Patrick Robinson
Trileigh Tucker led a group of people on a walk to look at and learn about the birds that live in Lincoln Park during Celebrate Lincoln Park on Saturday, April. 27. The event featured walks to learn about plants, the beach and the animals that visit the park year round.

SLIDESHOW: Celebrate Lincoln Park shows off the park's treasures

The Fauntleroy Community Association, working in partnership with Seattle Parks, the Seattle Aquarium Seal Sitters and The Whale Trail completed the 2nd of two events meant to provide public outreach and to do as the event was titled, "Celebrate Lincoln Park." The first event, held earlier in the week featured Seattle Parks (and other community organizations) who outlined their Legacy Plan which is now out for public review.

Lincoln Park is the area's largest park at more than 135 acres and was originally called Fauntleroy Park, changing to Lincoln when it was acquired by the city of Seattle in 1922. The park contains a switchback trail that leads to the beach at the north and gentle trails at the south end. A mile of sea walled beaches have asphalt and gravel paths and the park includes 3.9 miles of bike trails, 4.6 miles of walking paths, five picnic shelters, baseball, football, and soccer fields and Colman Pool, an outdoor heated swimming pool.

During the event Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists provided education on what flora and fauna live on the beaches there.

Jay and Joanne Hindmarsh and their daughter Eleanor came down to see what was open for view when the tide hit minus 2.1.

Naturalist Noelle Congdon, who has been doing this for 15 years showed beach goers, sunflower starfish, moon snail casings, hermit crabs, helmet crabs and a variety of seaweeds. Congdon pointed out that the Aquarium's actual beach programs will begin in two weeks so this event was a little preview. She described the beach as, "heavily zoned. You might start up at the edge and see barnacles and if you got your kneepads and came down toward the water you'll start to see shore crabs and lots of little critters. You'll see sea stars, crabs, limpets and you can't see them but the clams are the things squirting water up. You'll also see sand collars made by Moon Snails."

She said there are invasive species on the beach at Lincoln Park, "quite a few in fact," including wire weed or Sargassum which is non native. "I hesitate to say invasive on this beach because it's not dominating. It does a decent job of allowing the native species to grow and it's super good habitat."

Congdon pointed out that the public should be aware of what she called "non point source run off and what goes into our sewer systems because we don't have tertiary treatment." She said people should have composting toilets "because we take in so many chemicals and they all end up out there."

Chris Witwer, a volunteer for SealSitters.org talked about the importance of marine mammals. The primary thing we want people to know about is that when they encounter a seal the best thing to do...they are not always sick or in trouble...is to give us a call and allow them to rest or regulate their body temperature. We also want everyone to know about The Year of the Seal, she said. The organization got a grant from the Dept. of Neighborhoods to install a sculpture just adjacent to the Alki Bathhouse. It's currently being created. Why should people care about seals? "They are an indicator species," she said, "they indicate the health of our waters which affects all of us. Whatever goes on in the water ends up in their diets. We can tell from that the health of the sound and the health of the environment in general."

Nature and bird walks were part of the event with Trileigh Tucker leading one to look for a Barred Owl that lives in the park. While that owl was not seen plenty of other birds were including many on the beach. A sheet that was handed out listed more than 102 confirmed bird species seen in Lincoln Park.

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