Beach Naturalist Program

I wanted to share about a volunteer program my oldest and I are participating in this year. It is through the Seattle Aquarium. The Beach Naturalist Program is an educational experience for the volunteers and the public. We spend a few nights the first few months attending presentations and beach training. Starting in June, we will be out on the beach finding opportunities to engage in conversation with beach goers. The goal is to educate others about beach etiquette and to get them interested in the ecosystems that are being restored in our area.

Not only is this a fun volunteer opportunity, it’s also a way to get your science in. The training nights are presentations put on by experts in different areas of biology and ecology. My daughter and I have both gotten a lot out of this experience.

Visit the Seattle Aquarium webpage to find out how you can be involved in this program, or to meet some volunteers and ask questions about what you can find on the beach.


Jack Block Park

This is a nice park that would be a good alternative to Alki if you want to skip the crowds. It’s entrance is at the end of an out of the way road off of Harbor Ave. It’s not peak season, yet, so I don’t know how crowded it is during the summer. It seems like it wouldn’t get too crowded. Just because it’s not right off the main road. We didn’t even know it existed until recently.
After driving down the entrance road, there is a main parking lot you can use. You can also continue down another road to an area with street-type parking closer to the beach area. It’s very limited parking, but is a good drop-off area.
Near the parking lot is a play area with buoys that kids can climb on and a picnic table. There’s a large hill south of the play area. From the hill you can take a walking bridge over to the beach area. (There is a sloped walkway that goes around the hill good for strollers or those who don’t want to walk straight up the hill)
Next to the beach is a paved area with a couple more picnic tables. This first area has a view of the city and plenty of space for  There are two more walking paths. One goes to an observation tower, and the other to a large dock.


Fort Dent

One of our go-to parks is actually not in Seattle. It’s in Renton, which borders south Seattle.

This is where the Sounders practice and train as well as other organizations. There’s 12 soccer fields. Other than the soccer fields, there’s a nice sized playground. I like it because it’s not usually crowded. Especially during the weekday.

There’s a pond right next to it, so you can get some nature viewing in as well.