Seattle Aquarium looking for local beach volunteers

Do you love your Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park beaches? Enjoy learning about the cool critters that live there? The folks at Seattle Aquarium’s Beach Naturalist Program are looking for volunteers!

Applications are now open for locals to sign up to be volunteer Beach Naturalists. Naturalists receive training from marine and interpretative experts March through May.

Once trained, volunteers spend three low-tide days educating visitors at twelve local beaches, including Golden Gardens and Carkeek Beach.

For more info, please email beachnaturalist@seattleaquarium.org or call (206) 693-6189. Training begins in early March.

Outdoor art exhibit created at Carkeek Park

A new outdoor art exhibit was recently unveiled at Carkeek Park. It’s called “Rootbound: Heaven and Earth 4” and features 18 artists from around the Puget Sound, Vancouver, B.C., California and Oregon. The exhibit is installed along nearly three miles of trail through the park’s canyons and creeks, and features site-specific sculpture including sound art, kinetic sculptures, and landscape inventions. “All works are considered experimental: some are designed to last for the entire four month display period…while others incorporate decay and erosion,” according to the exhibit’s website. “The exhibit’s themes offer a variety of perspectives on art and nature.”

“Tree Futures” by Suze Woolf. Photo from the Heaven and Earth Exhibition website.

“From Rust to Dust” by Suzanne Tidwell. Photo from the Heaven and Earth Exhibition website.

“I will go back and not come out” by Fox Anthony Spears. Photo from the Heaven and Earth Exhibition website.

The exhibit is a collaboration of Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), the Carkeek Park Advisory Council, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture Site Specific. It is up now through October 31.

From Seattle Parks:

Following a widely acclaimed debut in 2009 that received national attention, CoCA and the five organizations have partnered again to bring another exhibition to Carkeek Park in northwest Seattle. As before, the theme concerns the natural world in a time of dramatic change. Some of the art is designed to weather in place and erode, while other work incorporates movement and interactive use by visitors.

To learn more about the exhibit, visit the Heaven and Earth Exhibition website.

Carkeek Park gets county funding for park expansion

Carkeek Park will soon add more than an acre of space to the popular north Ballard park. The Metropolitan King County Council has made an agreement with the city of Seattle to use county Conservation Futures Tax Levy (CFT) funds to improve Carkeek Park.

The funds will be used to acquire a 1.65 acre wooded area on the edge of the park along Carkeek Park Road, which is located between the two major land areas of the park. According to the King County Council, the acquisition will prevent development on the property that would negatively impact the park and provide a buffer to Pipers Creek and the Pipers Creek Trail.

Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee and representative of Ballard says the funds will, “enhance Carkeek Park by expanding the park to make a critical piece of buffering property available to the public in perpetuity.”

According to the council, King County CFT funds are collected throughout King County as a dedicated portion of the property tax for the acquisition of open space and resource lands.

‘Pond Watchers’ will monitor amphibians at Carkeek Park

More than 50 volunteers with Woodland Park Zoo’s “pond watch” program will fan out at Carkeek Park this Saturday morning to survey amphibian egg masses in ponds and wetlands.

Oregon Spotted Frog. Photo by Dana Payne, Woodland Park Zoo.

The volunteers have already completed special training. They will be armed with hip waders, digital cameras, GPS units, and other monitoring tools.

Eight amphibian species will be monitored under the new regional program: western toad, Northwestern salamander, northern red-legged frog, Pacific tree frog, Oregon spotted frog, rough-skinned newt, long-toed salamander and American bullfrog. This project will provide critical population data, which over the long term can help determine if amphibian declines or fluctuations are occurring.

The ancient class of amphibians includes salamanders, newts, an obscure group of legless creatures known as caecilians and, of course, the icons, frogs and toads. Because their skin is so permeable, amphibians are known as sentinels of the planet, signaling an early warning when something is not right in the environment.

Volunteers needed for ‘salmon duty’

Volunteer fish feeders are needed for the 2012 salmon supplementation project in Carkeek Park. From February through May, 50,000 Chum Salmon fry will need to be fed three times a day by volunteers. Salmon from the Suquamish Tribal fish hatchery are raised in a small pond at Carkeek Park where they learn the taste and smell of the creek water.

“Salmon duty” takes just 30 minutes at least once a week. Schedules are flexible and fish feeders attend a one hour training. The training for spring fish feeders will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 11.

This is a joint project between Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project. Interested fish feeders should contact Nancy Malmgren at 206-363-4116.

Woman assaulted in Carkeek Park, suspect at large

A woman was assaulted in Carkeek Park this morning, police say. According to the SPD Blotter, the woman was jogging in the park after 8 a.m. when she was attacked by a male suspect.

