Canada geese at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Dilemmas of Observing and Naming Nature

  The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (DuPont, WA) is a provocative contrast to the Ruston Way waterfront (Tacoma, WA). Both are a part of the Puget Sound marine/estuary habitat and both have been sites of development and ecological restoration. The Refuge, established to protect the Nisqually delta and wildlife, features gravel walking trails and raised…

View of Commencement Bay and Dickman Mill Park, Tacoma, WA

Nearby Nature

Restorative and Health Benefits of Nearby Nature Environmental psychologists Rachel Kaplan and Stephen Kaplan have studied the importance of nearby nature for human well-being. Their research shows that nearby nature, even a view of a tree outside an office window, prison cell, residence or hospital room, can have restorative power, health benefits, and provide an…

View of pathway along Rustin Way in Tacoma, WA

Data Dilemmas: What to Count?

Walking and Observing This week I walked 18.8 miles along the Tacoma waterfront parks and pathways on the 2-mile segment along Ruston Way. To begin my research about learning and visitor engagement in parks I decided to note my observations on index cards each day I walked—I counted people, birds, and cars. I noted what…

stump

Tacoma Waterfront “Stump Stasis”

When a huge tree stump washed up on the Tacoma waterfront I became fascinated with both the object and its environment. The stump is over five feet tall and, depending upon the light, the color ranges from golden to ash. The root structure and the trunk are a juxtaposition of crevices and smoothness. The landscape…