Magnuson Nature News: December e-newsletter

Magnuson Nature News – December 2017

Newsletter Contents:
  • Memorable Moments from Teacher Emily – The Magic Show
  • Thank you for helping us meet the Seattle Parks Foundation “Giving Tuesday challenge”!
  • MORE Magnuson Children’s Garden-sponsored FREE events scheduled for 2018!

Memorable Moments from Teacher Emily

In 2013, I was delighted to find out that there was an annual, worldwide. “International Mud Day”celebration held each year on June 29th, so of course I made plans for our Soil Detectives nature campers to join in the fun! On that morning, we all went on a hike to collect mud from multiple park locations to compare and contrast.  Luckily, it had been raining lightly for several days beforehand, so there were many mud puddles to visit!  We started by walking on the trail through the grasslands in the center of the park, stopping to look at birds and insects along the way, and share our findings with each other.

It was a cloudy day, but little by little the sun began peeking out, and by the time we got to this big puddle in the Frog Pond Trail near the wetlands, it was warm enough for the kids to start peeling off jackets.

As we began walking back through the grasslands towards the Children’s Garden, the sun burst through the clouds for good.  All the raindrops clinging to the tips of the tall grasses lit up like glowing candles around us, spider webs glistened, and birds began singing!  It made us all just have to stop and stare in wonderment, and I heard Maddie, who was standing next to me, whisper excitedly, “This is a magic show!”  I couldn’t agree more.   In fact I was so stunned at the sight and Maddie’s perfect description of it, that I didn’t even pull out my camera.  Hence no photo of it here, but I bet you can see it in your mind’s eye …

Later that same day, our International Mud  Day celebration included building a great big “puddling pond” in the Children’s Garden (Maddie is at left) for butterflies to drink from. The salts and amino acids in the mud help strengthen the scales on their wings, and enhance the survival rate of the eggs they lay.  The rocks around the edge give them a place to spread their wings and warm up in the sun.

Believe it or not, within a few minutes after we finished the puddling pond, a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly came by for a drink!

Last year, kids had the idea to create an even-bigger puddling pond in the shape of a Sea Turtle, which we did on the east side of the Children’s Garden.  Because its edge rocks were hard to keep in place and it was hard for it to remain wet, we temporarily removed it this year…. but one of our big plans for 2018 is to re-create the Sea Turtle Puddling Pond with a permanent concrete and mosaic edge, filled with mud all year round!

Thanks to all the donations we received on GivingTuesday, I think there’s a great chance that our new Sea Turtle Pudding Pond will be completed by next June 29th, which is International Mud Day 2018, the 5-year anniversary of this memorable moment story.  That will make our celebration even sweeter, don’t you think? Maybe we’ll even give ourselves “mud facials” again too!

Stay tuned for another memorable moment in next month’s newsletter…

Thanks a million for helping us meet the Seattle Parks Foundation “Giving Tuesday challenge”!

We are so grateful to all 29 generous supporters who donated a total of $910.00 (wow) to Magnuson Children’s Garden on GivingTuesday! We more than met the Seattle Parks Foundation challenge, and will now receive an additional $1000 from them!

Words can’t adequately express how thankful we are to receive your wonderful gifts, which will make it possible for the Children’s Garden Committee to do more than ever to enhance the garden for all kids and adults who visit each year, and to provide free gardening and nature education opportunities from spring to fall.

Scroll down to read about the latest additions to our 2018 free programs!

MORE Magnuson Children’s Garden-sponsored FREE events scheduled for 2018!

Starting next spring, Children’s Garden Committee will partner with the Lifelong Recreation Program to offer free nature walks (donations accepted but not required) for adults ages 55 and above, one of which also includes grandchildren!  Here’s our spring plans as of today:

  •  Saturday April 21st:  Special Earth Day event- Free Family Garden Class plus community stewardship event!
  • Saturday May 19th: Free Family Garden Class plus community stewardship event!
  • Wednesday May 23rd:  Lifelong Recreation Nature Walk, featuring Magnuson Barn Owls & Owlets!
  • Wednesday June 27th: Lifelong Recreation Nature Walk, featuring a “Grandchild and Me” wetlands adventure!

Stay tuned for more events as they are added to our schedule!

 Thanks again for your support, and the Magnuson Children’s Garden Committee looks forward to seeing you at our free events in 2018!

Love and peace,

“Teacher Emily”