Letterbox trail program back for another summer

·2 min read

May 15—The Skagit Watershed Letterbox Trail program leads participants on scenic and educational adventures on three trails in Skagit County.

The Skagit Conversation Education Alliance (SCEA) and its partners are responsible for the program. SCEA's focus for the past 15 years has been on the protection and improvement of water quality, and community education about it.

To discover all the pertinent details on the letterbox program, go to skagitcleanwater.org and click on events.

"We love that the letterbox trail provides an opportunity for outdoor learning and exploration of our local watersheds and is suitable and fun for kids of all ages," said the Skagit Conservation District's Kristi Carpenter.

Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group Outreach Manager Lucy DeGrace described the letterbox trail program as a "fun, free, family friendly project."

"Teaching people what a watershed is and what their particular role is in the preservation of watershed health is extremely important," DeGrace said. "It is something that all our community engagement and our school-based programs strive to do."

The Skagit Watershed Letterbox Trail program highlights three trails — at Pomona Grange Park as well as Padilla Bay Upland Trail and the Cumberland Creek Trail.

Letterboxing is described as a mixture of treasure hunting, art, navigation and exploring.

Participants start by visiting the SCEA website, printing their passports and visiting one, two or all three trails.

The trail at Pomona Grange Park boasts 18 interpretative signs highlighting local plants and trees, with one cedar nurse log boasting five species of trees. The trail leads through the forest as well as along Friday Creek where in the fall of the year salmon spawn.

The Padilla Bay Upland Trail is located in Bay View and overlooks the Salish Sea and its 8,000-acre meadow of protected eel grass. The trailhead is located at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve facility.

The Cumberland Creek Conservation Area is 210 acres and is owned and managed by the Skagit Land Trust. It contains wetlands, forests and shorelines.

Once a trail has been chosen, participants follow it to locate letterbox stations along the way. Participants will draw something on their passport as documentation of their arrival.

Participants who visit at least two trails can email a photo of their passport to info@skagitcleanwater.org to qualify for prizes to be awarded Sept. 16.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/

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