Many parks in western Washington are hosting activities, work parties
OLYMPIA – April 13, 2016 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announces that many western Washington state parks will be hosting Earth Day events and activities this month.
Friday, April 22, is the official date of Earth Day; however, many of the events are on Saturday, April 23, and one is scheduled for Friday, April 29. Some events include volunteer work parties, others will have booths and educational opportunities.
The following is a list of Earth Day activities with state parks connections:
Washington Coast Cleanup
8:30 a.m. (for on-site registration) to early afternoon Saturday, April 23
As manager of Washington State’s Seashore Conservation Area, State Parks is sponsoring several beach cleanups with partner organizations such as Washington CoastSavers and Surfrider Foundation. Volunteers are needed at dozens of coastal beaches to clean up garbage and debris. The following state parks will serve as staging areas for some of the beach cleanups:
Cape Disappointment State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula. Volunteers should register at the park office for Benson Beach and will receive garbage bags. Site coordinators and trash dumpsters also will be located at the Seaview, Sid Snyder and Bolstad Beach approaches. Volunteers may also sign up at these locations. For more information, contact David Linthakhan, park ranger, at email@example.com or (360) 642-3078. (Directions: http://parks.state.wa.us/486/Cape-Disappointment)
North Beach state parks (Ocean City, Griffiths Priday and Pacific Beach). Volunteers can register beginning at 8:30 a.m. at three different beach approaches: Chance a la Mer in Ocean Shores, Ocean City Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach State Park. Volunteers will receive supplies and information about the cleanup. Following the cleanup, volunteers will be treated to a barbeque beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Griffith Priday State Park, organized by staff from Ocean City State Park, the Washington State Park Rangers Association and numerous local businesses and organizations. For more information, call 360-289-3553.
Twin Harbors State Park near Westport. Volunteers should meet and register at the Schafer Road Beach approach. State Parks staff will provide garbage bags, litter-grabbing wands and gloves. Following the cleanup, the Surfrider Foundation will sponsor a free barbecue for volunteers, beginning at noon at the park. Washington CoastSavers will provide the garbage dumpster, which will be stationed at the Bonge Beach approach, about one mile south of the registration area. For more information about the Twin Harbors beach cleanup, contact Miles Wenzel, park ranger, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 268-0372. Directions: http://parks.state.wa.us/292/Twin-Harbors
For more information and a map of beaches involved in the cleanup, visit: http://www.coastsavers.org/
» COWLITZ COUNTY
Mount St. Helens Visitor Center
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 22
3029 Spirit Lake Hwy, Castle Rock, across from Seaquest State Park
The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center will offer family-friendly ranger talks about the flora and fauna of the area. Also offered are guided hikes on the boardwalk trail, overlooking the wetland ecosystem of Silver Lake. Coloring activities will be available for children. Programs and times will be posted on the visitor center’s bulletin at the front doors.
For more information about the Earth Day event, contact Alysa Adams, State Parks interpretive specialist, at: email@example.com or (360) 274-0962. Information about the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center is here: http://parks.state.wa.us/245/Mount-St-Helens
» ISLAND COUNTY
Central Whidbey Island State Parks: Underwater Junior Ranger Earth Day
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23
Ebey’s Landing Heritage Site State Park
This event coincides with National Parks Week, and State Parks staff will be teaming up with Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve (https://www.nps.gov/ebla/index.htm) staff and volunteers to celebrate the Salish Sea, marine life and Junior Rangers. Visit the ‘Why Marine Debris in our Oceans is Harmful to Wildlife’ booth. Children can earn an Underwater Junior Ranger badge and a National Park Service Centennial Badge.
For more information, visit: https://www.nps.gov/ebla/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?eventID=5108374-307230
» JEFFERSON COUNTY
Friends of Fort Worden Trail Team Celebrate Earth Day
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
Fort Worden Historical State Park Artillery Hill parking area (near the School of Woodworking)
Help celebrate Earth Day by removing Scotch broom on Artillery Hill. Bring gloves, water, friends and family. Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided. For more information, contact Jan North at firstname.lastname@example.org.
