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Learn the Plants
Methow Conservancy conservation course

photoElephant's head lousewort. Photo courtesy Methow Conservancy

The Methow Conservancy has opened the registration period for its Tenth Annual Methow Conservation Course, to be held during six weeks from February 10 to March 17. The classes will be on Mondays from 6.00 to 8.00 p.m. at the Twisp River Pub.

According to Mary Kiesau, Educational Programs Director at the Methow Conservancy, the course aims to help people learn the particular characteristics of many plant families in the Methow Valley and North Cascades, as well as provide understanding of the botanical world and our many micro-ecosystems in the Methow. “Learning plant families will enable people to identify individual native plant and wildflower species with more ease and confidence,” stated Mary in a press release.

During the first part of the course (three classes), participants will learn about shapes and parts of flower and leaves, and the particular characteristics of individual plant families as well as how to identify and sort species. The last three classes will cover conifer trees, ethnobotany, weeds, plant geography, and plant ecosystems in the Methow. 

Class study will include the use of dissecting microscopes and hand-lenses to look at pressed plants and live flowers. The course also includes two fieldtrips in early spring to see flowering native plants.

The course’s fee is $165, but need-based scholarships are available as a reduced or waived fee to a limited number of people who can assist with the course. Instructors include Susan Ballinger, Rosalee & Xavier de la Foret, Stewart Hougen, Mary Kiesau, Dana Visalli, and George Wooten. For participants who would like to enjoy dinner prior to the class, the Twisp River Pub offers an optional dinner served from 5.30 to 6.00 p.m. for an additional fee. On President’s Day week, the class will be held on Tuesday, February 18 at Aero Methow.

Space in the course is limited. To register or for more information, please contact Mary Kiesau at (509) 996-2870 or by email at Or for course details including a syllabus, visit the Methow Conservancy website at


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