Northwest Stream Center Tours
The Northwest Stream Center is a place where visitors come to learn about the connections between forests, wetlands, streams, fish, wildlife, and people.
Excellent interpretive signs along the ½ mile-long and universally accessible Nature Trail describe the complexities of NW natural resources for non-scientist. Outstanding graphics, illustrations, and photographs make the learning process both easy and enjoyable.
If you are interested in what is necessary to have a self-sustaining salmon run in your local stream, the Northwest Stream Center is the place to be!
The beautifully designed Nature Trail goes past a Trout Stream Exhibit with viewing windows where you can observe cutthroat trout, sculpin, crayfish, and fresh water mussels in two types of habitat. Next to this 160-foot long stream you can learn:
- What watersheds and riparian zones are;
- How rivers and steams work;
- Everything you wanted to know about Pacific salmon;
- Aquatic insect connections to aquatic and terrestrial life;
- Fresh water mussel connections to trout;
- Water temperature, Oxygen, and pH requirements for aquatic life; and
- Functions of a Riparian Zone -less than one-percent of the people on the planet know this information!!! Come here and become a “one-percenter!”
Then, go onto the Elevated Forest and Wetland Walk. It winds through more than 20-acres, three-feet above the forests floor and adjacent wetlands. There you can:
- Observe seasonal web-footed feathered friends at the Waterfowl Overlook.
- Enjoy the majesty of a deep forest on a bench at the Cedar Cathedral Viewpoint.
- Contemplate how forests used to be at the Old Growth Stump Rest.
- Wander above and a take a rest next to a huge array of skunk cabbage at the Swamp Lantern Viewpoint.
- Find owls and woodpeckers and a bench at the Wild Bird Alley Viewpoint.
- Learn about a major eco-system engineer at the Beaver Works Viewpoint.
- See the beginning of a storm water bio-filtration system from the Wetland Crossing Bridge.
The last stop on the route is the Soregnfrei Marsh. There you will be able to observe four scientific classifications of wetlands and learn how Elsie Sorgenfrei did amazing work protecting the planet in the local area during her 90-year tenure. You should be inspired to do the same!
Self-Guided Tours (no extra costs beyond admission fees):
There is a lot to absorb from the interpretive information on the Nature Trail. Since numbers of visitors are limited to no more than 30 per half-hour, you won’t be in a crowd. You will be able to comfortably make nature observations, read descriptions of what you are seeing, and take photographs for later review.
Docent Naturalist Guided Tours (no extra cost beyond admission fees):
Trained volunteers are available to answer questions and lead informal tours covering many topics beyond information on the interpretive signs. Tours range from 45 minutes to one hour and are on an irregular schedule.
Formal Guided Tours: ($150)
Professionally guided tour for to 20 who will be equipped with listening devices enabling you to learn details about forest, wetland, and stream ecology, while keeping one ear available to listen for wildlife. This tour begins on a bridge over North Creek with an introduction to the River Continuum Theory. Formal tours are generally 1.5 hours long and must be reserved in advance by calling 425-316-8592.
At the end of your tour, you will exit through the Northwest Stream Center Nature Store where you can select education materials that complement your tour and an excellent array of nature oriented gifts.
Take a Virtual Tour of The Northwest Stream Center