The Tacoma Nature Center, located on Snake Lake, is an EECOI member and an amazing place that gives area residents of all ages the opportunity to get up close to nature. It’s an oasis of wilderness right there in the city and the programs and classes that Center staff put together bring out the absolute best of the facility.
Not everything that the Center does happens on-site, however; the Metro Parks Outdoor Adventures program is now a part of its calendar, and selected programs give people the chance to get out to some of the most interesting and beautiful places in south Puget Sound. Sea Kayaking trips are well represented, both in and out of the watershed, with routes that include the Nisqually Delta, the Foss Waterway and Blake Island. Some paddles are geared toward families, while others are intended specifically for adults.
“It’s a great chance to show people the incredible natural world that is all around them,” says Adventure Program Specialist, Kyle Clogston. “These short trips on the water can have long-term effects. People remember what they see out there, and it helps them to understand how it all fits together.”
A scheduled Father’s Day paddle, coming up on June 19th, travels from the boat launch at Steilacoom over to Ketron Island. This part of the Sound has a backwater feel, great views south into the Nisqually Delta and out west toward the Olympics. Ketron Island has sandy beaches and a captivating shoreline, as well as a rich history. For a three-hour paddle, you can’t do much better.
Kayak outings are seen by staff as educational opportunities as well. “After the basic kayaking skills have been presented and the participants have an understanding of the safety considerations, we are in a position to bring a naturalist’s eye to the experience,” says Clogston. “Learning doesn’t stop just because you aren’t in school anymore. I think a lot of adults are excited about learning new things.”
A full schedule of events is online.