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Park Ranger Programs

Teachers: Are you interested in bringing your students to Point Defiance Park for a private Ranger Program? 
Click here to submit a request to Ranger Mary >

 
 Park Ranger Programs
 

Free Ranger-Led Nature Walks

2017: Nov. 4
2018: Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 31, Oct. 28

1-2 pm
Meet the Park Ranger at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion for an exploration of the plants and animals in the special old-growth forest of Point Defiance Park. Not recommended for strollers, wheelchairs, or children under 3.
Free!
 

Tacoma Giants: Part 1
Trees of Point Defiance Park

2017: Nov. 11
2018: Jan. 20, Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Apr. 28

9-10 am
Meet Mik and the Beanstalk. Mik is a Certified Arborist happy to share his knowledge of the trees of Point Defiance with you; and the Beanstalk is a 186-foot Pseudotsuga menziesii, a.k.a. Douglas-fir, located a stone's throw away from Fort Nisqually. Ideal for kids, older folks and people with mobility issues, the event will include activities around the Fort Nisqually Picnic Shelter and the Beanstalk nearby.
Instructor: Certified Arborist Mik Miazio
Fee: $4 per person
To Register: SIGN UP ONLINE or call (253) 305-1088
 

Tacoma Giants: Part 2
Immersion Tree Walk

2017: Nov. 11
2018: Jan. 20, Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Apr. 28

11 am-1 pm
Did you know that there are living beings over 200 feet tall residing right here in Point Defiance Park? Immerse yourself into the world of living natural history and fall in love with the infinite shades of green in this in-depth look into the biology and history of the trees of Point Defiance. Meet the instructor at the Fort Nisqually Picnic Shelter and take an arborist-guided hike to the tallest tree in the park. Please dress appropriately for the weather, as this program will take place outside.
Fee: $8 per person
To Register: SIGN UP ONLINE or call (253) 305-1088

Coffee with the Birds

2017: Nov. 18
2018: Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 7, May 5, Jun. 2, Aug. 4, Sep. 1, Oct. 6
9-10:30 am

With a new theme each month, this event is perfect for everyone from beginner birders  to experts looking to connect with new friends over coffee or hot chocolate! Tahoma Audubon Society will have a binocular library for participants to borrow binoculars. You're guaranteed to see birds, thanks to real bird specimens provided by the Slater Museum of Natural History. Complimentary coffee provided by Lift Bridge coffee.

  • Nov 18 – Seabirds
    Meet at the Owen Beach shelter. Be prepared to walk on the beach for up to ¾ of a mile.
  • Feb. 3, 2018 - Urban Owls
    Meet at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.
  • Mar. 3, 2018 - Eagles at the Point
    Meet at Owen Beach. Be prepared to walk on the beach for up to ¾ of a mile.
  • Apr. 7, 2018 - Ravens
    Meet at the Fort Nisqually Picnic Shelter. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.
  • May 5, 2018 - Spring Arrivals
    Meet at the Northwest Native Plant Garden. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.
  • June 2, 2018 - Listening for Birds
    Meet at the Northwest Native Plant Garden. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.
  • Aug. 4, 2018 - Woodpeckers & Cavity Nesters
    Meet at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.
  • Sep. 1, 2018 - Fall Migration
    Meet at the Fort Nisqually Picnic shelter. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.
  • Oct. 6, 2018 - Madrone Feeding Frenzy
    Meet at the Fort Nisqully Picnic Shelter. Be prepared to walk for up to 1 mile.

Fee: 2017: $4 per person / 2018: $5 per person
To Register: SIGN UP ONLINE or call (253) 305-1088

Forest Mindfulness

2018: Jan. 7, Feb. 4, Mar. 4, , Apr. 8
1-3 pm
2018: Mar. 10 (tailored to families)
1-2:30 pm

Learn to slow down and experience the forest in a new way. Led by Certified Forest Therapist Julie Hepp, this program is designed to take participants slowly and intentionally through nature. The Guide gives a series of place-based invitations to connect to your senses, to yourself, and to others. Through the place-based invitations, the participants interact in 20-30 minute increments of reflective and imaginative interaction in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the many living and non-living things in Point Defiance through moving slowly, and mindfully through the trails.
Participants should dress for the weather, and bring snacks and water for this outdoor program. Ages 10+
Meet at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion.
Fee: $20 per person / Mar. 10 session is $20 for family of 4
To Register: SIGN UP ONLINE or call (253) 305-1088

Slug Celebration Walk

2018: Mar. 24 & Apr. 21
11:30-12:30 pm

From local heroes to invading enemies, get to know the gastropods - also known as slugs and snails - who call Point Defiance Park home, including Washington's largest species of land snail! Join us to celebrate these slimy creatures and what makes them more special than you might think.
Meet at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion.
Free!
 

Birding for Seniors

2018: Mar. 2 - Eagles at the Point
10-11 am

Celebrate the birds of Point Defiance Park in this mobility-adjusted program. Enjoy a short lecture with seating provided followed by an optional short walk. This program is made possible by support from Franke Tobey Jones Senior University.
Meet at Owen Beach.
Free!

Spring Flora Hike

Apr. 14, 2018
9-11 am

Join botanist Romey Haberle for an introduction to the spring plants in the Point Defiance forest. Program will require approximately 4 miles of walking over uneven terrain.
Meet at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion.
Fee: $5

BioBlitz

Apr. 27, 2018
2 pm

More info coming soon.
Meet at the Environmental Learning Center by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
Free!

Park Prescriptions Family Health Festival

Tentatively scheduled for Apr. 14, 2018
10 am-3 pm

Additional information TBA.
Meet at the Rhododendron Garden Pavilion.