Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Heaven and Earth" Returning to Carkeek Park

The Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), in collaboration with the Carkeek Park Advisory Council and Seattle Parks and Recreation, will once again present an exhibit of outdoor art at Carkeek Park.

"Heaven and Earth 3:  Cycles of Return" will be on display throughout Carkeek Park from July 9, 2011 to October 9, 2011.

An Opening Reception will be hosted this Saturday, July 9, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, at Carkeek's Environmental Learning Center, 950 Carkeek Park Road, Seattle, WA 98177.  The public is invited to meet "Heaven and Earth" artists and organizers and to tour the exhibit.

Additional funding from 4Culture's Site Specific program and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs allows this year's exhibit to return with an expanded roster of artists -  a total of 20 to 25 displays of artwork from 21 individual artists.

A walking tour of Carkeek's "Heaven and Earth 3" takes about an hour and a half.  Some works can be seen in less time, including a variety visible from the access road.  Maps can be downloaded for free at CoCA's website beginning July 9.

As in previous years, "Heaven and Earth" focuses on our natural environment in a world of change. Participating artists present their interpretations of art and nature, leaving "no trace" following removal of their installation.  The artwork is constructed of mostly natural materials and is designed to have minimal impact on the park.  Installations will either decompose organically or will leave the park in the same state it was prior to installation.
Carkeek is widely considered one of Seattle's premier urban forests.

Sunset Magazine recently named Carkeek Park #3 among America's top 10 urban parks.  Seattle Parks and Recreation estimated that 150,000 people visited Carkeek Park during the "Heaven and Earth" display period last summer.

For more information on this event, contact David Francis at 206-283-4701 or via email at

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Master Forestry Class Coming to Carkeek Park

Starting July 9th, Carkeek Park will once again host a Master Forester Class to train skilled volunteers as urban forest stewards.
This 12-week course spans through the summer, fall and winter months and focuses on species identification, forest restoration and management, and knowledge of forestry tools.  Hands-on work includes removal of invasive plants, site preparation, planting, monitoring, tool maintenance, and developing a 3-year workplan for a section of the park.

This is the fourth such class offered at Carkeek Park, with previous classes run every other year since 2005.  The course will be led by Master Foresters Lex Voorhoeve and Loren McElvain.  (Loren is a graduate of Carkeek's first Master Forester class.)  Seattle Parks' Naturalist Brian Gay, who directed the first three Master Forester classes, will contribute where possible.
This year's class is full, but there is hope to run another installment in 2013.

Four Master Forestry Volunteers clearing Laurel bushes.
Successful completion of the Master Forestry course gives participants the necessary background to work as stewards in the urban forests of Seattle, support Seattle Parks Department in park maintenance, lead work parties of volunteers, and adopt sections of the park to observe and maintain.  
Click here to see a brochure from the 2009 Master Forestry Class at Carkeek Park. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Today is Carkeek Park's Volunteer Recognition Day!

Volunteers of Carkeek Park - past and present - are welcome to join the Carkeek Park Advisory Council (CPAC) for a celebration of the collective efforts that better our Park.  CPAC will present information on how to continue improving the ecology at Carkeek Park.

This event takes place Saturday, June 11 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center.

For more information, please call Nancy Malmgren at 206-363-4116.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Volunteers Needed for Work Day Party at Carkeek Park

Volunteers are needed for a work day party at Carkeek Park
Saturday, April 16th

Help celebrate the 31st Annual Earth Day at Carkeek Park and Piper's Creek Watershed by volunteering your environmental efforts at this event.   Youth groups, families and individuals welcome to participate.

8:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Work party includes stenciling storm drains, cleaning up of trash and recycling.

11:00 AM to 12:00
Activities include snacks, release of salmon and musical program.

Sponsored by Carkeek Park Advisory Council (CPAC), Restore Our Waters (Seattle Public Utilities) Carkeek  Watershed Community Action Project (CWCAP) and Seattle Parks and Recreation Department (SPRD).

For more information or to volunteer, call Nancy Malmgren at 206-363-4116.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Carkeek Park's EarthKeepers Summer Day Camp - 2011

EarthKeepers Returning to Carkeek Park this Summer!  

EarthKeepers is a environmentally-based summer day camp for exploring, learning and playing outdoors.  It offers activities for children ages 6 to 12 to foster friendship, learning, creativity and leadership.  EarthKeeper Educators have backgrounds in the natural
sciences/environmental education and experience working with school-age children.

What Do EarthKeepers do at Camp?
On any given day, EarthKeepers may find themselves exploring Carkeek Beach, hiking through the forest, playing in a field, learning about nature or creating art.  Each weekly has a different theme:

      Week 1 (June 27- July 1):  Wet & Squiggly Tidepool Wonders
      Week 2 (July 5 - 8):  Feathered Friends (no camp Monday, July 4)
      Week 3 (July 11-15):  Tidepools - Window to Puget Sound
      Week 4 (July 18-22):   Survivor Island
      Week 5 (July 25-29):  Buggin’ Out
      Week 6 (August 1-5):   Furs, Tails, Tracks & Trails
      Week 7 (August 8-12):   Carkeek’s Incredible Time Machine
      Week 8 (August 15-19):   Survivor Island

2011 Camp Cost:
The cost for each week of EarthKeepers Day Camp is $215, except Week #2 is
$175.00 (as there is no camp on Monday, 7/4). 