» KING COUNTY
Lake Sammamish State Park: Earth Week Restoration Volunteer Work Party
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23
2000 NW Sammamish Road, Issaquah
Volunteers are needed at the AmeriCorps’ Living Laboratory restoration site to help plant native vegetation and do some maintenance work to prevent invasive blackberry from re-establishing in the area. This will be a fun, hands-on project with time to discuss sustainable living in honor of Earth Week. Coffee and refreshments will be provided. The organizers request that interested participants sign up at http://goo.gl/forms/mr9HTfXuHW.
For more information, contact Aubrey Tingler, event organizer and AmeriCorps volunteer, at Aubrey.Tingler@parks.wa.gov, or visit the Friends of Lake Sammamish website at: http://lakesammamishfriends.org/.
Lake Sammamish State Park: Keep Issaquah Beautiful Volunteer Event
9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 23
Several locations in Issaquah, including Lake Sammamish State Park
2000 N.W. Sammamish Road, Issaquah
Volunteers—individuals and groups—are needed for this fourth annual event. Projects include picking up litter, sweeping, digging and planting throughout Issaquah and Lake Sammamish State Park. The organizers request that participants sign up for the event at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F044EACA92AA5FD0-keep.
For more information, contact Brenda DeVore, email@example.com or (425) 391-1112.
Saltwater State Park: Earth Day Fair
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 29
25205 8th Place, South Des Moines
Lower parking lot
For the past seven years, Washington Service Corps|AmericCorps and Washington State Parks have partnered on the Earth Day Fair at Saltwater State Park. This year’s Earth Day Fair will focus on how people can make choices every day to benefit the planet and live more sustainably. This fun and educational opportunity is open to everyone, especially students pre-K through 6th grade. Numerous organizations will have booths and activities of interest to all ages.
School groups are asked to register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C2B8XDV. Individuals do not need to register.
For more information, contact Julie Cleveland, AmeriCorps volunteer and event organizer, at (260) 786-8433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
» PIERCE COUNTY
Kopachuck State Park: Parks Appreciation Day
9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 23
10712 56th St. N.W., Gig Harbor
Kopachuck State Park is one venue of more than a dozen sites participating in Gig Harbor’s Parks Appreciation Day to celebrate Earth Day. Volunteers do not need to register but should bring gloves, and if willing to share: shears, loppers, pruners, mattocks or Pulaskis, rakes and / or shovels. A hot dog lunch will be provided at noon for the volunteers at either Sehmel Homestead Park or Gateway Park.
For more information, visit: http://www.cityofgigharbor.net/parks-appreciation-day/, or contact Dennis Mills, Kopachuck park ranger, at (253) 265-3606 or email@example.com.
» SKAGIT COUNTY
Deception Pass State Park: Planting and Celebration at Bowman Bay
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 22
Bowman Bay parking lot
State Parks is partnering with Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, Northwest Straits Foundation and the Samish Indian Nation to sponsor a volunteer work party to plant native vegetation at the Bowman Bay restoration site. This event will give volunteers the opportunity to learn more about the restoration project and the natural history of the area. The work party will be followed by a volunteer appreciation salmon barbecue.
For more information and directions, visit: http://www.skagitfisheries.org/event/earth-day-event-at-bowman-bay/
Rockport State Park
Various programs all day, Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23
51905 State Route 20, Rockport
Rockport State Park showcases a rare and impressive old growth forest. Parks staff and local experts will offer several programs on April 22 and 23, including a bird hike, a peek into the lives of nocturnal wildlife, activities for Junior Rangers, a how-to on dealing with bears and a fitness hike. A full list of Earth Day activities at Rockport is available on the State Parks’ online events calendar at: http://parks.state.wa.us/Calendar.aspx
» WHATCOM COUNTY
Larrabee State Park: Cache In, Trash Out Geocache Event
5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 22
245 Chuckanut Dr., Bellingham
Main parking area above the bandshell
The public is invited to join geocachers from the Cache In Trash Out (CITO) group to help pull invasive ivy from the park. Volunteers should bring their own gloves. For more information, contact Carol at (425) 263-6764 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about CITO events. Visit: http://www.geocaching.com/cito/.
For non-volunteer events occurring on April 23 or 29, visitors will need to display a Discover Pass for vehicle, day-use access to the park. April 22, Earth Day, is one of 12 ‘Free Days’ offered in state parks each year. No Discover Pass will be required for vehicle, day-use access to state parks. For more information about the Discover Pass, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
In addition to posting events on its website calendar, Washington State Parks also posts events on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
Follow Washington State Parks:
Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388