Great galloping geldings, it’s a Cavalia ticket give-away!

    Cavalia's "Odysseo" coming soon to Marymoor Park

Cavalia’s “Odysseo” coming soon to Marymoor Park

We’ve got tickets yes we do, we’ve got tickets, how ’bout you? No?

Well then, you better enter our Cavalia ticket give-away, so you can win one of three pairs of tickets to opening night on Wednesday, February 19!

Here’s how it works

Between now and Feb 10 at midnight, sign up for the King County Parks e-newsletter by clicking here or on the link from our homepage, enter your email, and voilá! Your name will be entered into the drawing. Existing e-newsletter subscribers will automatically be entered.

If you’re a lucky winner, you will receive two tickets to Cavalia’s Odysseo performance on opening night, Wednesday, Feb 19 at 8 pm at Marymoor Park. Your tickets will be at will-call on the day of the show.

It’s THAT easy.

Except for the fine print: King County Parks employees are not eligible. Limit 1 entry per person. Must be subscribed to the e-newsletter by midnight on Mon, Feb 10. Drawing will be held on Tues, Feb 11. Winners will be notified through email and must confirm a name for the will call list. Identification will be required to pick up the tickets. Tickets are good ONLY for the Feb 19 show and can not be exchanged.

2013: These are a few of our favorite things…

(l to r) The Seattle Foundation's Norm Rice, LNWM President and CEO Robert Moser, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and DNRP Director Christie True

In April, we kicked off our 75th Anniversary celebrations with an outdoor-themed cake and a few friends, like The Seattle Foundation’s Norm Rice, LNWM President and CEO Robert Moser, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and DNRP Director Christie True.

Whew, 2013 was a big year for us here at King County Parks. We turned 75, got some serious love from King County voters, and rocked out at shows at Marymoor and Tolt.

Here are our 5 favorite stories from this past year.

See the year in photos over at our Flickr site.

We hope you’ll join us for even more fun in 2014. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Field Notes: Happy Trails to You…

Happy Trails

With the closing of the year, your inbox and social media are likely inundated with lists, reflections, and predictions for the new year. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that stuff later…for now, we want to celebrate some fellow Parkians!

This year, we here at Parks said “Happy Trails” to 9 retiring staff members who gave a combined 271 years of service to King County. It’s been fun hearing stories and seeing photos from the good ol’ days (wow, there have been seriously good developments in clothes since the 70s!) and learning about how King County Parks has evolved over the years.

Happy trails to…

Sharon Claussen retired after 29 years with King County. Sharon first started in 1984 as a Resource Planner with the King County Planning Division before coming to Parks in 1986. Over the years, Sharon worked on everything from acquisitions to planning to park policy.

Gary Egeland retired earlier this year after 20 years with King County Parks. He spent most of his years at the King County Greenhouse and Nursery, working with our crew of special needs adults, as well as with community volunteers, to care for the native species and other plants, trees and shrubs we use throughout the system.

Odell Gilbreath retired in September after 22 years with King County Parks. Odell worked as a plumber, which took him on many adventures throughout our parks and trails.

Emy Hiquiana spent 34 years with King County, starting first in the County’s Architecture Division before transferring to Parks in 1983. She held various positions providing administrative support for several different work groups and office sites over the years.

James Kelby retired after 37 years with King County Parks. After starting as a seasonal, James soon moved into a full-time position as field staff; he worked on my many crews throughout the system, and most recently, as part of the North Utility Trails Crew.

Larry Kimble retired earlier this year after 24 years with King County. Larry began his career with the Roads Services Division and joined Parks in 2000, where he worked as a supervisor for the natural resources field staff.

Karl Kostal retired after 36 years with King County Parks. Not only did Karl work for Parks, but he also lived for a time in a Park facility, a common practice back in the day. Over the years, he worked in a number of maintenance districts, before becoming a Parks District Maintenance Coordinator at Marymoor Park in 1998.

Bill Schwartz retired after 23 years with King County, including working at the Building and Land Development department and at Parks. Bill especially applied his architectural creativity through his most recent post as head of our Small Contracts Crew.

Warren Timmons III retired after working a whopping 46 years with King County. From Aquatics to the Office of Productivity and back to Parks, Warren held many positions that took him to work sites throughout the county, and most recently, served as Parks’ inventory purchasing specialist.

On behalf of Parks and King County, we say a heart-felt THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication. Until we meet again…

Field Notes: Now that’s local!

30-foot logs from a Douglas Fir removed from Lakewood Park for safety reasons

One Douglas fir produced these 30-foot logs

During this time of being thankful and reflecting on what we love and value, it should come as no surprise that we here at King County Parks love the trees in our “big backyard.”

And our resourceful staff have found ways for the trees in our parks to keep on giving, even after they’re no longer standing.

Here’s a recent example:

Back in 2011, as part of the construction of Technology Access Foundation’s amazing new Bethaday Community Learning Space in Lakewood Park, our arborist, Troy, evaluated the trees near where the building was being built to make sure they were all healthy. He found one 80-foot-tall Douglas fir that was diseased and recommended removing it before it posed a safety risk. Although it was sick, this beauty of a tree was kind enough to yield two 30-foot logs, which our skilled Backcountry Trails Crew sawed in half and prepped for future use.

Lakewood Park bridge

Lakewood Park bridge

Well, over the past year, that one tree led to not only one trail bridge, but to THREE!

The first bridge is in Lakewood Park, the very park from which the tree came. Built by the staff that takes care of the parks in the unincorporated White Center, Skyway, and Renton areas, the 30-foot-long bridge spans what was a steep crossing over a creek, making it safe and accessible for people and eliminating potential damage to the creek bed.

Maplewood Park salvaged wood bridge in progress

Maplewood Park salvaged wood bridge in progress

The second bridge is in the 45-acre Maplewood Park near Renton and covers a small creek that was proving difficult to cross. In addition to using wood from that big ol’ Doug fir, staff used our portable wood mill and salvaged trees that had blown down in a storm. So that means they didn’t need to use any new wood to build this 22-foot bridge!

You can find the third bridge at White Center Heights Park. The 15-foot-long span connects to the park’s natural area, and once again, thanks to our crafty field staff, the wood for this bridge came from that big Doug fir and other salvaged trees.

One more salvaged-wood bridge, White Center Heights Park

One more salvaged-wood bridge, White Center Heights Park

So the spirit of that one tree now lives on in three nearby parks, demonstrating the true meaning of “locally-sourced” wood! Thank you, dear Doug Fir, thank you.