Tag Archives: Urban Forest

52WoLP #15: let us count the ways (Tuesday 4/23 and Saturday 4/27)

Backlit driftwood sculpture /Lincoln Park, by Sky Darwin

Backlit driftwood sculpture /Lincoln Park, by Sky Darwin

There’s the beach, and it asks a thing or two from you, like a bit of a hike, like a little bit of care at low tide, but in return, it gives plenty.  It’s a northwest beach, trees and stunning views, rocky and diverse–none of this namby-pamby white sand nonsense. It’s a sturdy beach, home to seals, urchins, clams, starfish, water birds and more;  inspiration to artists, sculptors and enlivened imaginations everywhere.

one of the playgrounds in LP

one of the playgrounds in LP

There are the playgrounds and ballfields, areas where families and kids and fans and athletes get to play in a setting that juts up against forest and just enough wildness to make the senses sit up and take notice.  The walk back to the car after a tournament or play date involves a stroll through shaded rambling paths, a chance to be in nature, to restore, relax, revive.

Checking out possible new digs

Checking out possible new digs

There are the forests themselves, some old growth, all holding the park together in living system that is rare in an urban setting–a gem indeed, and a treasure for us to enjoy.  The forests are home to birds and nests big and small, to squirrels, coyote and fox, flowers in every season, ancient sequoia and doug fir, hillsides of maple all brilliant green in the spring light.  So much goodness!

Colman Pool in the summertime!

Colman Pool in the summertime!

There’s the pool.  The Colman Pool.  Salt water, beautiful turquoise glinting in the summer light, the Olympics to the west, forested hillsides to the east, it is a seasonal treat beyond compare.

Seattle's urban forests make the cut!

Seattle’s urban forests make the cut!

History!  We have History, and tons of it, and we’re in the process of making more!  For example, did you know that Seattle ranks in the top 10 Cities for Urban Forests, along with–check it out!–New York, Austin, Denver, and other great urban centers–go read the article here.  This is our next frontier: holding onto, preserving and protecting what is truly unique in an urban setting. Let’s make some more history, let’s keep LP wild!

Oh, I could go on and on.  I could.  But instead, why not come out to Celebrate Lincoln Park hosted by the FCA at the Fauntleroy Community Center this coming Tuesday, April 23rd, and then again in LP itself, for all kinds of fun, creative, park-loving, beach playing ways to be in Lincoln Park.  Come on down!

52 Weeks of Lincoln Park is a year long project chronicling and loving the seasons of LP in beautiful West Seattle.
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52WoLP #14: I Just Wanna Celebrate!

Celebrate Lincoln Park is a combo of two free events being offered by Fauntleroy Community Association. Here are the deets:

  • April 23, Tues., 6:30-8:30 at the Hall at Fauntleroy: speakers (such as the fabulous Trileigh Tucker) tables, fascinating people sharing fascinating information (full disclosure, I will be part of the crew at the ALPN table)–and who else? Seal Sitters, Whale Trail, Puget Sound Partnership, Seattle Parks, and more. Come get some history, some future, some ongoing thangs.
  • April 27, right smack in the park itself, all kinds of things going on! First, there will be a low tide and naturalists available and also, therefore, a zillion happy kids running around. ALPN, Alliance for Lincoln Park Nature, will be offering Art in the Park with three sessions of writing and sketching and having some fun ;-). I’ve heard a rumor that the guy who makes those beautiful balancing driftwood sculptures will be down at the shore making beautiful balancing driftwood sculptures.(full disclosure: I love what Sky Darwin does.) There will be nature walks, nature talks, nature all around. Don’t miss this.
  • All activities will start at the south of the park, much more information will be available at the Celebration on April 23, plus I’ll be keeping the faith here, check back as we get closer.

    Mark the dates! April 23 & 27–see you there!

    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park is a year long project chronicling and loving the seasons of LP in beautiful West Seattle.

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    52 WoLP #13: Curvy is better than straight

    It’s been rainy, and it’s muddy, but that also means water in the Lincoln Park stream, and water in the stream means runoff for the waterfall.  What waterfall?

    Sometimes, since a lot of people visit LP in the summer, they don’t get to see the waterfall in action. Some don’t even know it’s a waterfall, or that there’s a stream.  But there is, it goes through the park and ends up at the beach.  Here’s a map, and the back-story of the falls right after:

    Here's a sketchy map of LP and the stream

    Here’s a sketchy map of LP and the stream

    The back story: back when the WPA was doing all kinds of things in LP, they made the excellent steps and stairways from the beach to the park, except one of those walkways crossed a runoff zone from the stream.  No problem, they’d just turn that runoff zone into a pretty waterfall and direct it under the walkway:

    The original went cascading pretty much straight down the hillside

    The original went cascading pretty much straight down the hillside

    If you’ve ever seen the waterfall at full throttle in the winter, the original plan which had the stream running nearly straight down into a catch didn’t have a chance–a lot of water comes down during the rains and anyway, nature doesn’t play nice with straight lines, so either by its own design, or with the help of a few folks along the way, the waterfall achieved a nice curvy and cantilevered path with a better runway…although it still runs over the path in big rains, and makes a beautiful sound as it cascades down the incline.

