Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer camps and nature programs are off to a great start!

This year is full of more fun, hands-on nature education opportunities for children and families than ever before, and many have filled up fast. There's still room for a few more "campers" in our remaining Garden class, Nature Explorers, and Nature Rangers camps, but you'll need to sign up soon to reserve your spot! Scroll down to see the current camp list and registration numbers.

All Magnuson Community Center Nature Programs for children and families are led by nature educator Emily Bishton, with assistant teachers and nature docents, and sponsored by
Magnuson Community Center
7110 62nd Ave NE, Seattle 98115

Register in advance for any of these nature programs by contacting Magnuson Community Center staff at 206-684-7026, or visiting the community center in person. You can also view the list of nature programs online at

Can you find the frog hiding in this log? This and many more nature adventures are waiting for you in our School Field Trip Program!

Designed for children ages 4-9 (pre-K to 3rd grade, this is an exciting addition to the Magnuson Nature Programs schedule. Each field trip theme includes age-appropriate investigation and exploration, plus hands-on stewardship activities. Great for schools, preschools, and more! Register in advance by contacting Magnuson Community Center staff at 206-684-7026, or register online at

Teachers can choose from three field trip themes, each a 90-minute guided adventure in a different part of the park:

1. “Wetland Discoveries”: learn how the Magnuson Wetlands help restore the natural functions of the Sand Point Peninsula and provides good habitat for plants, animals, amphibians, and other creatures that make their home in the park.

2. “The Birds of Magnuson Park”: learn how the wildlife habitats that have been created in the Magnuson Historic District are providing many species of songbirds and raptors with the food, water, shelter and nesting places they need in order to thrive.

3. “Life in a Garden”: learn about all the ingredients and tiny residents of healthy soil, and how it has been created in the Magnuson Children’s Garden and Community Garden. Participate in growing and harvesting organic food crops, fragrant and colorful herbs, and more.

Field Trip Leader: Emily Bishton, assisted by nature docents and special guests.
Fee: $100 for first 20 children, $5 per additional child
Call Magnuson Community Center at 206-684-7026 for more information or to register.

Summer and Fall Field Trip Schedule:
Choice of a 10:00am-11:30am field trip, or a 12:30pm-2:00pm field trip.
Contact Magnuson Community Center at 206-684-7026 to find out which dates are still available from this list:
  • Every Thursday morning or afternoon during the month of August
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning or afternoon during the last 2 weeks of September

Register in advance by contacting Magnuson Community Center staff at 206-684-7026, or register online at

Our camp and class fees have remained the same for the 3rd year in a row*! Children will learn about the plants, animals, birds, worms, insects, and frogs that live in Magnuson Park, help grow and harvest organic vegetables, hike in the natural areas of the park, and do stewardship activities. Each day also includes nature crafts, songs, games, and picnics. Camp fee includes an official Jr. Nature Explorer bandana, and each camp has a different theme and activities- you can sign your child up for one or for several!

Jr. Nature Explorers Camps for children ages 4-5
Our 7th year of camps!
Fee: $90

June 20th-23rd "The Wiggly World of Worms" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) FULL

July 5th-7th "Roots & Shoots" (Tu-Th from 9:30am-12:30pm) FULL

July 18th-20th "The World of Water" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm FULL

Aug 1st-3rd "Pollinator Power" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) FULL

Aug 8th-10th "Beetles on Parade" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) FULL

Aug 15th-17th "Winged Wonders" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) FULL

August 22nd-24th "Park Explorers" (M-W from 2:00pm-5:00pm @ Laurelhurst Community Center) Plenty of spots left

Aug 29th-31st "Flowers & Fruits" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) FULL

Nature Explorers Camps for children ages 6-7
NEW this year in response to parent input: variable times!

Although these camps have the same overall theme as some of the Jr. camps, they are filled with more advanced nature activities on each of the topics, using microscopes, binoculars, and other science tools. We will also do much more of an in-depth park exploration. See below for additional details

June 27th-29th "The Wiggly World of Worms" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) Explore the worm bin in search of millipedes, springtails, pillbugs, sowbugs, and other worm friends. Have a slug race. Re-bed the entire worm bin and use the "black gold" compost to mulch our vegetable garden! $90 FULL

July 11th-13th "The World of Water" (M-W from 9:30am-1:30pm) Spend 3 full days exploring the Magnuson wetlands and lakeshore. Look for tadpoles, water boatmen and backswimmers in pond water samples we collect, and search the skies and cattails for eagles, red-winged blackbirds, and waterfowl. Collect seeds and starts for wetlands stewardship activities! $120* FULL

Aug 8th-10th "Beetles on Parade" (M-W from 1:30-4:30pm) Hike the grasslands following the trails of ladybugs, soldier beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. Learn to recognize each stage of their life cycles and pot up a beetle-attracting plant to take home. Make your own giant bug! $90 10 spots left

Aug 22nd-24th "Roots, Shoots, Flowers, & Fruits" (M-W from 9:30am-12:30pm) Snack on the bounty of summer harvests in our garden and pick food to donate to local food banks. Make unusual plant crafts and create a brand new feature for the Children's Garden. Help plant our fall garden, and collect seeds to take home for your own! $90 6 spots left

NEW Nature Rangers Camps!
Another NEW option this year in response to parent input: camps for older explorers, variable times, and one with a longer camp day/week! Join us for a brand new approach to our nature camps: a different nature-adventure theme each day, with a wider scope of hands-on science activities, and extensive park exploration to a different area each day. Plus enjoy a few of the favorites that kids have come to know and love over the years, such as fort-building, bug hunts, and snack walks in our p-patch.

June 22nd-24th "Jr. Nature Rangers" for ages 7-8 (Wed-Fri from 1:30pm-4:30pm) $90 TONS OF FUN WAS HAD BY ALL
July 25th-29th "Nature Rangers" for ages 8-9 (Mon-Thurs from 9:30am-1:30pm) Fee: $160* 5 spots left

(* denotes the two new extended-day camps that have a higher fee, reflecting the increase in camp-hours)

Fresh-from-the-Garden class for children ages 6-9 12 spots left
Friday July 22nd from 9:30am-12:30pm

Have fun harvesting organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs, planting additional crops, and preparing a delicious lunch using seasonal ingredients. Each child can invite a guest for the shared, multi-course meal, and will take home recipes and food-growing tips to try in your own garden. Fee: $30

Family Nature Explorers- Summer Nighttime Nature Walks
June 17th- “Moonrise Walk” 8:30-9:30pm
July 15th- “Full Moon Walk” 8:30-9:30pm
Aug 19th- “Twilight Batwalk” 8:30-9:30pm

Fee: $2/individual or $5/family
Pre-registration is requested, but walk-ins are welcome. All walks begin at the South Wetlands Entrance (off 65th St.)

Fall Family Wetland Walks
Sept. 10th- "Fall Migration" 10:00-11:00am
Oct. 8th- "Autumn Beauty" 10:00-11:00am
Nov. 12th- "Winter Arrivals" 10:00am-11:00am

Family Campout- August 5-6
This event at the Magnuson Swimming Beach has been a huge hit for the past 3 years, featuring a hot dog roast and sing-a-long around the campfire, a nighttime bat walk and early morning birdwalk, and more! Last year campers woke up to the sight of a Bald Eagle gliding over the lakeshore, then got to witness the courtship display of a Hummingbird at the edge of the Kite Hill Forest.

The Magnuson Community Center is also seeking volunteers who would like to participate in these programs! If you are interested, please click on the February "Nature Docent Program" posting, which has a full description of all its volunteer opportunities.