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Garrett Brenden teaches kids about the different parts of a beaver during Nature Camp at the Arboretum in Yakima, Wash. on July 2, 2015. The Arboretum will host its Nature Day Camp on Aug. 20-24, 2018. (Yakima Herald-Republic file)

Arboretum extends nature day camp

The Yakima Area Arboretum added an extra week to its Nature Day Camp for kids in 1st through 7th grades.

Various outdoor activities with the theme “Nature in Motion” will offer kids the opportunity to explore nature through science from Aug. 20-24. The weekly camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day and costs $160 per week or $150 per week for Arboretum Fir level members and above. Scholarships are available.

For more information or to register, go to events.r20.constantcontact.com or call the Arboretum at 509-248-7337.

 

WDFW Commission to hear budget proposals

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Thursday through Saturday in Olympia to review budget proposals for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019.

Plans for cuts expected to provide $2.4 million in savings include a proposal to close the Naches fish hatchery and replace at least 85 percent of its hatchery trout production with trout from two west side hatcheries. The department also suggested a 12-15 percent raise in hunting and fishing licenses to help balance its operating budget.

The governor-appointed commission meets in the Capitol Room of Olympia’s Doubletree Hotel and could approve the budget during a 3:45 p.m. session on Friday, according to the online agenda found at wdfw.wa.gov. Members of the public can provide input from 8:45-9:15 a.m. Friday and 8:30-9 a.m. Saturday.

 

BIRD ALERT

Visiting birders from Florida managed to find some pretty good birding last week as they birded several of our area’s hot spots. At Bethel Ridge on the microwave tower road, their highlights included olive-sided flycatcher, Hammond’s flycatcher, violet-green swallow, mountain bluebird, MacGillivray’s warbler and Cassin’s finch.

At Cash Prairie they added a very cooperative sooty grouse that posed in the road, giving them a great photo op. Here they also noted Clark’s nutcracker, mountain chickadee, Lincoln’s sparrow, western tanager and pine siskin. In the Little Rattlesnake they scored with wild turkey, Virginia rail, hairy woodpecker, pacific-slope flycatcher, warbling vireo and cedar waxwing.

Shorebird numbers continue to increase as the southern migration heats up. This week the Sunnyside Wildlife Area at Byron Ponds attracted black-necked stilt, killdeer, least sandpiper, western sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher, Wilson’s snipe, spotted sandpiper and lesser yellowlegs.

Back-necked stilt, killdeer, long-billed dowitchers and a solitary sandpiper were all noted on a small farm pond between Granger and Outlook while at Wenas lake birders noted killdeer, least sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher, Wilson’s snipe, spotted sandpiper, solitary sandpiper and greater yellowlegs.

Please email your sightings to kdturley@embarqmail.com and be sure to like us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/yakimaaudubon/ or visit our website at yakimaaudubon.org/.

Kerry L. Turley

 

ON THE CALENDAR

SATURDAY: The Yakima YMCA is hosting a 5K fun run to benefit its youth programs, starting at 9 a.m. at Sarg Hubbard Park. Registration opens at 8 a.m. with entry fees of $20 for ages 7-13 and $30 for ages 14+. Register at the YMCA or online at YakimaYMCA.org. Call 509-248-1202 for more information.

MONDAY: The Cascadian Camera Club will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at the Alliance Church, 902 South 36th Ave. Please go to the upstairs entrance on the south side of the building and bring five photos illustrating the theme “Bridges” plus 20 others for a total of 25 digital images on disc or thumb drive to share, or just come to enjoy great photography.

 

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike from Narada Falls to Reflection Lake at Mt. Rainier National Park and then on to Paradise for an ice cream cone. The trip can be broken into shorter sections for those not wanting to do the entire loop. Call Lisa at 509-901-2476 or Rudy at 509-248-7304 for meeting time and place.

MONDAY: Yakima Basin Velo has two bike rides to start the week, both at 5:30. The Mellow Monday ride begins at Wide Hollow Elementary School and goes for 20 miles on relatively flat roads at a pace of at least 17 mph, while the more casual Mellow, Mellow Monday ride begins at the Starbucks on Tieton Drive and 72nd Avenue, covering about 18 miles at a pace of 12-15 mph with the assurance no one gets dropped. Check out the routes at yakimabasinvelo.com.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will hike the Naches Peak Loop/Dewey Lake near Chinook Pass, Green Trails Maps 270 and 271, and the Trekkers will hike at Twin Lakes/Lake Lillian near Snoqualmie Pass, Green Trails Map 207. Both groups will depart at 7:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. To join the Free Spirits for an eight-mile hike with 1,200 feet of elevation gain, call Mic Powell at 509-248-1268 or Dean Hata at 509-388-6375, and drivers will need a Northwest Forest Pass or a Senior Pass. To join the Trekkers for a hike of approximately nine miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain, contact Mark Kushner at 509-969-2431. The 13 Essentials are required for both hikes. Keep in mind the Free Spirits hike a little faster, farther and climb a little more elevation than the Pathfinders, but slower, not as far, and not as much elevation gain as the Trekkers.

ALSO TUESDAY: Head to Bearded Monkey Cycling and Fitness for the weekly group road bike ride for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Routes vary weekly and no one will be left behind for this 60-90 minute ride. Call 509-453-6699 for questions and more information.

WEDNESDAY: Join Yakima Basin Velo for the 21-mile Naches Loop Ride from SunTides Golf Course. The ride starts at 6 p.m. and typically splits into groups going 18-plus mph, 14-17 mph and 12-14 mph, then re-groups in Naches at the fuel station. The route is at yakimabasinvelo.com.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16: The Pathfinders will travel to Mt. Rainier National Park to hike 4.5 miles with 800 feet of elevation gain to Emmons Glacier. Bring water, lunch, poles and good hiking boots to handle tricky footing in places. Call Marilyn at 509-945-6965 or Rudy at 509-248-7304 for meeting time and place.