Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Watershed, Waterfront

I came home from work Monday to find my youngest child had taken a spill. Her trusty machine, Sparkle, had led her into a false sense of security. The whole story was relayed in quite some detail by her older brother. He explained her malady came from a curb just outside of the library in Edmonds. I was able to view the site of the incident today. The landscaping of beautiful rhododendron and statues around the library has a concrete curb for a barrier. All of the mulch and manicured areas were separated from the walkway by the solid concrete structure rising three inches off the ground. He described how her training wheel had been hooked in the curb and her forward momentum propelled her over her handlebars into a facing part of the curb. She landed literally on her face, where her helmet could not spare her injury. Traci took her into the library where first aid was administered hastily with ice, clean water washing the scrapes and lots of therapeutic hugging. When I came home and saw her she had forgotten the whole tragedy, her scrape on her chin gave it away.

We had spent the weekend in the Edmonds area at the watershed and waterfront festivals. They were interesting and full of different people. Volunteers and vendors filled the marina area for the waterfront festival while community groups manned stations at the watershed festival.

Yost park was the backdrop for the watershed festival, five hours of environmental educational activities in a wilderness park right in Edmonds. The terrain of the park drops into thick tall trees giving the sense you have stepped into wilderness. The town of Edmonds has an outdoor pool in the park breaking the illusion of a wilderness retreat. We spent the day visiting the activity booths, listening to a Comanche story involving rabbit and coyote and taking a nature walk highlighted by the clear viewing of a pair of barred owls. The crafts were all focused on preserving and respecting the environment. Shane and Sophie made rubbings of tree leaves, dragonfly rings made of pipe cleaners and paper cutouts, a hat with a description of the salmon lifespan and a nice collage of pictures of marine life. Every activity stressed the importance of being aware of our impact on our surroundings and taking steps to minimize this impact.

Traci later commented what she observed regarding the attendance of the event. She said it seemed as though the people who attended this event were most likely already observant of their impact on their environment. She based this observation on her keen ability to spot environmentally conscious people and the fast that most of the people were members of some environmental group. It was most likely true. We did learn the impact of domestic animal waste on local waters. We now know to bag it and throw it in the trash. Shane and Sophie have since become too adept at spotting dog waste during our walks down the hill. Our attention has been drawn to the pile of poo on the sidewalk too many times.

The next day we went to the marina for the waterfront festival. Here the vendors made no attempt to save the environment unless it involved buying some product. The vendors ranged from sauce makers and Tae Kwon Do instructors to roofing contractors and sandals. There were a few blow up bouncy activities for the kids and plenty of food. We let the kids try a few bouncy games then went for the main attraction, cotton candy. Shane went down the big bouncy slide and Sophie followed him to the top. It was interesting to watch Sophie climb up the bouncy slide and freeze at the top. She has not been intimidated by such activities in the past. She had to climb back down the ladder foregoing the brief slide and retreiving her ticket at the bottom. She went in the bounce house instead, enjoying every bounce.

Today we went to Carkeek park in Seattle. The park had a couple of play areas including a giant salmon kids can slide through. We ate a picnic lunch facing the Olympic mountains. We walked on the beach for a while until a busload of middle schoolers piled onto the beach giggling and yelling. They looked like they were having a great time.

Shane and Sophie liked the salmon slide and went back to it. There they went down the slide and climbed back up to go down again. Several other kids joined in forming a line to wait turns on the slide. The children joked about the salmon swallowing them then releasing them again from its back side, pooping them out. This lasted for most of our time at the park. The abundant sunshine made for a great day at the park.

The next few days we are making preparations for our biggest visitors yet, Grandma and Grandpa. They will be delivering Savannah back to us. We have all missed Savannah terribly. She may never be allowed to leave the big trip for such a long time again. We are looking forward in the week with great anticipation and excitement.