Fieldtrip to St. Edward State Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         This week I took Dora to St. Edward State Park. Though this park is on the eastside of Seattle, it is quite a drive for us, so I had only been there once before many, many years ago.

Ironically, we went there to pick apples as there does not appear to be any real apple orchards within an hour’s drive of us. This is especially strange, given that Washington State produces 42% of the apples grown in the United States.

I had been told by a friend that there were apple trees at this park and she theorized that the priests had originally had an orchard and that their trees were left to go wild. Once I saw the apple trees, however, I remembered that I had seen similarly planted apple trees in other state parks as well. I have not been able to find anything that explains why there are apple trees in at least some, if not all, of Washington State parks, but my theory is that is because apples are the official state fruit.

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Sadly, these apple trees were completely barren. There weren’t even any partially eaten apples on the ground. I have no good explanation for this. I have heard this has not been a good year for apples in Western Washington, due to the harsh and long winter we had, but I would have at least expected some evidence of apples.

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Fortunately, this park is a wonderful park with lots of hiking trails and a really cool playground and Dora spent two hours there, despite the lack of apples. The park has a bit of interesting history to it.

In the late 1920s, the archbishop of Seattle donated the property to the Diocese of Seattle for use as a seminary by the Sulpician Order of Catholic Priests. In 1931, St. Edward Seminary was constructed. In the fall of 1977, because of declining enrollment and changes in the education of seminarians, the diocese sold 316 acres, including the seminary, to the state for use as a state park. In 1978, the property was dedicated and received its current name.

Unfortunately, the seminary has fallen into disrepair, so it is not open for touring. The outside of the building, while somewhat run down, is quite beautiful and gives one an idea of all the potential the building holds if funding is ever obtained to restore it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The best part of the trip for Dora was enjoying the sheer volume of dandelion puffs to blow and make wishes on, which is the one thing that Dora considers imperative for a successful nature outing.

How about your area? Do you have orchards near you? If so, are you getting out and harvesting some of the season’s fruits?

I am linking this post to:

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

Labels: High School, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff