Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
OLYMPIA – April 6, 2017 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and numerous partners invite the public to celebrate Earth Day at or near more than a dozen parks around the state. Earth Day, April 22, is also a free day when visitors don’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits to parks by vehicle.
Earth Day events include work parties to remove invasive plants, guided hikes to learn about native plants and interpretive programs for young people and adults.
The following state parks—listed by county—are hosting Earth Day events: (Unless otherwise noted, events are on Saturday, April 22.)
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Leavenworth Earth Day Community Fair
Noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 23
Lions Club Park, Leavenworth
Staff from Lake Wenatchee State Park will have a booth again at the Leavenworth Earth Day Community Fair. This year’s fair theme is all about community—the power of community to bring about positive sustainable living practices to securing a healthy climate future. This family-friendly event includes a good mix of fun and education with hands-on activities for kids and adults; food booths; live music; a silent auction and electric vehicles and yard equipment on display.
Mount St. Helens Visitor Center
Spring Craft Table and Interpretive Talks
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, Spirit Lake Highway, Castle Rock
Join interpretive staff throughout the day as they offer interactive Discovery Table Talks on the flora and fauna of the surrounding area. An indoor craft table will be available for families, with lessons on recognizing signs of spring throughout the park. The visitor center is across the highway from Seaquest State Park.
GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY
Lake Sylvia State Park
Trillium Trek — 1 p.m.
Lake Sylvia State Park, Montesano
The Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) invites the public to celebrate spring and Earth Day and see what’s blooming along the trails at Lake Sylvia State Park—including those harbingers of spring, trillium. FOSLS volunteer, Master Gardeners and park staff will lead hikes, strolls or walks around Lake Sylvia to count trilliums and identify the many wild native plants that thrive in the beautiful deep forests of the park. FOSLS will provide hot beverages and food for participants. Last year, trekkers counted more than 600 trilliums in bloom. Meet at the kitchen area along the beach. Well-behaved pets on short leashes are welcome. For more information about the trek, call (360) 789-9953 or (360) 249-3621 or visit the FOSLS web page.
Deception Pass State Park
Service project — 10 a.m. to noon
Interpretive activities — 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Deception Pass State Park, West Beach (Whidbey Island side)
Volunteers are needed in the morning to help remove invasive dune grass from the beach. Seth Luginbill with the Island County Noxious Weed Control Board will talk about why removing invasive species is so critical to maintaining healthy habitat. Following the work party, participants are invited to stick around for interpretive activities including a Junior Ranger Program for kids and an appearance by Gracie the Gray Whale skull. Volunteers should arrive 15 minutes before the work party and bring work gloves. For more information, contact Montana Napier, AmeriCorps Interpreter, DeceptionPass.Interpreter@parks.wa.gov or (360) 675-3767 ext. 21.
Fort Worden Historical State Park
Volunteer Work Party
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fort Worden Historical State Park, Port Townsend
Join volunteers with the Friends of Fort Worden Trail Team to help remove Scotch broom in the park. Volunteers will be working at various locations in the park but will most likely concentrate their efforts on the hill above the School of Woodworking. Meet at the parking area next to the school. Participants should bring work gloves and water. The Friends group will provide tools as well as tea, coffee and snacks. For more information, contact Jan North at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridle Trails State Park
9 a.m. to noon
Bridle Trails State Park, Bellevue
Join volunteers from the Bridle Trails Park Foundation to celebrate Earth Day by removing non-native invasive holly and blackberry, weeding a native plant garden and planting trees for screening. The Foundation will provide snacks, beverages and pizza. Some tools will be available, but people are encouraged to bring gloves, hand pruners and shovels. Consider carpooling; parking is limited. Learn more about the Bridle Trails Earth Day event.
Saltwater State Park
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saltwater State Park, Des Moines
The Friends of Saltwater State Park has a day full of great activities planned. Seattle Aquarium interpreters will talk about the park’s amazing beach life. Local volunteers will lead hikes. And there’ll even be a dive to the reef that lies just off shore. More information about this event is on the Friends of Saltwater State Park’s Facebook page.
Manchester State Park
Noon to 6 p.m.
