Contact: Noah Glaude, 360-417-8500 x7717
Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
This spring the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) is teaming up with Olympic National Park to offer a third season of Poetry Walks. This year's program will begin April 1 and continue through May 31, and feature inspiring poetry along five dazzling trails in Olympic National Park. The Library and National Park hope the playful combination of nature and art will encourage local residents and visitors to get out and be active, and remind them of two great, local resources that are always available to explore. During Poetry Walks, poems will be placed on signs along the following trails in Olympic National Park: the Hall of Mosses Trail, the Living Forest Trail, the Madison Creek Falls Trails, the Peabody Creek Trail, and Spruce Railroad Trail. With the exception of the Hall of Mosses trail, access to the trails is free.
About the Trails
The Living Forest and Peabody Creek trails begin at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, and offer pleasant 0.5 mile loops. In the spring, skunk cabbage, a native plant found along streams and other wet areas of the woods, blooms and provides vibrant color (and possibly scent) along the trails. The Madison Creek Falls Trail is located in the Elwha Valley and offers a paved 200-foot walk to the base of the beautiful falls. The Spruce Railroad Trail, on which bicycles and pets are permitted, begins at the end of East Beach Road on the north side of Lake Crescent and follows an old railroad bed for 4 miles. The Hall of Mosses Trail, new to the Poetry Walks program in 2016, is a 0.8 mile loop trail that passes through big leaf maples and Sitka spruces covered in vibrant green and brown mosses. The Hall of Mosses Trail begins near the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center, which regular park entrance fees must be paid to access. More information about the trails and areas of Olympic National Park can be found at www.nols.org and www.nps.com/olym.
Poets featured along the trails include Emily Brontë, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, Gary Snyder and many more. Those who find themselves inspired to write a poem or take a photo while on one of the Poetry Walks are encouraged to share it on NOLS' Facebook page or share it with their friends on Twitter with #FindYourPark. "Some people might stumble upon the poems after they're out on a hike, while others may choose to make the 15-minute walk from the Port Angeles Library up to the Park Visitor Center and discover the great trails that surround it for the very first time," Main Library Manager Noah Glaude said. "We have received a lot of positive feedback aboutthe Poetry Walks since they were first offered in 2014. People regularly come in during the summer and say they wish the signs were still up, and the program has inspired similar events at other libraries and national parks."
National Poetry Month and National Park Week Events
The timing of Poetry Walks isn't entirely coincidental. April is National Poetry Month, and National Park Week will take place April 16-24. During National Poetry Month, the Port Angeles Main Library will be hosting two Poetry SLAMS that feature local students reciting their original work and competing for a chance to have their poetry included in Poetry Walks. The 6th grade competition will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, and the 7th and 8th grade competition will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28.
National Park Week is celebrated at all national park areas across the country and features free admission to all national park units, including Olympic. "National Park Week is a great time to get out and explore the many features of Olympic National Park and we are grateful to NOLS and the Friends of the Library for giving people another way to experience and find their park," Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said.
Find Your Park
The National Park Service celebrates its one-hundredth birthday on August 25, 2016 and everyone is invited to help celebrate. Poetry Walks and National Park Week are just two ways to join the party. For more information on how to Find Your Park at Olympic, visit the park's website www.nps.gov/olym or follow the park on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Whether you're interested in additional poetry or new trails to explore, the NOLS collection has something for you. Hiking guides, trail maps, wildlife guides and poetry volumes are all available for checkout! Explore Olympic! day packs—filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for kids—are perfect for families and are available at all four NOLS locations. Thanks to a generous donation by Washington's National Park Fund, families that checkout a pack will receive a seven-day entrance pass to Olympic National Park.
The Poetry Walks program is being offered free to the public thanks to the generous support of the Port Angeles Friends of the Library. The Port Angeles Main Library is located at 2210 South Peabody Street in Port Angeles. For more information about this and other upcoming events, visit www.nols.org and select "Events" and "Port Angeles," or call 360.417.8500.
Last updated: March 30, 2016