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Icicle TV, Tuesday, 28 August 2012 09:17 Leah Ricketts
Wild & Scenic put on it’s second annual bluegrass festival this past weekend at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Multiple bands on two separate stages played throughout the day on Saturday under blue skies and sunshine.
Roughly 300 ticket holders attended the festival, plus another 50 volunteers and 50 performers and over $3000 was raised. Money will go towards WSI 2013 programs, specifically the 13th annual Skagit River salmon and bald eagle float in Marblemount on Saturday January 12th and the 9th annual Sauk river hike bike and boat in Darrington on Saturday may 11th. Both programs will serve disabled, homeless, refugee/ESL and low income youth and children from our partner organizations – Rehab Without Walls, Tukwila School District, South Park Community Center, Seattle Parks and Rec Special Pops., Youthcare, Neighborhood House, Refugee Womens Alliance and more.
Each program is designed to teach individuals the about beauty of the cascades and empower them with the skills to raft, hike and cycle our local rivers and mountains. WSI believes these activities will inspire a generation of environmental stewards and can be presented in a way that celebrates diversity and balances our social, cultural, financial and physical differences.
While the festival proved to be a lot of fun for everyone – including some long time WSI participants, organizers hope it also gains them the visibility that will help them to grow as an organization. Because WSI is completely volunteer run and has no paid staff, they do need more volunteers, donors and children to be moved by their mission and jump on board.
This year’s Hike Bike and Boat proved to be the biggest and the best. First off, there was sunshine! After 9 years of scheduling this program for early May, we pretty much just assume there will be some precipitation. This year was the weather was warm and sunny and the river conditions were just perfect. Low enough to keep the whitewater section challenging yet manageable and high enough to make the braided lower section navigable and not too bumpy for our disabled participants. The Outdoors For All foundation showed up early with a fleet of adaptive cycles and mountain bikes to ride along the Clear Creek Campground loop. The hike team gathered trail runners (like all terrain rickshaws so children in wheelchairs can ’hike’ the trail too), some compasses and the Moss Man costume and headed up to the Old Sauk trail. Meanwhile, the boats were topped off as the lunch crew furiously chopped and prepped their tasty buffet.
We counted 117 participants from 8 different groups this year in Darrington, a new record! Kids were recruited from Rehab Without Walls, Swedish Pediatric Clinic, Neighborhood House, Tukwila Elementary ESL program, South Park Community Center and Refugee Women’s Alliance. Our amazing volunteers were able to divide these kids into three groups, taking them on three simultaneous rafting, hiking and cycling trips and somehow make it look easy. It always surprises me how quickly the kids lose their insecurities and fear once they enter into the whirlwind of the Hike Bike and Boat. Most would have perceived any one of these activities as impossible just yesterday but now having done all 3 in one day, most kids are self proclaimed experts!
We are thankful for support from Windermere Foundation and Cascade DAFO for sponsoring the event. We have already starting planning the for May 2013, cant wait to see what the 10th annual looks like!
Every year between December and February, thousands of bald eagles migrate to the “magic” Skagit River to winter and feed on the spawning Chum Salmon. It is one of the things that makes the Skagit so special. This trip has been the hallmark of our service, offering free outdoor recreation and environmental education programs to disadvantaged youth, for the last 12 years. Our volunteer staff is gearing up to host a up to 100 disabled, refugee and low income and youth and children this January. And we will also be hosting a opportunity for donors to make a contribution and join the trip. The volunteers and staff of WSI want to thank you for your support this year and offer you a closer look at what we do. We will guide you down 10 miles of river through the Blad Eagle Sanctuary, counting hundres of birds and enjoying the endless mountain scenery. We will provide all the necessary rating equipment, plenty of hot chocolate and coffee and a hearty riverside lunch. All you’ll need is some warm layers, a camera and a sense of adventure.
Reservations can be made by calling Hunter at (206) 459-7334. Donations of $100 / adult and $50 / child can be made online or by sending a check to WSI PO Box 554 Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
We will me at 10 in Marblemount. And we will end the day at Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport around 3 pm (times are tentative and are subject to change). We will be on the river for roughly 3 hours rain, shine or snow so dress appropriately (think skiing, snowshoeing or hiking in the rain) with plenty of warm waterproof layers and boots ( I have extra of everything if you’re feeling unprepared).
For overnight accomodations we recommend one of the quaint cabin rentals nearby:For more infoabout the river go to: