Yesterday I went to Discovery Park, a 534-acre natural area that provides a welcome excursion into nature without even leaving the city. There are hundreds of parks in Seattle, and Discovery Park is the largest. It's situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking the Puget Sound, and there are many trails that wind through wilderness, meander along the sandy waterfront, and offer dramatic views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. If you're interested, you can also visit the oldest lighthouse on Puget Sound, or tour the Daybreak Star Center, a Native American cultural center, to see some art or attend a pow wow.
Seattle's expansive park system is largely the result of the Olmsted Brothers, an influential landscape design firm formed in 1898. Now, you may not have heard of the Olmsted brothers, but back in the early 1900's they were pretty hot stuff. Their vision for Seattle's park system helped the city evolve into one of the most livable green cities in the nation. The Olmsted brothers designed dozens of parks and boulevards, the campus of the University of Washington, and the State Capitol plan. Seattle is now a city with hundreds of beautiful vistas, parks, and boulevards just waiting for me to photograph each and every one.
And here's another interesting historical tidbit about Discovery Park - it used to be an Army fort, and it was almost turned into an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system (as a deterrent against expected Chinese missile attacks) in the mid-1970s. However, the citizens and city officials of Seattle, tree-huggers that they are, protested against the proposed ABM and won. So, thank you hippies of Seattle, and thank you Olmsted brothers!