Here is the write-up from the blotter:

On October 10th at approximately 8:26 a.m. officers responded to a 911 call of a woman assaulted in the 800 block of Northwest Carkeek Park Road. Preliminary investigation indicates that an adult female was jogging in Carkeek Park. She ran past the suspect who was sitting on a bench. About 15 minutes later she passed by him again on her way back. The suspect then attacked the victim from behind, putting her in a neck hold. A serious struggle ensued. The victim was able to fight the suspect off however, she did sustain abrasions to the right side of her neck, a scratch under her chin, and scrapes on her lower legs. She was treated by SFD medics at the scene and released.

The suspect was gone upon the officers’ arrival and remains at large. He was last seen walking away from the park eastbound on NW 110th Place from 4th Avenue NW.

The suspect is described as a Native American male in his 20’s, approximately 5’8” tall, weighing approximately 250 pounds, with long black hair that goes down his back. He was last seen wearing a brown long sleeve shirt with a black short sleeve shirt over it, dark pants, and carrying a lime green water bottle.

Anyone with information about this incident or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call 911 or the Seattle Police Violent Crimes Tip Line at (206) 233-5000 and refer to this incident. Anonymous calls are welcome.

A symphony of sounds for the sunset

Seattle composer Nat Evans has created a piece of work specifically for sunset at Carkeek Park on Saturday evening. The 23-minute piece fuses nature, music, community, and subjectivity of experience, he says. It’s an interesting concept – go to his website and download the music onto your ipod/mp3 player ahead of time then get to the beach by 8:30 p.m. At 8:37 p.m., exactly 10 minutes before sunset, Evans will give the cue to press play and participants will sit back and observe while listening.

“The music, a piece entitled Assemblage, is a mix of new and pre-existing compositions that have been arranged to best compliment the changing of light at the pivotal moment of Sunset,” Evans tells us.

It looks as if Mother Nature might cooperate. The forecast calls for sunshine with temps in the upper 70s.

He is also doing this in other parts of the country, including Chicago on August 4th, Indianapolis on August 7th and New York on August 21st.

‘Heaven and Earth’ returns to Carkeek Park

The third annual art exhibit “Heaven and Earth,” a temporary art installation is now open at Carkeek Park.

From the Support Carkeek Park website:

As in previous years, “Heaven and Earth” focuses on our natural environment in a world of change. Participating artists present their interpretations of art and nature, leaving “no trace” following removal of their installation. The artwork is constructed of mostly natural materials and is designed to have minimal impact on the park. Installations will either decompose organically or will leave the park in the same state it was prior to installation.

The Center on Contemporary Art, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council and Seattle Parks and Recreation presents “Heaven and Earth 3: Cycles of Return,” which will be on display until October 9th.

According to the website, the walking tour of art takes about 90 minutes. “Some works can be seen in less time, including a variety visible from the access road,” the website states. Maps can be downloaded here. (Thank you, Dennis, from the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association for the tip!)

‘Unique’ art exhibit opens at Carkeek Park

For the second year, Carkeek Park (950 NW Carkeek Park Rd.) has been transformed into a unique art exhibit.

Artist Sylwia Tur, Rungs. Photo courtesy David Fancis

Seattle Parks and Recreation
, the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), and the Carkeek Park Advisory Council have teamed up to bring the second installment of the Heaven and Earth exhibit back to Carkeek.

Artist Ken Turner, Broken Obelisk. Photo courtesy David Francis

The walking tour of the 15 to 20 pieces of art was created by 12 artists. The entire tour takes about an hour, although some pieces can be seen from the road so you don’t necessarily have to dedicate an hour. “The theme concerns the natural world in a time of dramatic change,” a press release from Seattle Parks states, “Some of the art is designed to weather in place and erode, while other work incorporates movement and interactive use by visitors.” The art will be on display through September 26th. A map of the tour can be found here (.pdf).

Help make Ballard beautiful this weekend

There are three events this weekend to help make the Ballard area beautiful:

Volunteers spreading gravel in the median of 14th Ave NW where new planters have been placed. Photo courtesy Dawn Hemminger.

  • On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the East Ballard Community Association is hosting its April Day Out. Participants can choose between cleaning up 14th Ave, plant plants in the new planters or help get the rest of the medians ready for gravel delivery. “Tools for breaking dirt, like a pick mattock, would be helpful,” coordinator Dawn Hemminger writes, “Ballard Market will be providing lots of great food and drink in appreciation for doing such a great job at making our neighborhood look so beautiful!”
  • Crown Hill celebrates Earth Day at the Carkeek Park Environmental Center from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Teams will fan out on our streets surrounding the park and do three things: (1) stencil “Dump No Waste, Drains to Stream” on storm drains, (2) distribute flyers to homes regarding pet waste, and (3) pick up trash along roadways and in public spaces. Pizza will be served at noon. So the Parks Department staff has appropriate numbers, please register at 206-386-9154.
  • Better your beach at Golden Gardens! There will be an Earth Day event on Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Golden Gardens Bathhouse. Help pick up the trash on the beach then join in a discussion “Green Seas Dialogue: Oceans and the New Climate.” Seattle Aquarium docents and student monitors at Golden Gardens beach will be on hand. Refreshments will be served.