Early and Later  Camp Programming:
Parents can enroll children in Early Camp session (from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.) if an earlier starting time is needed.  The fee for Early Camp is $10 for the hour.  

Likewise, Later Camp is an option for families who need an extended day (from 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.). The fee for Later Camp is $10 for the hour.

For more information and registration, call 206-684-0877 or visit

Viewlands Elementary Has New Principal

Viewlands Elementary School, located in the Broadview neighborhood of Seattle, is re-opening for the 2011-2012 school year.  Prior to closing, the school had a long and successful history with environmental education, in partnership with Carkeek Park and the Carkeek Park Advisory Council.

Below are letters from Viewlands' incoming principal, Lisa Escobar, and Seattle Public Schools' interim Superintendent, Susan Enfield, Ed.D.

Part of the vision of the "New Viewlands" is to continue environmental education.  More details to come.

A letter  from  Lisa Escobar, incoming Principal for Viewlands Elementary:
Dear families and students of Viewlands Elementary School,

It is with great enthusiasm that I write my first letter to you.  I am very excited about being your principal and I look forward to working with you to create a wonderful learning community that reflects your hopes, dreams and expectations for your child’s educational experience.

I bring many years of experience in public schools as a teacher and an administrator.  I have devoted my life to education as I believe it is the most important work I can do.  I believe in educating the whole child so that we have strong balanced leaders to move us forward into a sustainable future.  My favorite moments are visiting classrooms and participating in activities or teaching mini-lessons.  I am always amazed at the magic created in the classroom through the interactions between a student and a teacher. 

I have a strong background in elementary education, special education and bilingual education.  I look forward to sharing my expertise with an exceptional staff to ensure the success of all children at Viewlands Elementary School.  I am known as a collaborative and compassionate leader and I believe the partnership between families and communities are critical for the success of our children. 

As the mother of four children and the proud grandmother of a 20 month old granddaughter, I can honestly say I understand the importance of having a safe, positive school environment with a strong academic program.  I can assure you that we will work very hard to create the school community we all envision for our children.

I am planning a time that we can get together and actually meet face to face this spring.  Stay tuned for details on our first “get together.”  I look forward to meeting you!

Take care,
Lisa Escobar

A letter  from  Susan Enfield, Ed.D., Interim Superintendent

I believe that Ms. Escobar will make an excellent match for the Viewlands learning community, given her extensive classroom experience and strong educational leadership. Ms. Escobar has been an administrator in the Seattle Public Schools since 2004.  She has been a principal at Nova, The Center School and is currently co-principal at Rainier Beach High School. Her administrative experience also includes an elementary school principalship and assistant principal positions at the middle school level. Ms. Escobar is known as a creative and compassionate leader who is passionate about children. She is a “hands on” principal who believes in educating the whole child.  She is an effective instructional leader that has high expectations yet works collaboratively with her staff to deliver an innovative, child-centered curriculum.  She believes strongly in the involvement of family and community partnerships to create a rich educational program where all students thrive.

In addition to her service with Seattle Public Schools, she has been a classroom teacher at schools in Issaquah and districts in California.  Ms. Escobar taught general, special and bilingual education for several years at the elementary and secondary level and did her administrative internship at an elementary school.  She has a strong background in health, biology and chemistry with a passion for environmental science.  She believes strongly in creating a healthy school environment where students cultivate a love of learning and an awareness of their impact on the world around them.

Ms. Escobar received her degree in health science with minors in chemistry and biology from Chico State University, California.  She has a master’s degree in special education from San Jose State University, where her focus was on engaging Spanish-speaking parents in the IEP (individualized education program) process. She received her administrative credential from Chico State.

I look forward to working with Ms. Escobar to build a positive learning community at Viewlands that supports the success of all students. She will be in touch with you to set up opportunities to meet and get to know her, and to be involved in planning for a very successful program.

Security Contacts for Carkeek Park

For concerns regarding security in Carkeek Park, please contact the Community Police Team, Officer David Gordon at 206-684-0899

Officer Gordon is the best person to call first for questions about neighborhood police patrols, etc.

