Walking Adventures: Meadowbrook Pond

Today the weather was pretty nice: mid-fifties and sunny with a slight breeze. It’s been 15-20 degrees colder than normal the last few weeks (highs in the low 30s), so I took the opportunity today to go outside while the rain and cold were taking a break.

I walked a few miles north, down to Meadowbrook Pond. It’s a nice little walk that takes about half an hour. I mostly zig-zagged my way through some residential areas/neighborhoods. The streets aren’t arterials, so cars aren’t continuously buzzing by; it’s fairly peaceful. The houses in that area are a little boring and kinda boxy (most of them look like they were built in the 70’s/80’s), but the landscape architecture in a lot of the yards is very nice. This is actually one of my favorite things about Seattle; because it’s so temperate, folks can grow a wide variety of trees and shrubs and flowers. And the fact that many of the house lots are graded and on hills provides for the opportunity for people to employ terraced beds and other interesting landscaping features. I saw a lot of maple trees (my favorite) and even some plum trees that were starting to push out their lovely purple-pink-white blossoms.

About halfway through the walk, there is a very large hill that slopes down towards the north and the east. If you look carefully between the trees and the houses you can find some really picturesque views of Lake Washington. These views are particularly nice when the sun and the sky and a few puffy white clouds are reflected in the water (like today!).

Meadowbrook Pond is a pond (obviously!). It’s not terribly large (the internet tells me it has a surface area of about two acres), but it’s surrounded by lots of trees and is populated by a large number of ducks and geese. I even saw a double-crested cormorant today! (I reckon I’m currently beating you at bird-watcher’s bingo.)

Meadowbrook PondView of the pond from the east. Boardwalk and overflow riser visible on the right.

While Meadowbrook Pond is certainly a place where you can find/appreciate natural beauty, it offers much more than that. If you walk around the trail that surrounds the pond, there are lots of signs and placards that teach you about the ecology and diversity of the area and how limnic ecosystems work. Many of these signs also emphasize stewardship, which I think is a very important, underrated concept. There are a few elementary/middle/high schools located within ~a mile of the park; I believe that several teachers use the pond as a teaching aid/resource. It seems like a really good way to interact with students and teach them about stuff in a particularly engaging manner. I would’ve loved coming to the pond for field trips when I was younger.

Thornton CreekThe pond is fed by Thornton Creek.

In addition to all of the educational outreach stuff, there are also quite a few interesting structures at the park. I guess they might qualify as a type of Googie architecture? They’re funky and fairly random. I like them.

Meadowbrook Pond footbridgeMeadowbrook Pond pavilion

Footbridge at the west entrance of the park (left) and pavilion overlooking the center of the pond (right).

The overall atmosphere of Meadowbrook Pond is really neat. It’s a unique place where folks can go to relax a little or learn a little or have fun. When I was there today I saw maybe forty other people enjoying the park. There were older couples standing by the railing watching the ducks. And young parents pushing their children along the boardwalk in their strollers. And even a group of cross country runners (from the high school just down the street) running laps around the pond trail. The way that the people and the nature came together yielded a genuine sense of community. This post is starting to feel overly sentimental… but what can I do!? That’s just the way things are sometimes. Regardless, I’m really glad that there are places like Meadowbrook Pond so close to where I live.

In summary, my walking adventure today was wonderful. Hooray!

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Miles run in 2014: 53.1
Books read in 2014: 13

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