Wenatchee Naturalist

Posted on

A Wonder-filled Invitation

Wenatchee Valley College Continuing Education invites you to embark on a wonder-filled adventure by becoming a Wenatchee Naturalist. The next course starts in September and will be filled with inquisitive valley residents. What exactly will class members do? Here is a short list I’ve developed to whet your whistle and encourage you to sign up soon!

  • While hiking amidst towering Western red cedar trees on the banks of the White River. Look for signs of snowshoe hare and Douglas squirrel while listening to the call of the American dipper.
  • Crane your neck skyward to compare tail patterns and voices of calling common ravens and American crows.
  • On hands and knees, peer down into the tiny world of the biological soil crust.
  • Peel open a sagebrush gall to look for a chamber eaten away during the winter months by a larvae of a gall-forming insect.
  • Twirl bundles of ponderosa pine needles between your fingers and compare them to the softer, shorter sets of 5-needled western white pine bundles.
  • In the lab, cradle a black-capped chickadee in one hand and a mountain chickadee in the other, getting an up-close look at the contrasting black-and-white color patterns on each head.
  • Peer into a microscope as you cut open a 3-chambered ovary to uncover the gleaming green ripening fruits of a lily family plant.
  • Stand on the banks of a rushing river while using a magnifying glass to explore tiny macro-invertebrates that call the river bottom home.
  • Listen to musical call of the song sparrow, singing from dense underbrush along the Entiat River.
  • In the lab, hold both a muskrat and a beaver, comparing fur, feet, and body size.
  • Reduce your innate fear of snakes by peering at 8 different species (inside glass jars), preparing you to identify them in the field.
  • Take delight in sharing a sack lunch with a new friend under the shade of a ponderosa pine.

Over the 12-week course, you’ll make new friends, discover lovely local places you’ll want to visit again, and gain new eyes for the natural wonders of North Central Washington.

This class is designed to inspire a deeper connection to the wonders of our valley and to bring new sources of joy to your everyday life.

Register with the Wenatchee Valley College Continuing Education or continue reading about the program…

While volunteer work is optional after the class, many people are enthusiastically embracing the chance to utilize their new knowledge and skills.

–Wenatchee Naturalist Jane Zanol in the August 2015 issue of The Good Life: “Mother Nature’s Helpers”

ANROSP – Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs

The Wenatchee Naturalist website was awarded the 2016 ANROSP Outstanding Volunteer Project, announced at the September 2016 national conference! 

2016 ANROSP Volunteer Project Wenatchee Naturalist website

Leslie Bigos and Susan Ballinger with the 2016 ANROSP Volunteer Project Award

Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs

Click image to go to ANROSP website.

The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs is a national network of natural resource education and service programs which provides leadership, information, and resources to support the establishment and expansion of its member programs.

ANROSP promotes active stewardship by supporting science-based outreach and service programs in the field of natural resources. Our partnering programs train conservation volunteers to enhance and expand natural resource conservation and education across the nation, and include programs such as:

  • Master Naturalist
  • Certified Citizen Naturalist Volunteer
  • Master Watershed Steward
  • Coverts Programs
  • Master Conservationist
  • and many more programs nationwide!

Click here for the ANROSP Brochure.