Non-Emergency Seattle Police Department: 206-675-5011

Emergency: 911

For Security Concerns related to Carkeek Park:
Seattle Parks Security: 206-684-7088 (During weekday working hours)
After 5:00 PM and on Weekends: Page the Parks Duty officer at 206-982-4583

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Salmon in the Classroom" Program May Be Saved

The "Salmon in the Classroom" project, recently eliminated due to city and state budget cuts, may return to Seattle Schools, thanks to Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin. 
Conlin announced that he has directed Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to fund $10,000 to continue the program in Seattle Schools.  "Salmon in the Schools" has been in operation for 20 years, with an average of 495 Washington State schools participating each year, and is a staple in hands-on, environmental learning for schoolchildren.  
Every year, approximately 40,000 Washington State students learn about the salmon live-cycle through the "Salmon in the Classroom" project.
Eliminating the program will save $110,000 for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year and a total of $442,000 over the next two years.  Under Conlin's plan, SPU will spend $10,000 to help nearly 50 Seattle schools maintain the program.
Still, with such a reduction in funding, the program needs help.  Volunteers will be needed to help train participants to retain the program. 

Click here to read Susan Gilmore's article in "The Seattle Times" published Sunday, 2/13/11.

Susan Gilmore, Seattle Times staff reporter, can be reached at:
206-464-2054 or

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Volunteer Opportunities at Carkeek Park

Love Carkeek Park?  Consider Volunteering!

In light of the recent elimination of staff and closures to Carkeek Park, volunteers are even more crucial to the survival of the park and its ecosystem.

Below are long-standing volunteer groups who help preserve and better our park.  
All welcome new members.  Descriptions and contacts are below:

Carkeek Park Advisory Council (CPAC) 

CPAC is a group of neighbors, community members and volunteers who support and enjoy Carkeek Park.  We work with Seattle Parks and Recreation in an advisory and supporting role.  We organize volunteer efforts through which many members of our community have contributed thousands of volunteer hours to improve the park in areas such as restoring salmon runs to Piper's Creek, trails improvement project, restoring Piper's Orchard, reforestation, and many others.

The council holds business meetings monthly, except in the summer months.  Most council work is done by its committee members, who plan, organize and carry out volunteer activities. 

--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact (206) 684-0877

Streams, Trails, and Reforestation Stewards (STARS)
If you enjoy Carkeek's trail system, these volunteers are especially to thank!
Work parties every 3rd Saturday of the month. 
--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact Dale at (206) 362-2980 or at

Friends of Piper's Orchard

Friends of Piper's Orchard is a group of neighbors, near and far, who love the Piper's Orchard in Carkeek Park.  We work together with the help of Seattle Parks and the Carkeek Park Advisory Council.  The Friends of Pipers Orchard web page is intended to foster community 
support for the Piper's Creek Orchard in Carkeek Park, sharing and preserving information about the orchard for it's betterment.
--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact Bob Baines at or volunteer online at

Master Foresters
Master Foresters is a class for beginners and deals with the very basics of forest restoration:  Species knowledge (summer and winter characteristics), invasive removal, planting and monitoring, and knowledge of the tools and work technique involved.  The class is primarilarly for neighborhood residents who potentially become Forest Stewards in the park, but open places can be filled with city-wide participants.  A requirement is being able-bodied, as being a Forest Steward in Carkeek Park is a physically demanding hobby.  

UPCOMING 2011 CLASS:  Carkeek Park Forest Stewards Lex Voorhoeve and Loren McElvain, possibly joined by Brian Gay, Park Naturalist, consider starting a fourth Master Foresters Class in July 2011.  The project still needs approval from Parks.  The class will be spread out over 12 Saturdays between July 2011 and February 2012, and would run from 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM.  Cost is $40.
--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact Lex Voorhoeve or at (206) 706-1009.

Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project (CWCAP)
Currently sponsors the following programs:  Salmon Feeders, Salmon Count Program, Salmon Stewards, Beach Docents, Demonstration Garden Volunteers, Earth Day and Salmon Celebration.
--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact Nancy at (206) 363-4116.

Weekday Workers (WEWO)
Special planting/care projects.  Weekday Workers are people who are sometimes available to volunteer during the week.  The work varies as needs arise in the park.  Typical activities are planting, invasive removal, clearing blocked trails.
--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact Loren McElvain at (206) 782-7617

Friends of Llandover Woods (FoLW)
Friends of Llandover Woods has been in operation for about 6 years and is dedicated to preserving a peaceful 10-acre patch in Northwest Seattle.  FoLW is currently working on forest restoration plan created collaboratively with Seattle Urban Nature and participates in the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) program.  FoWL holds regular 2nd Sunday of the month work parties year round.  These are also listed in both the Green Seattle Partnership Event's web page and Seattle Parks and Recreation Volunteer calendar.  
--->  For more information or to volunteer, contact Glenn Austin at (206) 364-9252 or at

Service Learning Credits
Carkeek Park Caretakers welcome school and youth groups! Service Learning Credits can be given for any of the volunteer activities at Carkeek Park.  Please be sure to let the contact person for your project know about your need for credits.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Emergency Contact Numbers for Carkeek Park

Below are emergency contact numbers for Carkeek Park.  Please call any of the appropriate numbers if you witness anything suspicious at or around Carkeek Park:

Emergency (24 hours, 7 days per week)

Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency (24 hours, 7 days per week)

Seattle Parks Security Office (Monday through Friday, 8AM - 5PM)

Seattle Parks Security Duty Officer Pager (Weekdays after 5PM, weekends and holidays)