Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Tree Walks

I came across this series of cool tree walks last year when we were doing a scavenger hunt to find different native trees in the PNW. While I was planning to save this post till next month, when things start to bloom, I find myself needing to get our family outside with everything going on and this is a fun way to do it. Plus, they are walks that can really be done year-round. I've also included some of our favorite books about trees, a cool tree kit you can rent locally through Sensa Play Rentals and a few other ideas. 

Updated 5/9/22—After exploring several walks in West Seattle, we ventured off-island and ended up writing a story for Seattle's Child. This tree walk highlights how the local bird life uses the trees in this Ravenna neighborhood. Check it out here

Tree Walks
Trees for Seattle, on the city's website, has a series of different walks all over the city, including the 12 below in West Seattle. You can view, print and/or download them as PDFs. A handful of them are also available via a 
Trees for Seattle app (info noted in another section below). Direct links to all the West Seattle walks are below and here's the link to the main page on the City of Seattle's website with more info and all the walks. Bonus, several of the walks below are near play areas for an extra adventure and here's a Google map I created with starting locations marked.
  • Admiral
    Begin at Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California Ave SW). The walk covers some trees in the park and then heads towards North Admiral.
  • Endolyne
    Begin at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook, corner of SW Director St. & Fauntleroy Way SW.
  • Gatewood
    Begin at the playground at Myrtle Reservoir Park (35th Ave SW and SW Willow Street). The walk starts and ends at the playground at Myrtle Reservoir Park. Please note that the playground borders SW Willow Street, not SW Myrtle.
  • Genesee
    Begin at Ercolini Park, NE corner of 48th Ave & Alaska.
  • Hiawatha
    Begin in front of the Hiawatha Community Center. This walk is just trees in the park, unlike the Admiral one above.
  • Highland Park
    Begin at the corner of 9th Ave SW and Henderson Street, near Westcrest Park.
  • High Point
    Begin at Neighborhood House Parking Lot next to the Sports court.
  • Lincoln Park
    Begin at the Lincoln Park information board, located in the north parking lot on Fauntleroy Way. Walk encompasses the northern end of the park.
  • Lower Fauntleroy
    Begin at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook, corner of SW Director St. & Fauntleroy Way SW.
  • North Delridge 
    Begin in Greg Davis Park at the boulders. App version is specifically written for kids. 
  • Roxhill
    Begin at the NW corner of Roxhill Park.
  • Youngstown
    Begin near the Delridge Community Center.
Two BINGO-style scavenger hunts
The scavenger hunt we did was online through the Seward Park Audubon Center but here are two PDFs on the city's website you can view, download and/or print out.
Here are a few of our favorite books plus some lists I found on the Seattle Public Library's website. You also do your own search or check out options at our two local bookstores—Paper Boat Booksellers or Pegasus Book Exchange
Added 5/9/22: While doing research for the Seattle's Child article I discovered this awesome book by Seattle author and parent, Karen Gaudette Brewer called Northwest Know How: Trees

Sensory kit
If you have a preschooler, consider renting the tree kit from Sensa Play Rentals which is owned by a West Seattle mama. 
Each kit includes books, games, toys and activities and is designed for four days of educational play focused around a theme. Rental costs run $20-25 for a week with pick-up and delivery included. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram or email them. There's also a write-up about them on Macaroni Kid, West Seattle.

While I’m not generally a big fan of using tech while getting outside, I’ve been working on finding a balance with my digital native kiddos. Both of the apps below are free and available for both Android and Apple smartphones.
  • Trees for Seattle
    Some of the walks mentioned above are available via this app.  It also shows other walks around the city for when you're adventuring outside of West Seattle.
  • iNaturalist (Corrected 1/13: Originally said "iNature" but went to use it today and realized it's "iNaturalist".)
    I discovered this app when we were doing the scavenger hunt through the Seward Park Audubon Center last year and we used it to record our finds. I’ve since used it quite a bit when we come across a tree or plant that we want to try and identify.
Other Resources