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: 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

Big Rock Park and Ebright Park, Sammamish

Annika and I went on an local outing on Friday. We wanted to explore some of the parks on the east side of the metro area. We also wanted to check out some nature play areas as we research ideas for adding a new play area to our school. I had heard good things about…Continue Reading

Sehome Hill Arboretum Trip Report 3/18/16

We took advantage of the sunny weather last Friday to head up to Bellingham for another short trip. Aaron had the day off, so he joined us on our adventure. The Sehome Hill Arboretum is a native plant natural area set aside for protection and enjoyment. It’s nestled next to the campus of Western Washington…Continue Reading

Larrabee SP and Whatcom Falls Park – Trip Report

On Friday we made a quick afternoon trip up to Bellingham to visit Larrabee State Park and Whatcom Falls Park. We tried real hard to miss the rain showers, but ended up getting caught in a few. It was worth it anyway! We didn’t get started until a little after noon. I should know better…Continue Reading

Gloomy Day at Brightwater

Our school schedule is light this week, so we took advantage of a little less school work to head out for an afternoon stroll. I chose the Brightwater Center because I hadn’t been on many of the trails yet, and we wanted something easy and close to home. I had to bribe my kids with…Continue Reading

Spring at Nisqually

We recently spent a morning at the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge looking for birds. We did the boardwalk loop, and spent several hours just wandering along, stopping frequently to observe birds and other wildlife. Birds were wildly singing and very active all over. The sun was shining and it felt like spring in all the ways…Continue Reading

McLane Creek – Trip Report, 3/7/15

I’ve been on restriction and not allowed to hike since last October. But now I’m allowed short walks on mostly level ground, so I’ve been trying to find walks that are easy and flat but still give me a good dose of nature. I was perusing through the Winter Hikes of Western Washington card deck…Continue Reading

Guemes Channel and Ship Harbor Trail, Anacortes

A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of a warm afternoon to hike a new trail to us: Guemes Channel and Ship Harbor Trails up in Anacortes. We found these little gems in Craig Romano’s newest hiking guide for the San Juans and Gulf Islands. Leaving from a cul-de-sac, the trails go off in…Continue Reading