New Local Burien Blog Starts, Will Focus On Eagle Landing Park
A new local blog has started – EagleLandingPark.blogspot.com – which will focus on Burien’s Eagle Landing Park (located at 14641 25th Ave SW), and published/edited by longtime area resident James Branson.
“If Eagle Landing Park could speak, what kind of visitor would she like?” reads a post on the new website. “How can I be a contributing member of her ecosystem? The premise of this Biography is that I can serve the park by being her memory, but as I walked through the park today I thought of other ways I could benefit her on a daily basis. In addition to being a brain for the park, I can also be a white blood cell. As I move through her, I can identify and remove that which does not belong. Today I collected cans, bottles, trash, and ivy.”
Branson said he became interested in native plant stewardship around 2001, then took a Stewardship Training from the Washington Native Plant Society in 2004. He then made Eagle Landing Park his pet project. Volunteers have been trying to restore the forest to health since the park opened in 2005.
“Because of what I’ve learned from the Washington Native Plant Society, I think of Eagle Landing Park as an ecosystem, a living entity, not just a place,” he added.
Branson also said:
“I started EagleLandingPark.org in 2006 in order to help people appreciate the natural beauty of the park. 365 Stones: A Biography of Eagle Landing Park, is an extension of that effort. Like a biography of a person, this daily blog will help people get to know what is beautiful, fascinating, and useful about this local park. It will also offer practical ways that local residents can help improve the health of the forest while enjoying exercise and recreation. At the end of the year, the 365 entries will be compiled into a book to be published electronically, and possibly printed, and then anyone can read it to learn more about how one little neighborhood park struggled to become healthy under the pressures of daily use and abuse.
Will Eagle Landing Park be healthier at the end of one year? I don’t know yet, but either way, we will have a better understanding of the ecosystem of the park. The more I learn about nature, the more I enjoy a simple walk through the woods. Every day is something new. I hope to be a benefit to the park while doing something I enjoy. Hopefully readers of the blog will learn to look at the park differently, and see the hidden forest that had escaped their notice.
Also, it’s an excuse to go for a walk with my dogs.”
One reason Branson may be so attached to this park is because his family once owned the land, and sold it to the City of Burien, according to its website:
In the early 1900s, the land known as Eagle Landing Park belonged to the Branson family. The Branson property was part of a 200-acre parcel owned by the Seahurst Land Company, which supplied water to local residents from springs on the property. The original Branson estate was a 9-acre wooded waterfront residential lot. In 1915, a relative of the owner built a residence in the northern portion of the property, which was upgraded and expanded in the 1930s. A county road through the property was platted but never built, and has been vacated since 1935. The property was logged about 90 years ago, when much of the timber in Burien, Seahurst, and Gregory Heights was felled to supply wood for America’s Liberty Ships in World War I.
The steeply sloped property sits atop two geologic units – glacial lake clay and silt below, and glacial outwash sand and gravel above – both deposited during glaciation of Puget Sound in the last Ice Age. Springs trickle from the hillside at an elevation of about 50 feet. The area has a long history of slope instability, according to oral history and the topographic features of the site.
Continue on to learn about how the City acquired this land.
Be sure to check out Jim’s new blog here!