Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NEW Family Nature Explorers Program!

FREE Family Nature Explorer Events
Bring the whole family to Magnuson Park to learn together! Come and see how the Magnuson Wetlands and other Natural Areas are becoming home to a wide variety of plants, birds, and other wildlife, visit the Bird-friendly Landscape to learn easy ways to attract more songbirds and butterflies to your garden, and spend time in the Children's Garden to learn how to make your home garden more fun for your child's exploration and play.

For more information or to register for any Family Nature Explorers programs, contact the Community Center staff at 206-684-7026 or visit

FREE Magnuson Family Explorer "Wetland Walks"
Bring the whole family for an adventure in the new Magnuson Park Wetlands! You’ll see emerging spring growth, the arrival and departure of insects and migratory birds, the seasonal ebb and flow of water in the ponds and swales, lush summer bounty of flowering and fruiting plants, and the quiet times of fall. Each tour will have a different theme with fun, hands-on exploration activities. Binoculars and field guides will be provided, or you can bring your own.

Tour Leader: Children's Educator and Naturalist Emily Bishton, with special guest Wetlands Gardener Miriam Preus.

Location: The NE 65th St entry to the Magnuson Wetlands, inside the parking lot just east of Sportsfield Drive. Meet in front of the tall mounds at the northeast corner of the parking lot.
Pre-registration requested, but walk-ins are welcome.
  • Wetland Wake-Up April 10th We saw year-round resident Dabbling Ducks and winter resident Diving Ducks, plus new leaves and buds were opening up all over the plants!
  • Tadpoles and Nestlings May 1st from 10:00-11:00am We saw Ducks with new ducklings, Swallows just arrived from South America, Geese chasing each other, frog eggs, Lupines beginning to bloom, and all sorts of cool insects and their larvae!
  • Spring Migration June 5th from 10:00-11:00am We learned about 5 plants that are the "friends" of the wetlands! We saw ducklings that have grown almost as big as their Mom and Dad, bees having lunch, Swallows swooping and scooping mud for their nests, insects that can swim underwater, and tadpoles growing big with a newly 'spouted' set of back legs!
  • The Growing Season July 3rd from 10:00-11:00am We saw something very unexpected- more brand new tadpoles because the 'rice paddy ponds' were still very full from our super wet spring! Three kinds of Swallows were swooping the sky, Goldfinches and Sparrows were flitting in the tall grass, and we even saw a tiny tree frog peeking out from the bark of a nurse log!
  • Songs of Summer Aug. 7th from 10:00-11:00am We saw 3 Tree Frogs jump out from underneath the bark on our favorite nurse log, now called "the frog log"! Even though the marsh ponds are drying up from the summer sun, we saw lots of footprints in the mud and Swallows swooping down to them. They got a drink and a snack of their favorite food: insects. We snacked too, just like the bees do: on nectar-filled Clover blossoms!
  • Fall Migration Sept 4th from 10:00-11:00am
  • Autumn Beauty Oct 2nd from 10:00-11:00am
  • Winter Arrivals Nov 6th from 10:00-11:00am

FREE Magnuson Family Explorer "Night-time Nature Walks"

The hours just before and after sunset each day are when wildlife is most active. Bring the family to Magnuson Park to discover who is up and about! Dress for the weather and bring a small flashlight.

Friday August 20th from 7:30-9:00pm: "Nocturnal Nightlife Walk". Come enjoy a dusk-to-dark hike through Magnuson's south forest at Promontory Point and the Flyway, to look and listen for nocturnal wildlife. Special Guest Leader: An Audubon Master Birder! Meet at the Promontory Point Education Pavilion.

Friday September 3rd 7:30-9:00: "New Moon Wetlands Bat Walk". Come enjoy a twilight walk through the Magnuson Park Wetlands to look for resident bats hunting in the night skies above (maybe with babies in-tow) Special Guest Leader: A Bats Northwest expert! Meet at the Wetlands' central parking lot off of NE 65th St.

Friday September 24th from 7:00-8:30pm: "Full Moon Wetlands Walk" Join us to watch the full moon rise over the Magnuson Wetlands. Find out which animals are headed to bed and which are just getting up. Special Guest Leader: TBA! Meet at the Wetlands' central parking lot off of NE 65th St.

FREE Magnuson Family Explorer Nature Classes
Create Your Own Bird-friendly Garden! See and touch bird nests and nest boxes, explore a 'nest recipe box'. Then make a simple birdhouse and/or a bird-friendly wreath for your door, to create an oasis for songbirds in your own home garden!

Teacher: Landscape Designer and Nature Educator Emily Bishton
Date and time:Friday evening, December 10th from 5:00-8:30pm
Location: Magnuson Community Center lobby and the Bird-Friendly Landscape.

Create Your Own Child-friendly Garden!
See, touch, and listen to plants that delight all the senses, explore our lively worm bin, plant seeds and plants, and learn how easy it is to add special features to your own garden that your children will enjoy.
Teacher: Landscape Designer and Children's Educator Emily Bishton Next event: Spring 2011!
Date and time: TBA

Location: Magnuson Brig- Ravenna Room, and the Children’s Garden.

For more information or to register for any Family Nature Explorers programs, contact the Community Center staff at 206-684-7026 or visit