OUTDOORS: North Olympic Library System partners with Olympic National Park to help children explore

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

ONE OF MY biggest failings as a native of the North Olympic Peninsula is just how little of Olympic National Park I have come into contact with.

Sure, I’ve done all the biggies.

I’ve seen the Hoh Rain Forest, even camped for a long weekend on the banks of the Hoh River.

I’ve driven to Hurricane Ridge many times and strolled trails like Hurricane Hill, running into (at a safe distance, thankfully) a black bear lolling about in a wildflower-dappled meadow.

A furry cousin of mine perhaps?

My Lake Crescent experience comes from countless car rides around the twisting, turning, carsick-inducing curves of its glacier-carved shoreline.

I also spent a week herding 12-15 9-and 10-year-old Boys & Girls Club members camping at Camp David Jr.

Never a fan of coffee or early morning wake-up calls, the energy of those kids reduced me to downing fresh-brewed espresso shots multiple times per day just to keep pace.

Treks along the boardwalk from Lake Ozette to Cape Alava and Sand Point also have been made, but I’d never consider that a backcountry experience.

To try and prevent another generation from falling into the trap of too much time spent on video games, television and other lazy activities, Olympic National Park and the North Olympic Library System have teamed to help families explore that big preserve right in our own backyards.

“Explore Olympic!” packs will be available for checkout starting Friday at any NOLS branch.

These daypacks are filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for kids.

Families who check out a pack will receive a seven-day entrance to Olympic National Park through a donation by Washington’s National Park Fund.

“We are thrilled to see these packs made available to our North Olympic neighbors and very grateful to the library and our partners for making it possible,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

“I extend my heartfelt invitation to every family who checks out an Explore Olympic! pack — please use the complimentary entrance pass and come visit and enjoy Olympic National Park.”

With costs associated with getting out and about to explore like gas, entrance fees and gear seemingly ever rising, this program seems like a great way for families to connect or reconnect with the Peninsula’s biggest treasure.

A long hike out in the park should also tire those kids out and possibly make putting them to bed an easier prospect.

When the outdoors adventure is over, the North Olympic Library System has books, DVDs and other materials for all ages about the trails, history, geology, plants and animals of Olympic National Park.

For more information, visit www.nols.org or ask any library staff member for assistance.

Funding for the program is provided by Olympic National Park partners: Washington’s National Park Fund and Discover Your Northwest.

More information about the park is available at www.nps.gov/olym or “Like” Olympic National Park on Facebook for frequent updates and ideas for exploring.

That’s a wrap on razors

It’s been a plentiful season for razor clams and diggers will have today through Sunday to take advantage of one last opening.

This last dig runs through Sunday, the first time in at least 20 years digging has extended into June, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“These last digs will wrap up an excellent razor clam season during which diggers have been getting their limits with lots of big clams,” Ayres said.

“These dates will mark the end of the most productive razor clam season in more than 30 years.”

■ Today: 7:45 a.m., -1.4 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.

■ Friday: 8:23 a.m., -1.2 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.

■ Saturday: 9 a.m.,
-1 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.

■ Sunday: 9:37 a.m., -0.7 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.

Each digger can keep 15 razor clams per day, and must keep the first 15 clams they dig.

Diggers may not harvest any part of another person’s daily limit unless they possess a designated harvester card.

Razor clam diggers age 15 or older also must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license.

There are various licenses that can be purchased by diggers online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and at license vendors around the North Olympic Peninsula.

Training slated

A true lover of the outdoors should be concerned with the condition of our watersheds.

A way to invest in the protection of these vital habitats begins Wednesday with Streamkeepers’ annual training.

Streamkeepers, Clallam County’s volunteer stream monitoring program, is seeking new volunteers to help collect stream health data, perform data entry and analysis and conduct education and outreach.

Attendees will learn how watersheds work and how to assess them, how watersheds provide services to fish, wildlife and people; threats; and the why and how of monitoring.

Training consists of an introductory evening session and two full-day classes, including both indoor and outdoor instruction.

No previous experience or special equipment is needed, but bring along boots or waders for the field trip portions of the training.

Wednesday’s training is set for the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Saturday field days will be announced.

For more information, RSVP to Streamkeepers coordinator Ed Chadd at 360-417-2281 or
streamkeepers@co.clallam.wa.us.

Streamkeepers’ website is www.clallam.net/sk.



________

Outdoors columnist Michael Carman appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 28. 2014 6:37PM
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