Getting Kids Out Into Nature

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Book Review: Discovering Seattle’s Parks


Discovering Seattle Parks

My family loves getting out into the wilderness, but many times we are not able to go far from town for our nature fix. But thankfully we have an amazing array of local trails to explore when we need some fresh air. Seattle is fortunate to have parks in every neighborhood. Large and small, forest and beach, we don’t need to leave the city to have some restorative time in nature. One Seattle mom made it her mission to visit every park in Seattle. Linnea Westerlind didn’t realize at the outset how long it would take her to reach her goal. But finally, four years after she started, she completed her journey, and had kept a record of all her wanderings on her website, Year of Seattle Parks. All the information she collected then got published into a new book, Discovering Seattle Parks: A Local’s Guide.

Discovering Seattle Parks is organized in a geographic format. The best of the parks for each area are highlighted. You’ll find a summary in the beginning of each entry, and detailed driving and bus directions. Westerlind points out which parks are suitable for dogs and which are kid-friendly. A thorough description of park amenities is next, including historical and other interesting tidbits. Color photos taken by the author grace the pages. You’ll learn about hiking trails that won’t make most hiking guide books, as well as natural and geologic history. I am intrigued by many of the small flower gardens, and pocket parks tucked in familiar neighborhoods. I’m also amazed by the determination and perseverance of this mom who completed such an ambitious project with 3 young children.

This is a bit different from the other local hiking guides I’ve reviewed on this blog, as it includes parks that are not just for hiking. Seattle families will want to have this guidebook on their bookshelf for reference.  I’m sure we’ll find many more adventures to squeeze into our busy days.

Discovering Seattle Parks: A Local’s Guide is available for $18.95, and can be found at your local bookstore or online retailer.

This book was sent to me for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the author or the publisher.

Book Review: Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula, 2nd Edition, by Craig Romano

Mysterious, deep, ancient forests. Coastal beaches and headlands. Alpine meadows with far-reaching views. Lakes and rivers, wetlands and surf. The Olympic Peninsula has a diverse range of habitats and areas to explore. You can research your next adventure to this wild corner of the country by using Craig Romano’s book, Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula. This…Continue Reading

Book Review and Interview: Backpacking 101 by Heather Balogh Rochfort

Summer is in full swing, and our thoughts are full of adventures we’re planning. We yearn to travel far and light, and sleep in the backcountry, with the stars and moon in view. If you’re new to backpacking, or are a dayhiker contemplating the next level of adventure, then you’ll appreciate a new book about…Continue Reading

Book Review: Take A Walk: Seattle by Sue Muller Hacking

  The month of March brought some newly published hiking books across my desk. Take A Walk: Seattle, by Sue Muller Hacking (Fourth Edition, Sasquatch Books) is one that I’m impressed with. I’ve been flipping through this book quite a bit this spring, and am surprised that there are trails near me that I haven’t explored yet.…Continue Reading

Urban Trails: Kitsap by Craig Romano – Book Review

Many of you are familiar with Craig Romano, the prolific and energetic guidebook writer for Washington State. We use his books all the time to plan our hikes to wild and scenic locations. But it’s not always easy to get out to true wilderness. With iffy weather, packed schedules, family illnesses – sometimes we need…Continue Reading

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail : Washington, by Tami Asars, Book Review

  When I was younger, my biggest dream in life was to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I was never able to figure out how to tackle that audacious goal, and life moved on, and I set that dream aside. But now Tami Asars has come out with a unique new book about how to…Continue Reading

Book Review: Treecology by Monica Russo

The latest book I’ve reviewed for you is Treecology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Trees and Forests by Monica Russo. [Amazon link here.] This thin paperback is accessible for both parents and teachers. It is packed full of the science to understand all parts of trees and the environments they grow…Continue Reading

Book Review: 100 Classic Hikes: Washington by Craig Romano

My bookshelf has two rows of various hiking guides, but recently a new guide came out that will have a prominent spot in the first row. Craig Romano has rewritten and updated Harvey Manning and Ira Spring’s original 100 Classic Hikes in Washington book from 1998, including some of the initial hikes, but adding some new…Continue Reading

Book Review: Lassoing the Sun by Mark Woods

The Centennial of the National Park Service has inspired many people to take journeys through the parks and write about them. Mark Woods planned a year-long odyssey to twelve national parks to ask questions about their future. Each park was supposed to symbolize a different issue the parks are facing in the future. He ended…Continue Reading

Book Review: Leaflets Three, Let it Be! by Anita Sanchez

I recently received a book for the purposes of review that I’d like to share with you today. Leaflets Three, Let it Be! is a picture book for children about identifying poison ivy. But it also shows the many uses of the plant through the seasons. It is written by Anita Sanchez and illustrated by…Continue Reading