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Highland Wonders ~ Upcoming

Highland Wonders is a monthly education series featuring the natural history of the Okanogan Highlands and surrounding areas. Come and meet some new people and enjoy refreshments; leave with a better understanding of your watershed.

The indoor series runs on the First Friday of the month, from November through May (skipping December). The outdoor series is offered during summer, and the schedule varies.

Soils with Luke Cerise

Join OHA on June, 14th to discuss the soil environment at the Triple Creek site north of Chesaw. In this event, community members will learn about the living layer of the earth, soil; where air, water, minerals, and a vast array of macro and microscopic organisms make life on land possible. Climactic processes (such as freeze-thaw & weathering) have acted upon geologic processes (such as glaciation & volcanism) over billions of years to create sand, silt, and clay that make up what is considered soil. 

"Soil without microbes is just weathered rock," Luke says. "Soil organisms consume plant material, recycle and make nutrients available, filter and purify contaminates out of water moving through the soil profile, and many other ecosystem services; it is truly where the magic happens.” The Okanogan Highlands have a rich geologic history that very few were witness to, but we can look for clues hidden within the soil and compare that with contemporary geologic information to read the land for clues into the past. “Soils help to tell the story of a particular place, like reading a book, and this event will provide a way to help see the pages.” 


Luke Cerise, US Forest Service Soil Scientist, hand textures soil in Myers Creek, north of Chesaw, to gauge the clay/silt/sand composition.
This event is by pre-registration only and is expected to fill up quickly. OHA members receive priority registration. Please contact or 509-476-2432 to register.

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Recap of the 2015 indoor Highland Wonders indoor season:

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To begin or renew your OHA membership and be first in line to register for the summertime events, please visit, or contact OHA for more information. To sign up for this event, email or call 509-476-2432. The starting time and location will be provided upon registration.

The 2012 Summertime Highland Wonders season brought Cedar Ecology, The Magic of Wetlands, and a school bus tour highlighting the Geology of the Okanogan Highlands. The 2013 outdoor season brought Seeing the Forest Among the Trees, Watershed Functioning, Plant Ecology and Stream Processes, Geology of the Okanogan Highlands, and Grassland Ecology and Grass ID. Each of these events was jam-packed with information tailored to the sights, sounds, and natural history of the highlands. The events are often full to capacity. Be sure to begin or renew your OHA membership for priority in signing up for next summer's events. 

The 2014 outdoor season brought Viva la Naturaleza for Spanish-speaking families in May, Stream Ecology in July, and Geology of the Okanogan Highlands on August 16th. 

Questions? Contact OHA's Conservation Coordinator, Julie Ashmore: