At the beginning of spring break, while we still had energy, we took the kids to Meadowdale Beach Park, 6026 156th St. S.W., for a hike. It was a nice day, so it was busy and parking was tricky, though that’s pretty typical per many reviews posted about the park. This hike has been a good one for us, length-wise, and the view from the beach almost makes your forget that the hike back is mainly uphill. I’m not sure why I didn’t bring more water-friendly clothes or at least a second set because both my kids were wet to roughly their knees by the time we headed back up to the car.
As when I walk through Yost Park in Edmonds, I was reminded on the hike how lucky I feel to have places like these nearby. My walking partner and I always notice when some work is done to maintain the trail and cut back some brush encroaching on the pathway because it truly does make a difference. We’re always grateful when they do this because of the space it gives you and also some of that stuff has thorns. As I started to see Earth Day events posted for parks around Snohomish County, I realized that some of this clearing and clean up is volunteer based. I know that once Ranger-Naturalist Barb told my kids and their friends that every time they picked up an old toy or piece of trash, they “just saved a whale.” We know we have to play our part when we visit these spaces, but I didn’t realize that people are work-partying to keep our local hikes and parks in tip-top shape. There are many ways to participate in Earth Day, which falls on April 22 this year, in Snohomish County, including local park clean-ups and donating used books.
First, let’s talk about the Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 20 from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. at the Snohomish County Campus Plaza in Everett. There will be education booths, giveaways, and electronics recycling (they will even wipe the data of the device for you). These electronics, working or not, will then be donated to “create opportunities for others.” You can sign up to volunteer for that weekend’s clean up events as well. They also have a link to many other events going on countywide, including a Ballinger Park Earth Day Cleanup April 21 that is sponsored by the City of Mountlake Terrace.
I reached out to Jennifer Leach, Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator in Edmonds, to see what they city would be doing for Earth Day and they are having a work party in my beloved Yost Park, 9535 Bowdoin Way, Edmonds on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. They will be helping free the trees in the forest surrounding the parking lot where ivy and blackberry have taken over, and they need your help. They suggest bringing work gloves, ask that you bring cutting and digging tools if you can, and remind you do dress for the weather — I assume they are referring to the perpetual rain.
There will also be a work parties in Edmonds on April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at South County Park and Meadowdale Beach. At South County Park, 7804 Olympic View Dr,. Edmonds, they need your help with trail maintenance, pulling English Ivy, and trimming brush and blackberries. They suggest that you carpool or walk to the park as parking is very limited. If you have questions or need to RSVP, you can contact Senior Ranger Chelsea Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org. At Meadowdale Beach, 6026 156th St. S.W., they will be pulling ivy as well as planting trees. They ask that you meet by the ranger station as the work will be done in the lower area. For questions and to RSVP you can contact Ranger Doug Dailer at email@example.com.
While heading to Trader Joe’s the other day, I saw a flyer in the window at Half Price Books for an Earth Day event using the clever term, “Readcycle.” On Sunday, April 22, as part of their HalfPint Book Drive. the “first 50 kids who donate a gently used children’s book get a free, limited edition superhero cape.” HPB will match your donation and the books will “make a difference for a local child” as they distribute books to “as many different nonprofit community organizations as possible.” All 501(c)(3) nonprofits and schools are invited to attend any Half Pint Library book giveaway event, three of which will be held in Washington in May. You can find the information on the donations and giveaway events HERE.
All Washington State Parks are free on Earth Day April 22. No Discover Pass will be required to visit a state park that day. For more information and to find the other free days each year — there are seven more after Earth Day — you can click HERE.
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her on Twitter trying to make sense of begging kids to ”just eat the mac n cheese”