We planted trees today! Green Seattle Day took place in 15 parks around the city and I selected Golden Gardens as our park of choice. It wasn’t the closest location, but it’s our favorite beach and a flat bike ride…or so I thought. The event details arrived yesterday and pinpointed the location as up the hill from the beach. The email only provided driving directions so I poked around Google maps for a bit to decide what to do. Biking gradually up to the top of the hill via Green Lake and Greenwood didn’t sound appealing so we planned to stick with our flat trip to the beach and walk what Google maps said would be five minutes up a flight of stairs.
Flickr album: Green Seattle Day 2016 – 76 photos, 2 videos.
I was a little worried about leaving our bikes locked so far away from us for three hours, but not worried enough to bike uphill. The beach doesn’t get crowded in November, but there was an exercise group next to the bike rack when we arrived and a few families at the playground when we returned.
We’ve never been up the hill next to the beach, but it’s great! Except the stairs were closed for construction. And there was no sidewalk on the busy road. I was stymied for a minute, but looking at the stairs, they appeared to be repaired and just missing the railing so we carefully walked up them.
The planting was great fun! The kids can’t wait to go back and visit the last two trees we planted: Douglas Fur Seal Tree and Bunny Ears. We also saw a couple worms, a beetle, a snail, a squirrel, and A SALAMANDER.
The event ended early on account of the wind–they didn’t want to risk the volunteers being squished by fallen trees. But we planted a bunch of trees and removed a bunch of invasive species. I hoped to find a better way back down the hill so we followed the trail to the west of the dog park. Unfortunately it didn’t look like it would take us back down to beach and the swaying trees above us were a little worrisome so we turned back and took the closed stairs again.
We hadn’t made any concrete plans for the day besides the 9-12 tree planting (which ended up being 9-10:30) so we hit at the beach playground and ate snacks. We heard tell of some beavers in the wetlands so we walked over to check them out. No beavers or turtles, but we saw tons (tons!) of ducks and a cormorant. And then spent a long time on the beach. It’s nice having a flexible schedule, though we ended up leaving Pixie alone longer than I (and she!) would have liked. There was one dog at the tree planting, but he was mellower than Pixie.
Next up was lunch at Red Mill Totem House across from the Ballard Locks. The large lock is empty (through November 23rd) and it’s a sight to behold!
Then we had the usual hella long ride home with me carrying one kid, then both kids, then one kid again.
The day cleared up and was beautiful, though windy. It was raining when we left home so both kids wore rain pants. I don’t always think to bring rain gear if it’s not raining when we leave the house and they would have been very cold without that extra leg layer. My older son wore his winter boots, but my younger son wanted to wear his tennis shoes. I brought his rain boots along just in case, but didn’t get them on him until after he rode into a puddle so deep he got stuck and had to wade out. Unfortunately I didn’t think to bring extra socks. I’d like to think now he’ll listen to me about not riding through puddles–they can hide potholes! you don’t know how deep they are!–ha ha, wishful thinking.
All in all, it was a very fun day. I later found out that while we were the only family biking to our tree planting event, my friend in Portland PLANTED TREES BY BIKE with Friends of Trees. Wow! The kids can’t wait for Green Seattle Day 2017 so I’ll try to rally a group to bike with us and make it even more fun. And I took a page from “Transportation Nag” Merlin Rainwater and emailed the Green Seattle Partnership to ask that they consider providing transit and bike directions in the future. By the way, here’s where you can donate to Green Seattle Partnership–we did!