Saturday, May 18, 2024

Upcoming Wenatchee River Institute (WRI) events


New Naturalists on the River program this Summer

Join WRI and Leavenworth Outdoor Center for a new program this summer. Become a river naturalist as you paddle down the Icicle and Wenatchee Rivers. These are guided trips that will introduce you to the plants and animals of our diverse river area. You will learn how to be a better observer of nature and be introduced to river safety and navigation. This is a great way to build your naturalist skills and confidence on the river. Learn more and find dates on our website.

Bilingual Mountain Home Ridge Day Hike Saturday, July 8 from 9-1 p.m. Join WRI and Chelan-Douglas Land Trust on a day hike up Mountain Home Ridge. The dramatic views of the Icicle River Valley show the amazing geology and ecology of our region and remind us why this is such an important place to protect. This is a free, bilingual event. Register online.

Birding by the River Wednesday, July 12 from 8-9:30 a.m. Join WRI for Birding by the River happening the second Wednesday of every month. Join us for as many as you can. You'll walk around the WRI campus with knowledgeable WRI staff. All birding experience levels are welcome. Need binoculars? We have loaners.

Red Barn Event: Both Sides of the Fire Line Wednesday, July 19 from 7-8 p.m. Join WRI, A Book for All Seasons, and Wenatchee Pride to welcome retired firefighter and author, Bobbie Scopa. In her memoir, she "shares her life as a man, a woman, and a firefighter. Each chapter of her life, and of this book, can help us to better understand what it means to be transgender." Come listen to her stories.

Wednesday Wenatchee Birding Wednesday, July 26 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Go birding with knowledgeable WRI staff around Walla Walla Point Park and the Horan Natural Area in Wenatchee. All birding skills are welcome. This is a free event and no registration is needed.

Student-led Native Plant Garden at WRI

Earlier this year, WRI began a new program working with the Plant Science class at Cascade High School to design and develop a new native plant garden on the WRI campus. The garden is now finished. If you walk the trails near the Red Barn, you can't miss it. The group of 11th and 12th grade students helped clear the beds, spread mulch, put up the fence, and planted their chosen native plants. There are about 9 different plant species and 40 plants in the garden. Throughout these last few months, the students learned about plant biodiversity, native plants, how to perform site evaluations, and which plants may grow better together. The garden also helps students gain community service hours to place towards graduation, college applications, and more. The garden also has drip irrigation to support the growth of the young plants throughout the summer. This program is possible because of the grant from Washington Native Plant Society. With the grant, multi-lingual native plant signs will also be created. Cascadia Conservation District also helped with their expertise and supplies.

E. Lorene Young House Ownership

Earlier this year, Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) deeded ownership of the E. Lorene Young House along with the property it sits on (including the space where the E. Lorene Young Community Garden is located) to WRI. This is exciting news with the WRI campus now measuring at 13 acres; previously at 9 acres.

E. Lorene Young was the first woman mayor of Leavenworth. When she died in 2007 at 94 years old, she donated her home and property to CDLT to be used as a nature center for environmental education. In 2008, CDLT agreed to steward the property to fulfill her final request. She hoped that her space would be used to promote conservation, connect people with nature, and teach about the environment.

Today, her legacy lives onSince 2008, WRI has managed the property and continues to incorporate her values into the space that she loved. Her land is being preserved and helps with environmental education not only for participants of WRI's programs, but also for Mountain Sprouts Children's Community. The house is also used to house education staff and program presenters. Now that WRI officially owns the property, WRI is looking for next steps to help promote E. Lorene Young's wishes. We are working on the vision for the future of this property in the next strategic plan. Do you have ideas for the space? Feel free to email them to



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