaping. This year we reached our capacity with 45 participants. We received donations of cookies from Sure to Rise Bakery in Cashmere, coffee from Starbucks, and apple slices from Crunch Pak in Cashmere. Thanks to the support of these amazing local businesses we were able to offer some delicious refreshments to all in attendance, making it a little easier to stay inside on a sunny Saturday afternoon. During our workshop I had the opportunity to speak with many people who were looking for ways to make their properties more firewise. It was inspiring to see so many people who care not only about their properties but about their communities and environment.
                Following the Native Planting Workshop I helped with our after school urban agriculture program. For one of the final lessons with this group of 26 fourth graders, we went to the Wenatchee Valley College greenhouse to plant some starts for salsa container gardens they will take home in the spring. The kids had so much fun exploring the greenhouse and planting their tomatoes, peppers, and onions. After planting our seeds, we got to investigate some different invertebrates, hydroponics, and vermicomposting. One student, Gabe, was inspired by the worms from the vermicomposting project. At first he didn’t want to even touch a worm, the idea of getting close to them made him squeal. After we talked about the importance of worms (and that they don’t have teeth) Gabe ended up spending 15 minutes investigating the worms and was proudly holding more than 50 red wigglers by the end, showing them off to his classmates with pride and informing them on his recently learned worm facts.
                Being a part of a team involved in so many amazing programs that help educate and inspire people of all ages is what I hope to be doing every day. Joining Americorps and serving with Cascadia Conservation has been such an honor. Every week I encounter a new challenge and meet new people who care about their communities and the environment. I consider myself extremely fortunate because of this opportunity.
I would like to thank Crunch Pak, Starbucks, Sure to Rise Bakery, our Native Planting 101 presenters: Bob Gillespie, Julie Sanderson, Ted Alway, and Connie Mehmel, and all of our volunteers that have been crucial to the continued success of these programs. The support, whether it is the time put in by our amazing volunteers or the donation of goods by local businesses, shows just how much the people and businesses care about our community, the environment, and one another. 
If you are interested in getting involved with Cascadia Conservation District as a volunteer, send me an email, americorps@cascadiacd.org or call our office at 509-436-1601. You can also go to our website and sign up to be a part of our volunteer team. Follow the link below:

http://cascadiacd.org/volunteers_227.html

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