One of our favorite parts of the Pacific Northwest is the lush, green landscape with its outdoorsy vibe. Seemingly fit, we decided to take part in The Green Seattle Partnership to help improve Seattle Parks. They have created a 20 year plan to combat invasive plants and restore forested areas to health. The Green Seattle mission is about creating a sustainable network of parks throughout Seattle with the help of the community. Some of the benefits of restoring the parklands and urban forests are cleaner air, storm water management, and the ability to enjoy nature right inside the city. Magnuson Park is the second largest park in Seattle with 350 acres of land. The park used to be a naval air base that was handed over to the city in the 1970’s. They have been working on restoring the park since 1998. The Green Seattle Partnership is helping to transform it into a thriving natural area.
We wanted to contribute to some of the things we enjoy so thoroughly; a walk, bike ride and run in a park. When we arrived at Magnuson Park, we were in awe of the beauty. It sits right on Lake Washington and has wonderful views from the shores. We met Tom, volunteer forester, at the Education Pavilion in the park. He was a fountain of knowledge starting with a little lesson on tool safety. Mel got fancy with a tool belt! We walked along a trail to the overgrown area that is full of Cottonwood trees, which were shedding throughout the day and creating a snow effect. It was quite beautiful being it was still 75 degrees and sunny!
Our job for the day would be to eradicate some of the invasive Himalayan blackberry plants in Promontory Point area of the park. Although they provide some beneficial factors to wildlife, they actually create more limitations for the trees and animals in the area. We started by clearing these plants as well as single-seed Hawthorn plants that are also invasive.
Three hours of clearing and talking with Tom and we were ready to compost our piles. The compost piles of weeds are even reusable as they act as a home to some animals in the park. We can truly respect the hard work that goes into keeping this park and so many parks we have visited all over the country so beautiful. We are excited to come back and see the progress they have made in years to come!
One of the first days we arrived in Seattle, we called a Lyft driver and were greeted by a friendly gentleman, Jay, whom is actually our neighbor. We asked to stop at a place for good coffee (ha-ha) and bought him one as well.
This led to a non-stop conversation about the changes we experience in life and his passion for photography. Before we knew it, we had scheduled a photo shoot with him. We couldn’t have asked for a more suitable way to close to our day after cleaning up the park. We took our two friends, Kristen and Gabby, and our dog, Yogi, to Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill. Volunteer Park was the perfect destination for our first professional photo shoot. It was named after those who volunteered in the Spanish-American War. We parked Scarlet near the Water Tower and Asian Art Museum and got to work with Jay and his wife. We had so much fun and couldn’t have done it without the help of our friends who made us more comfortable. That’s a wrap! A perfect day filled with fresh air and sunshine in two beautiful parks in Seattle.