    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park is a year long project exploring this West Seattle Gem. Enjoy!!

     

    52WoLP #12: zippity do-dah!

    I’ve been hearing it while out in the garden, and now that we have the windows open on warmer days, I’m hearing it in the afternoon and even well past dusk: zzzzzzi! frrp! zahhh….

    There’s no way I can do justice to the sound of the old fashioned zip swing in Lincoln Park, but it’s as familiar a sound as the ferry horns around here. Sometimes it’s followed by shrieks of delight, which I love. Spring is officially here, and the playground is in full…umm, swing.

    During the day you’ll see adults (like me) take advantage of the traffic lull and go for a ride, but on weekends and vacations, that swing has ’em queuing up. It’s one of my favorite sounds and sights of LP, and always, always, makes me smile. What’s yours?

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    (I’ve been on a Hockney jag lately and enjoying his enjoyment of digital drawing tools. Having no good pictures of the swing in action–if you’ve got one send it!–I decided to make one of my own:)

    52WoLP #11: the secret lives of Lincoln Park (Happy 1st Day of Spring)

    There’s the beach trail and the bluff trail; the playgrounds, old fashion zip line, wading pool and picnic shelters; the ball fields and, of course, the Colman pool. These are the places we all know and use and appreciate. There are other places, a little bit secret, not so much for us humans, although we definitely benefit from them.

    I was looking at a parks dept map of Lincoln Park the other day and was sort of impressed by the forest areas. Forest. Take a look at the list:

    Lincoln Park Forests: particularly H, B, G and J

    Lincoln Park Forests: notice particularly H, B, G and J

    This is cool, because those areas are part of what makes LP the most excellent park it is. HBG and J are beautiful and sort of urban-wild. There are nicely tended trails through and around them, and at this time of year, those forested areas are extremely active…and their inhabitants particularly vulnerable. Why? Nesting. Lots and lots of nesting going on, nest building and baby making by the ones who sing beautiful songs, flit in and out of trees and bushes and make us feel a little bit more alive and in touch with nature. Here are a few of those creatures, maybe you’ve seen one or two?

    And this is just a little tiny smidge of the secret lives happening in LP right now and through Spring/ Summer. So, keep an eye out, take it easy in areas H, B, G and J–we’re just visiting where they live. And many of them live pretty close to the ground, so if you are a dog walker, best to stay on paths, keep your dog on a leash and enjoy the beautiful music of the forests.

    **H/t to Trileigh for her bird notes and help
    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park, a year long project: #11

    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park: LP Watch

    The thing is, there’s always something going on. Obviously there are the seasonal and weather related things, there’s the tides and shifting cliffs and such. But there’s also this other stuff–science projects, maintenance projects, projects out of the blue, who-knows-what-this-is projects. You go to the park several times a week and you’ll see what I mean: it’s rarely the same.

    So #5 of 52WoLP curiosities: a fog collection project, somewhat ill-considered radical-pruning, and a pair of antique water skis, circa 1965.

    First up: passive fog collection project by a UW student, studying anew a technique of harvesting water that’s been around for a very long time. It’s pretty cool in that its ridiculously simple, and it will be down by the Colman Pool until April. Happy collecting!

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    Second up: ugly I mean, ill considered pruning, south end of park and near the first parking lot:

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    And finally: someone neatly placed a pair of very old water skis at the south end parking lot for our viewing pleasure. Most years, towards the end of summer, it’s warm enough for some impressive water skiing and wake riding to take place in the cove. I suspect that at some point these very skis saw a few good runs in their day, and have been returned for their final ride home.

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    52 Weeks of Lincoln Park: Driftwood

    A few years back I did a year-long, nearly daily project called My Life w/Car, or MLwC, wherein I tracked my transportation to see if maybe I could change some unconscious habits.  Basically I wanted to get rid of my car.  I ended up not doing that, but for sure changed everything around my transportation habits.  It was a very good project.

    I’m starting a new blog project today called 52 Weeks of Lincoln Park, or 52WoLP.  The goals are not as ambitious, I suppose…well, there are no goals, so there. What I want to do is simply pay homage to a gorgeous gem of a park, Lincoln Park, here in West Seattle.

    LP is spectacular in so many ways. It is both urban forest and recreation area: a stand of sequoia watches over a baseball field, with native undergrowth all around, and a real sense of “getting away” from things for a while, even as you hear the crack of a bat and cheers from spectators.

    It is refuge for nesting bald eagles, owls, warblers, and baby seals, as well as  families with their kids splashing in the wading pool or playing on the swings.

    It has a zip line that I swear is going at all times of the day and night–it’s short, it’s free, and it’s very very popular.  It’s exceptionally low tech, especially the old tire at the end of the line.

    In the summer it has Shakespearean theatre as the sun sets fabulously golden and lovely over Vashon Island.  It has seen its own share of theatre recently as friends of Lincoln Park stood together against what would have been a massive, very invasive change to its nature.

    So each week this year, I’m going to simply witness a wonderful thing about Lincoln Park, to pay my respects and share this gem we have here in Seattle. First up, because the sunset walks along the water the past few days have been spectacular: Driftwood.