Methow Conservancy Annual Spring Naturalists’ Retreat
May 31st at 5pm through 1pm on June 3rd, $200*

The Naturalists’ Retreat is an annual celebration of the Methow Valley in springtime!  With guidance from naturalist instructors Libby Mills, Dana Visalli and Mary Kiesau spend a long weekend immersed in the world of Methow birds, flowers and plants.  We might also find and spend a little time with butterflies and other insects, geology, amphibians and reptiles, animal scat and tracks and much more!  With glorious days in the field and engaging presentations and group dinners on two evenings you will be amazed by all that you learn and soak up in this fantastic nature and educational experience!  The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner.
Mountain Bluebird. Photo by Mary Kiesau

With a long winter and slow-starting spring, early June will be a perfect time to see numerous blooming flowers and shrubs, including Bitterroot, Chokecherry, Lilies, Orchids, Arnica and much more.  Bright Bullock’s orioles, and tropical migratory birds like the red and yellow Western tanager, yellow warbler, Lazuli buntings and
American Redstart will be flooding back into the Methow and singing all over the Valley, looking for mates after their long journey from Central and South America.  We’ll practice birding by ear when we can’t see the birds!  We’ll go to a variety of places throughout the Methow Valley on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to experience all that the natural world of the Methow has to offer. On two evenings, we’ll share meals and hear presentations from Dana and Libby on the Methow’s natural history, botany, and the life and times of Methow birds.  You’ll get one night off to enjoy on your own.

Registration is required and the retreat is limited to 20 people. Participants should be willing and able to take part in the entire retreat including evenings. Participants should be in good physical condition, able to complete moderate hikes and spend 6+ hours in the field. Free tent camping is available at Dana’s property along the Methow River near Twisp or you can make your own lodging arrangements.

  • Thursday evening, we’ll meet at 5pm for a catered meal (included in the retreat fee), introductions and weekend logistics.  Both Dana & Libby will also give short presentations.
  • Friday, we’ll be in the field from 8am to 4pm, then you are free for the evening.
  • Saturday, we’ll be in the field from 8am to 3pm, then we’ll break for a few hours and come back together for a potluck dinner at 6:30pm, location to be announced.  We’ll share our highlights from the weekend with photos, stories, and maybe even songs!
  • Sunday, we’ll be in the field from 9am to 1pm.

Locations for day and evening events will be given shortly before the retreat starts.  The retreat starts at 5pm sharp on Thursday, May 31st and goes through 1pm on Sunday, June 3rd. Cost is $200*/person, including one catered meal.  To register, send an email to or call our office at 509-996-2870.

* Our Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel or leave a fee-based course for any reason:
Full refunds will be given if the request is received two weeks or more before the day of the program (class, workshop, fieldtrip, etc.).  If the cancellation is made less than two weeks before the start of the program, the Methow Conservancy will give a full refund only if we are able to fill your spot.  If you cancel 24 hours or less before the start time of the program or after the class has started there will be no refund of the program fee.  Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a program.  In this case you will receive a full refund.
315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870