Category Archives: Community Space

Lake Granbury Master Gardens Demonstration Garden

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The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden is a lovely blooming oasis even though the Texas heat wasn’t offering the most hospital environment. Those clever gardeners are well aware of their climate and have adapted to it. I was greeted by a cheerful volunteer who let me know that there was beauty to be had, even though the sun was drying everything up. And I did find beauty. There were some huge red flowers, a hobbit hole, a water feature, butterfly bushes with butterflies, a very wonderful arbor with squash (I guess it was squash) hanging from the top, plenty of honeybees, a cardinal, lots of art and darling walking paths. The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners work with  the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. I’d like to go back for a springtime visit!

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The Boulders Near the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch

stones on parking stripThe boulders were dropped on the parking strip on Earnest S. Brazill Street between Tacoma Avenue South and Altheimer Street in June 2015. The strip is between Tacoma Public Library Main Branch and a public parking lot and indeed it was often full of people prior to the great stone drop.  Prior to the drop, the area had been identified as one of seven “hot spots” for homeless encampments in Tacoma. When I went passed this evening there was a small group of folks on the still green strip uphill to the west of the boulders. The move was seen as controversial and it is indeed a difficult issue. It is the second boulder drop in Tacoma this year with the other drop being under I-705 near the Dock Street offramp.

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Des Moines Creek and Marina

Man and fishA while back while we were having that string of lovely weekends, dear husband and I were exploring and came upon the Des Moines Marina and Creek. It is a lovely area with a marine (you might have guessed), a large parking lot, some public art (including a way cool mural) and to the north end trails and beach. The Fish/man in the mural is also a statue elsewhere in Des Moines.

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The culvert behind my mom’s house

14717101317_6eb910af46_k….leads to a Harbor Lakes Golf Club. Here is a picture of the golf course as well as the culvert, which is dry during most of the summer and diverts rain water to a pond during periods of rain. Here are a couple of pictures of the culvert, the pond and the edge of the golf course.

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Bridge of Locks, University Place

IMG_1269A quick survey of my Facebook friends let me know that there are four Tacoma area bridges/overpasses that are being used as Bridge of Locks. On Sunday, which had glorious weather, I went to Bridge to the Beach that crosses the railroad tracks at Chambers Bay Regional Park in University Place. I hadn’t realized that I could drive down to the bottom of the park and I also didn’t know there was a bridge to the beach. What an amazing park it has turned into! There were families and couples with plenty of dogs. There were huge kites and picnics and music. Really it was splendid. I was there in August 2011 and it has significantly updated since then!

A short stroll took me to the modern bridge and at first I only saw a lock or two, but then there was a little cluster of them and at the end of the elevated pathway there were a number of them. Unlike many of the other Bridge of Locks, the arrangement of the Bridge to the Beach is such that each locks does not have its own little area, but instead can slide back and forth. This was a pretty exciting discovery for the four year old next to me!

Bridges of Locks are relatively new on a wide spread basis. The tradition is that those in love put their name on a lock then attach it to the bridge and throw the key away to symbolize their unfailing devotion.  This is a worldwide phenomena, as can be seen here.

The Bridges of Locks have not all been well received, with the weight of all those locks pulling down and damaging several structures. In University Place, there are no plans to remove the locks. Pierce County spokesman Hunter George said “We’re not encouraging it or discouraging it (the hanging of the locks). But we do think there are better ways. If people really want to demonstrate their commitment to each other, we’d love to see them get married at Chambers Bay. We have great rates. Or get a tattoo. Or both.”

Oh, and there is a picture of an osprey, just because they are such cool birds! Their wing span can be almost 6′ across, though I don’t know about the one on the nest.

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Lacey Community Center

12197728476_353fec40c3_oThe Lacey Community Center at 6729 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey has a charming little pond adjacent to it. If it had been warmer, I would have strolled around it. The center itself is relatively new and very well tended to and the staff was very accommodating.

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International Fountain, Seattle Center

9766904706_41858f4dd7_hThe International Fountain is situated in the middle of the Seattle Center and shots of music in time with music. I remember taking my dear daughter there was she was just little, two or three and she would chase the water spray and the pigeons too! I was there today and I’m glad to write that there are still young children (and some older ones!) playing in the fountain. Originally it was built as part of the 1962 World’s Fair, but in 1995 it was replaced and expanded. More information can be found here and a video can be found here.

Point Defiance Ruston Senior Center Community Garden

9695554301_a9906875f1_zPoint Defiance Ruston Senior Center at 4716 N. Baltimore St., Tacoma has a community garden that I went to visit today as part of the 2013 Community Garden Harvest Tour. Actually I got a late start, so it was the only garden I got to. Guess that makes it the best! Really it was a very nice smaller garden. I was looking at it through the fence and somebody who works at the center came out to open up the gate for me. The garden, which had both vegetables and flowers, is part of the Master Gardener Program sponsored by Washington State University, Pierce County Extension.

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The Hug Farm – Grow Food

9666322457_d4c3e90cedDriving around Tacoma I found The Farm by Hug, which I of course read as the Hug Farm. I loved the idea of growing hugs! And the actuality of the garden was almost as good. It is a community garden sponsored by the Hilltop Urban Gardens. Their mission is “to develop systems for food sovereignty and create racial and economic justice”. To learn more, go to their website.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

8608746132_b795ecaa69_z(1) It was a lovely day at the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (the Ballard Locks) at 3015 NW 54th Street, Seattle, WA 98107. Dear daughter and her dear friend had one last day at their Seattle conference and I had time again to explore Seattle. I got wildly lost getting there (darned that GPS woman!) and ended up on the wrong side, but that was just fine since there was ready parking and it gave me more of a chance to stretch my legs. I went down to see the fish viewing area and saw two little bitty salmon swimming gamely along. The causeway over the spillway connects the two sides of the locks and is an invigorating, misty walk. Then on the other side is the visitor’s center and gardens. I walked on through the park to the fish and chips place right outside the gate, then with lunch in hand I returned to a sunny bench in the park for an alfresco lunch.

The ship canal was built in 1917 and connects Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Salmon Bay to the Puget Sound. While I was there, it was mostly pleasure boats. The locks were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

There is a wonderful sculpture at the locks named Salmon Waves by Paul Sorey.

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