I’ve just finished a seasonal job with King County Parks; the job title was “Parks Specialist I.” Generally, seasonals work in a specific resource or management area all summer long. However, I was hired by the volunteer program to help in their restoration projects. The work was about half with volunteers groups, ranging in size from two or three up to forty and more, and in age from middle-schoolers up to retirees. The other half of the time was after-care of projects: weeding, watering, and monitoring; or clearing and preparing areas for fall planting. This work took me and my coworker literally all over King County.
There are several reasons why this is about the best job I could have had at this time. As I said above, we worked with a wide variety of volunteers, of different ages and races. We worked with different organizations, including Mountains to Sound Greenway, Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, Student Conservation Association, AmeriCorps and others. It also gave me direct field experience in a wide variety of different types of restoration projects. We worked in old pastures, floodplains, old farms, urban parks, regional trails, and second-growth forest, and from mountain sides to lowland bogs.
Here is a complete (I hope) list of the parks I worked in between April and October. The pictures below were taken during volunteer events.
- North: Sammammish River Trail in Bothell.
- South: Bass Lake Complex NA, south of Black Diamond.
- East: Tanner Landing, east of North Bend.
- West: Maury Island Marine Park, Vashon Island.
Urban parks and trails:
- Renton Park
- Five Mile Lake Park
- Sammammish River Trail, Redmond
- Sammammish River Trail, Bothell
- Northshore Athletic Fields
- Snoqualmie River:</p>
- Tanner Landing
- Three Forks Natural Area [NA] (Scott Property)
- Chinook Bend
- Dorre Donn Reach NA
- Belmondo Reach
- Cedar Grove
- Cavanaugh Pond
- Green River NA
- Whitney Bridge Park
- Flaming Geyser NA
- Bass Lake Complex Natural Area
- Upper, Middle, and Lower Bear Creek Natural Areas
- Log Cabin Reach NA
- Carnation Marsh
- Log Cabin
- Queen’s Bog (Klahanie Park)
- Taylor Mountain Forest
- Danville-Georgetown Open Space
- McGarvey Park Open Space
- Soaring Eagle Regional Park
- Duthie Hill Park (where the volunteer program office was located)
All in all, it was about the best summer I’ve ever had. The working conditions — particularly during the height of the heat waves and drought — were sometimes grueling, but the work was always worthwhile. We worked in some of the most remote and beautiful areas of King County. Our “lunchrooms” were along nearby rivers and creeks. Almost all the time we felt like we weren’t working at all. I often daydreamed of writing blog posts about it while it was happening, but alas, I was often too tired to do much more than just read when I got home.
Now it’s on to the next adventure.
Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.