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Yakima Herald-Republic file

Yakima Mile expected to draw elite runners

The inaugural Downtown Yakima Mile to benefit the Yakima School District will be held Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Runners of all ages and abilities from tiny tots to elite athletes will run 11 heats along a 14-block gradual downhill stretch of Yakima Avenue beginning east of 16th Avenue, with more than $25,000 in prizes available for elite runners. Adults can run for $25 and those under 18 can run for free. For more information and to register, go to yakimamile.com.

BIRD ALERT

If you haven’t done so yet, this is a great time of year to bird the Vredenburgh Bluebird Trail, which consists of 132 nest boxes along a 14-mile stretch of North Wenas Road between Audubon Road and Durr Road. The trail is best known for its bluebirds but is also a great place to see a wide variety of birds. A morning spent birding the trail this week turned up 25 species including mourning dove, rufous hummingbird, turkey vulture, Lewis’s woodpecker, American kestrel, dusky flycatcher, western kingbird, eastern kingbird, barn swallow, white-breasted nuthatch, house wren, western bluebird, Townsend’s solitaire, Cassin’s finch, red crossbill, pine siskin, chipping sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, spotted towhee, western meadowlark, Bullock’s oriole, brown-headed cowbird, Brewer’s blackbird and black-headed grosbeak. Birders at the nearby Wenas Campground — an area of open ponderosa pine forest, creekside black cottonwood trees and shrubs, and brushy hillsides — also noted some interesting birds with Vaux’s swift, rufous hummingbird, Cooper’s hawk, red-naped sapsucker, hairy woodpecker, western wood-pewee, olive-sided, gray, and pacific-slope flycatcher, Cassin’s and warbling vireo, violet-green swallow, mountain chickadee, red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatch, veery, Cassin’s finch, pine siskin, chipping sparrow, Nashville and MacGillivray’s warbler, yellow-rumped, yellow and Wilson’s warbler and western tanager, all being observed.

ON THE CALENDAR

SATURDAY: The Cowiche Canyon Conservancy will host Walk and Write for Adults II, a free event at Snow Mountain Ranch from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. featuring a morning of walking followed by a writing exercise. Go to the CCC’s Facebook page for more information.

SUNDAY: Ellensburg Morning Rotary will host the first annual Race for the Hippo 6K to raise money for “Hippo Rollers,” which strives to help families in under developed regions transport clean/safe water to their homes. The race begins at 8;30 a.m. at Rotary Park and costs $25 for adults or $15 for students/youth. Go to ellensburgmorningrotary.com for more information.

GETTING OUTDOORS

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will go on a hike through the Snoqualmie Tunnel, beginning at the Hyak Trailhead. From there, walk about one-third of a mile to the East entrance and then go another two miles to the West entrance picnic area for a total of 400 feet of elevation gain on the round trip. Hikers could also go an extra mile to the snow shed, adding 160 feet of elevation gain. Drivers need a Discover Pass and hikers must have a flashlight with spare batteries. Call Bob at 509-457-2014 for the latest information.

ALSO THURSDAY: Join the Cascadians for a bike ride along Teanaway Road, in the rain shadow of the Cascades featuring spring greens and wildflowers, with departure at 8:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. The ride is 26 miles with an option for a six-mile extension on the Middle Fork road and the recently paved North Fork Teanaway Road is east to travel with little gain, suitable for all bikes. Call Kim Hull at 509-853-8698 for more information.

FRIDAY: Join the Cascadians for an easy six-mile Flora, Fauna and Photo hike at the Cowiche Mountain loop, with departure at 9 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot.

SATURDAY: Join the Cascadians for a nine-mile hike with 850 feet of elevation gain at Packwood Lake, Green Trails map 272, with departure at 8 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. Call Rudy Labernik at 509-248-7304 and bring water, lunch and the 13 Essentials. Drivers will need a Senior Pass or Northwest Forest Pass.

MONDAY: Yakima Basin Velo hosts its Mellow Monday ride that starts at 5:30 p.m. at Wide Hollow Elementary School and goes for 20 miles on relatively flat roads at an often brisk pace with several stops to regroup before finishing back at the school.

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

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will hike seven miles with 1,400 feet of elevation gain at Devil’s Slide off Highway 410, Green Trails Map 272, and the Trekkers will hike six miles with more than 2,500 feet of elevation gain to the Sedge Ridge Lookout Site in the Ahtanum State Forest. Both groups will depart at 7:30 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. Call Dean Hata at 509-388-6375 with any questions regarding the Free Spirits outing and call Kim Hull at 509-853-8698 with any questions regarding the Trekkers outing. Drivers with both groups will need a Discover Pass.

ALSO TUESDAY: Bearded Monkey Cycling and Fitness will host its weekly road rides with various distances and paces for different skill levels. Meet at the store at 6 p.m. and be ready to roll out at 6:15 to ride until around 7.

WEDNESDAY: Join Yakima Basin Velo for the 21-mile Naches Loop Ride from SunTides Golf Course. The ride starts at 5:30 p.m. and typically splits into different groups that meet up at the halfway point in Naches.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13: The Pathfinders will go to the Artebella and Larson Galleries and be done by noon. Call Jan at 509-965-2496 for meeting time and place.

Please email your bird sightings to kdturley@embarqmail.com and be sure to like us on our Facebook page or visit yakimaaudubon.org.