Sunday, April 28, 2013


Bioblitz at the Arboretum

Effectively taking a snapshot of biodiversity in a specific locale is what Bioblotz is all about, the goal being to measure the health of an ecosystem.  This UW Botanic Gardens program is focusing this year on the Washington Park Arboretum, Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.  Volunteers are needed to help with Bioblitz, which will involve separate expert-led teams of “citizen scientists” and University of Washington Students searching the Arboretum for various flora and fauna (bats, fungi, and insects included).  As part of the program there will also be a lecture by nature photographer Paul Bannick, entitled “The Life of Owls,” which will cover 19 species of North American Owls.

Information on Bioblitz is available here, including information on how to sign up to volunteer or just to attend the lecture at the Graham Visitors Center on May 10 (7 pm).

Preschool programs

UW Botanic Gardens is also the sponsor of a new nature-based preschool, Fiddleheads Forest School, beginning this fall in the Arboretum.  It will be a ten-month program designed to help child development by getting kids excited about and involved in nature.  There are two class options, M/W/F or T/Th from 9 am until 12 pm.  Information is available here.

Bright!, a Madison Park preschool, meanwhile is again this year sponsoring summer camps for kids, 2 1/2 to 5 years old. There are eight camp options (including Cook, Grow, and Space), June through August. Information on the program is available here.

A new café for Madison Park?

It was reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal last week that Aegis Living, developer of “senior living communities,” will be opening a Queen Bee Café in Madison Park this summer.  Aegis is the company that is building a new Capitol Hill facility on E. Madison St. at 22nd Avenue E.  It opened a marketing office in Madison Park last October. The piece in the PSBJ was about Aegis founder Dwayne Clark’s desire to honor his mother’s memory by establishing several Queen Bee Cafes and a food truck which offer “simple comfort food” such as desserts on crumpets.  Funds earned from the cafés will be donated to a different charity each quarter, according to PSPB reporter Patti Payne, who also reported that the first such café will be opened in Madison Park in September.

We checked with Aegis on this and got the clarification that the new Queen Bee Café will be established at Aegis on Madison (Capitol Hill).  However, there is apparently a plan which has not been finalized to launch another such café in Madison Park proper at a later date, possibly in the Villa Marina building (in which the Aegis marketing office is located).  Aegis promises to keep us informed of its evolving plans.

Noteworthy:  And speaking of the Puget Sound Business Journal, it featured a story recently about a company co-founded by Madison Park resident and RN,Beth Droppert. Her company, Allied Health Advocates, helps patients navigate the health-care bureaucracy (a tough assignment any day of the week).  National Nurses Week, by the way, is upcoming beginning May 6.

[Photos courtesy of the Arboretum Foundation and UW Botanic Gardens, respectively.]

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