Manchester State Park, Port Orchard
Join Kitsap County Master Gardeners and native plant specialists at the park for the start of Native Plant Appreciation Week. The interactive presentation will begin at the Torpedo Warehouse. Get information on local native plants, ask questions and join a guided tour of the park’s Interpretive Trail, which is short and level. All ages are welcome. Plant identification materials will be available. Learn more about the Kitsap Master Gardener Native Plant Appreciation Week event.
Columbia Hills Historical State Park
Columbia Hills Trail Daze
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Columbia Hills Trail State Park, Dallesport
Join staff from State Parks and other agencies to celebrate spring wildflowers and Earth Day at various locations in Columbia Hills Historical State Park. Schedule of events:
- 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. — Dalles Mountain Ranch trailhead. Take a guided wildflower walk with staff from Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
- 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — 8 Mile Creek (Dalles Mountain Ranch complex). Explore macroinvertebrate and stream health with staff from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Tour the ancient pictographs at Horsethief Lake. Reservations are required; call (509) 439-9032.
In addition to the above scheduled events, park staff invite the public to discover, on their own, evidence of the Ice Age Floods at Horsethief Butte and Crawford Oaks. Watch rock climbing students from The Mazamas climbing school scrambling on Horsethief Butte.
For more information about Trail Daze, call the park office at (509)767-1159 or area office at (509) 773-3145 or email@example.com.
Pearrygin Lake State Park
Earth Day Spring Clean Up with Methow Conservancy
8:30 to noon
Sunday, April 23
Pearrygin Lake State Park, Winthrop
Staff from Pearrygin Lake State Park will team up with Methow Conservancy for an Earth Day Spring clean-up. Volunteers are needed to help clean up the old Graves Homestead and ranch area. Work will involve piling tires, metal, trash, burned debris, wood and a rock foundation—all to be removed at a later date. Organizers recommend wearing work clothes and bringing tools such as metal rakes and shovels. After the work is done, volunteers are invited to a barbecue and a talk by Ranger Rick Lewis about the history of the park. Mary Kiesau, Methow Conservancy Educational Programs Director and photographer, will lead a flower walk in the park. Enter from the golf course and drive out to the ranch on the dirt road. Volunteers will get into the park for free. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 996-2870.
Kopachuck State Park
Parks Appreciation Day
8:45 a.m. to noon
Kopachuck State Park and other Gig Harbor area parks
Each year, the city of Gig Harbor rallies volunteers to spruce up parks in the area, including Kopachuck State Park. The focus at Kopachuck this year will be to attack the invasive English ivy growing around trees in the park. Park staff recommend that participants bring spring (lawn and leaf) rakes, loppers, small bypass pruners, flat shovels, round shovels and screwdrivers. Meet park staff in the day use parking lot between 8:45 and 9 a.m. Volunteers from all the parks are invited to a hot-dog lunch starting at noon at Sehmel Homestead Park, 10123 78th Ave., NW, Gig Harbor. Learn more about Gig Harbor’s Parks Appreciation Day.
Rockport State Park
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Howard Miller Steelhead County Park and Rockport State Park, Rockport
Rockport State Park is partnering with Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG), Skagit County Parks and several other groups for SFEG’s Earth Day event at Howard Miller Steelhead County Park. Activities include a volunteer work party to help restore salmon habitat; a demonstration of juvenile fish surveys; archeological presentations and two guided hikes leaving at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. in nearby Rockport State Park. Hikes take about 45 minutes. Organizers advise participants to dress for the weather. Gloves and tools will be provided. Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Learn more about the SFEG Earth Day event. For more information about the guided hikes at Rockport State Park, contact Amos Almy, Interpretive Specialist, email@example.com or (360) 854-8846
Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail
Unveil the Trail
Anytime during the day
Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail, Nine Mile Falls
Every April, in conjunction with Earth Day, volunteers from the Friends of the Centennial Trail, Adopt-a-Mile partners and community groups give the Spokane River Centennial Trail a clean sweep during the Unveil the Trail event. More than 300 volunteers will pick up litter, pull weeds and sweep debris from the trail that attracts 2.4 million visitors every year. Interested volunteers should contact Danny Murphy, Riverside State Park, firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 465-5064.
Discover Pass helps keep state parks open
Even though April 22 is a free day and visitors don’t need a Discover Pass, State Parks hopes people will take in a state park on this day and consider purchasing the pass. An annual pass is $30 and a daily pass is $10. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
Follow Washington State Parks:
Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at http://adventureawaits.com/
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650
Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388