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Wenatchee Naturalist: Learn about local plants, animals and ecosystem

By on August 29, 2017 in Events with 0 Comments

Registration is underway for the 12-week fall Wenatchee Naturalist Course at Wenatchee Valley College Continuing Education Program.

Susan Ballinger is the designer and instructor of Wenatchee Naturalist learning community, a partnership program of the college with Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.

During the fall course, participants explore habitats along local rivers and learn about the animals and plants and their roles in local ecosystem. The course also has a much deeper purpose. “The mission is to cultivate awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the Wenatchee River region by developing an active corps of well-informed community volunteers,” Susan said.

The course is designed for curious adults who enjoy learning about the natural world, but have limited formal science training.  Participants take the class to expand their knowledge about the Wenatchee River watershed’s plants, animals, habitats, landforms and key conservation issues.

“The field trips are the centerpiece for the course,” Susan said. “I delight in taking people to the special places along the White, Entiat, Icicle and Wenatchee rivers.”

Students will learn through hands-on experience by using study collections, microscopes and field guides, and by listening to experts who visit the classroom and accompany the group on field trips.

Susan introduces field note taking and drawing techniques that students can continue to practice once the course is completed, and they are introduced to the work of 12 local conservation organizations. The Wenatchee Naturalist website provides resources and links for continued learning during and after the course.  Students receive a field journal, loaner library box and hand lens.

Susan hopes that those who participate in the Wenatchee Naturalist course “will find new communities where they can make a difference as a volunteer in support of local conservation.” For further information, Contact: Susan Ballinger at  skylinebal@gmail.com  or by calling 669-7820.

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