[Tweeters] Benefit for Yesler Swamp

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Thu Dec 5 06:58:09 PST 2013

Hey tweets, just wanted to let you know that Friends of Yesler Swamp (the easternmost part of the Fill) is hosting a benefit this Saturday to raise money for a boardwalk and bird blind in Yesler Swamp. Yesler Swamp is the largest and one of only two remaining swamps on Lake Washington. It hosts more than 100 species of birds, everything from Trumpeter Swans to Bushtits. The Friends have been working hard for several years now to remove invasive plants from the site and plant natives.

Yesler Swamp is a wonderful habitat for birds, but we think its greatest value lies in educating people about why it is so important to preserve wild habitat everywhere we can. The swamp is on UW property, in the heart of the largest concentration of people in our state. I've seen what this place can do to people, when they spot their very first owl, staring at them from only a few feet away, or when a Pileated Woodpecker starts pounding on a nearby tree like an avian jackhammer, or when a Bald Eagle swoops by to crack off a cottonwood branch for its nest. People who never before cared much about birds are simply gobsmacked by such wonders.

It's my belief that newly formed connections to nature such as these open people's eyes and hearts to nature, and they begin to see the *value* of wild places - a value that transcends the marketplace.

I'll spare you the soapbox, but if you want to contribute to the effort to build a boardwalk and bird blind in the swamp, I'll be doing a book reading of my new book, "Fill of Joy," at the beneft, proceeds to help pay for the project. Professor of Restoration Ecology Kern Ewing will be cooking up all the free Texas gumbo you can eat, along with wine and potato salad (Kern swears this is the best way to eat gumbo).

We're calling the event: The Gumbo Feed and Book Read.

Saturday, Dec. 7. Time: 6-8 p.m. Location: 3904 NE Belvoir Place (across the street from Yesler Swamp), Seattle 98105. Hope to see you there. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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