Have you checked out North Creek Forest, one of Bothell’s newest City Parks? Not yet, you say? Maybe you’re not sure how to find it or didn’t realize it was open to the public? Well, it is open, and you can explore it on your own or through a community program offered by Friends of North Creek Forest.
As far a City Parks go, North Creek Forest is unique. It doesn’t offer swing sets, paved pathways or a well-marked parking lot. Instead, this 64-acre parkland (with trees nearing the 100-year-old mark) provides cushiony earth beneath your feet, the fresh aroma of ferns and cedars, and tiny streams whispering through ravines. North Creek Forest paves the way for stepping out of city life and into a lush woodland setting -- without having to drive 50 miles or more to a mountain forest
In addition to offering a nature fix, this old forest will patiently teach us delightful lessons, if we're willing to learn. On a recent walk with a friend, I learned how to “read” a story sword ferns tell us about life, death and survival.
Consider visiting the forest and reading this story too—all it takes is some time, a friend (the buddy system is always a good idea when hiking) and keen observation skills. Here’s how:
Next time you are walking through the forest, start noticing the sword ferns. These handsome, sprawling ferns are easy to spot. Older ones have very large (2-4 feet long), leathery, dark-green fronds and grow abundantly along the trail edges in North Creek Forest.
If someone offered you a pill that would make you feel more optimistic and peaceful, would you take it? And suppose this medicine was free and had no side effects. Sound too good to be true? But wait—there's more! Robust scientific studies show that this “pill” can lower blood pressure. Boost mental clarity. Even increase the number of killer cells your body produces—and by killer cells we mean specialized cells in our immune systems that fight cancer.
Believe it or not, a growing body of research shows that this healing medicine does exist. It’s called forest bathing. And this increasingly popular activity is available to people worldwide, including right here in North Creek Forest.
What Is Forest Bathing Anyway?
First, it’s not a bath per se.
Looking for a spot to quench your thirst after spending Saturday mornings exploring the North Creek Forest?
We are excited to partner with Cairn Brewing for OktoberForest events on Saturdays, Oct 6, 13 & 20 @ 1-4 pm! Join us for Pub talks and activities for kids. Family and dog friendly venue in Kenmore!
Try a pint or 22-oz bottle of Cairn's own newly tapped North Creek Common and $1 will be donated to Friends of North Creek Forest!
#cairnbeer #FriendsNorthCreekForest #OktoberForest
Welcome Melissa Gugala!!
In July, our wonderful part-time Volunteer & Stewardship Coordinator, Ashley Shattuck accepted a full-time position with the King County Noxious Weeds Board, and we had to say good-bye. We're very grateful for Ashley's leadership and contribution to many successful work parties and her continuing commitment as a forest volunteer.
Thankfully, we have an equally wonderful forest enthusiast who stepped into Ashley's boots (so to speak) near August's end. Melissa Gugala began volunteering with FNCF education and stewardship teams in early 2018, and we are delighted to have her join our staff as the new Volunteer & Stewardship Coordinator. Melissa will be leading our work parties and coordinating FNCF's partnership with UW Bothell's CBLR (Community Based Learning and Research) and Restoration Ecology Network (UW REN) teams.
Melissa brings experience working with Washington Trails Association to maintain and restore hiking trails in the Cascades, with a focus on making them accessible to all. While attending Cascadia College, Melissa worked on water quality projects for the UW Bothell Campus Wetlands, where she monitored water quality, maintained a database of findings, and prepared reports on the data collected. She graduated from Cascadia College in June 2018 with a Bachelors in Applied Sciences in Sustainable Practices. Prior to joining FNCF's staff, Melissa volunteered for FNCF's education program, teaching grade school students about the forest and explaining why protecting, restoring and maintaining its health is important for all.
Melissa believes that the best way to protect forests starts with community engagement and education. Getting people engaged in the forest and understanding why we need these natural spaces is the best way to ensure these places thrive for generations to come.
Interested in bringing a group to volunteer at the North Creek Forest? Please email Melissa: firstname.lastname@example.org