Want to learn how to catch a leprechaun or a bit-o-Irish? If so, you’re in luck! Local organization, Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park, is putting on a Shamrock Stroll from March 16-28 at Lake Sammamish State Park.
“It’s a series of about 14 or 15 signs, and when you come into the park, you walk up towards the bathhouse, and you’ll see we’ve got a small banner and the first sign there, and it’s a do-it-yourself walk,” said Jennifer Adut, Executive Director of Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park.
Signs displaying educational material are placed along the path, with themes such as “Build a leprechaun trap!” and “Learn a bit-o-Irish.” Additional themes include Irish blessings, Irish foods to love, and what to do if you catch a leprechaun.
“When COVID hit we tried to pivot and be a little more flexible, so we were thinking of things like what can bring people outdoors without being so organized? What can people do themselves that’s socially distanced? So, we came up with a series of DIY walks in the park,” said Adut.
According to Adut, when Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park began in 2013, part of their mission was to enhance attendance of the park in general, and due to their success, they had to shift away from big summertime events.
“One of the components of our vision is to bring people into the park off-season, because obviously the summer is so crowded,” said Adut. “We started focusing on how to bring people into the park through unique outdoor experiences and outdoor recreation in the off-season, so that’s one of the lenses we look at when doing events.”
During off-season events, Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park seeks to showcase what visitors have not seen before. Past DIY walks consist of a Valentine’s Day walk, Earth Day walks, a Grandparent’s Day walk, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day walks. With the statewide mask mandate being rolled back recently, Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park will host less walks per year.
“We’ll probably do one or two a year,” said Adut. “We won’t do as many as we did during COVID—we had four or five during COVID—but we’ll probably do one or two a year depending on which ones people like.”
The DIY walks are free to attend but require either a Discover Pass or a day pass, which is $10.
“This is our place to recreate and to be with nature and to relax, and hopefully people can gain a new appreciation for the park,” said Adut.
To keep up to date with future walks in Lake Sammamish State Park visit www.lakesammamishfriends.org/events