message from the Director's Chair
Comes a Time I am always fascinated at the way in which parks
are created and utilized in foreign countries. Perhaps one of the sole
parting architectural gifts of the conquistadors, the historical cities
I have visited in Mexico have plaza type parks located somewhat centrally
to retail establishments, with a Spanish domed gazebo type structure
at the hub. At any point in the day, the plaza, or what locals may refer
to as the Zocalo, is churning with a beehive of activity. Shoe shiners
are busy buffing the UV vitiated shoes of resident businessmen.
Along the perimeter, park benches are filled with the dramaturgical,
the theatric gesturing minglers, looking for a pair of lonely ears or
two, those either desperate enough or caring enough to hear them out.
Perimeter restaurants are bustling with faithful patrons, sitting face
to face at ornate tables, the winds pushing at the tassels of the dangling
tablecloths-like the Sea of Cortez tides--in a continuous ebb and flow.
Pigeons march around in random circles, pecking at the cracks of the
cobblestone, jabbing haphazardly at the composting refuse, a casualty
of the unstable vendor carts at the weekend fiestas. A fellow pasty
stumbles awkwardly across the uneven cobble, arms flailing as he gains
his balance, wearing argyle sock and worn sandals-- puka shells glazing
his neck. It's the people watching that beguiles this gringo's gaze,
at least in these urban environs. It's an anthropological smorgasbord
for a self-proclaimed uncultured country bumpkin.
These are places that are seemingly far removed from the rural parks
that lure me back home, but not much different from a recreational perspective.
Parks are gathering places, places to rejuvenate and recalibrate. Thoreau
once said "an early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."
I find this especially true at this time of the year, when the forest
bounty is ark full with wildlife-from the tranquil sonata of songbirds
by day to the exalted baritone of frogs by night. The lilies emerge:
chocolate, fawn, camas, and perhaps my favorite, the infamous nodding
onion. A dazzling kaleidoscope of various other wildflower species rise
from their slumber to bring color along the trails and to the rocky
buffs- pacific trough favorites, such as fairy slipper and coral root,
rattlesnake plantain and twin flower, paintbrush and Indian pipe--a
mosaic of colors that magically appear and with little fanfare, coil
in nearly methodical unison, plummeting graciously back to the soils
in which they ascended only weeks earlier.
It's my favorite time of the year in our little carved out pocket of
the northwest. From the San Juan archipelago to the cold glacier streams
on Skagit County's east side, there is a beauty that's unduplicated
in any other place. Come out to visit your parks this summer-after all,
the wildlands of the northwest are once again teeming with our indigenous
sights and sounds-timing is everything and the time is aqui!
Skagit County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan
The purpose of this plan is to lay the groundwork
for the future of the county park system as the population grows and priorities
Parks and Recreation
Director: Brian Adams
Department Administration Office
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
1730 Continental Place,
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
P.O. Box 1326
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336 - 9414
FAX: (360) 336 - 9493
479 W. Taylor Street, Mt Vernon, WA 98273