Awash in Squash!

November 9th, 2012


2nd Annual Super Squash Scavenger Hunt

Bloedel Reserve
7571 NE Dolphin Dr
Bainbridge Island, WA

All through the month of November the grounds of The Bloedel Reserve will be searched by kids of all ages – in pursuit of the not-so-elusive squash, gourds and pumpkins that have taken up hiding.  Youngsters on the search will be given a map to guide them, and to track their progress.  And of course – there are fun prizes involved.  And while the kids are in search of pumpkins and prizes, the adults can take an instant vacation from the rush and noise of modern life.

Located a short distance from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal or the Agate Pass Bridge, the Bloedel Reserve is a a collection of beautifully landscaped gardens blended into 150 acres of natural woodlands and meadows. It is recommended that you plan about 2 hours to sufficiently explore the grounds, which include a Japanese Garden, a Moss Garden, Reflection Garden and a Bird Refuge, along with trails, overlooks, beautiful views and a visitors center.

The reserve was created and gifted to the University of Washington by Prentice Bloedel in 1970.  The property, known then as Agate Point Farm, was purchased by Prentice and Virginia Bloedel in 1951.  The elegant French design of the home on the property was what drew them in the first place.  However during the 30 plus years that they resided there they discovered an unexpected insight through exploring the woods and meadows around them.  In an article written for the UW Arboretum Bulletin, Bloedel writes:  “Respect for trees and plants replaces indifference; one feels the existence of a divine order.  Man is not set apart from the rest of nature – he is just a member of that incredible diverse population of the universe, a member that nature can do without, but who cannot do without nature.”

Bloedel, who ran the MacMillan Bloedel Timber Company from 1920 to 1950, was a pioneer in renewable resources and sustainable industry practices.  He was the first to use sawdust as a fuel to power his mills and one of the first to consistently replant clear-cut areas.  Perhaps due to the challenges of polio as a child, he understood the therapeutic benefits of a garden and the power of a natural landscape to invoke emotions ranging from tranquility to exhilaration.  In the Reserve’s mission statement Bloedel says:  “The Reserve is a place to experience the bond between people and nature…..It is a place in which to enjoy and learn from the emotional and aesthetic experience of nature and the values of harmony, respect for life and tranquility.”

So while the kids are hunting down the squash, take a stroll in a garden retreat, think about life – and the beauty around us.
The Reserve is open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

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