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(📸: Lynette Elliott, Thayne Tuason, Miguel Vaca, Malcolm Manners, and Randi Hausken / Flickr)

CAN YOU SPOT THESE COOL PLANTS ON THE TRAIL? 🌱

Wanting to hit the trail, but don’t have a car? No prob. Starting on Saturday, King County’s bringing back its Trailhead Direct program, which shuttles hikers from the Puget Sound area to some awesome trails, like Chirico Trail-Poo Poo Point, the High School Trail, Margaret’s Way, and East Sunset Way. In May, the shuttle will also run to Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe over by North Bend.

Rides start at $2.50 and run every 30 minutes with pick ups from the Mount Baker Transit Station, Eastgate Freeway Station, and the Issaquah Transit Center. Get all the details, including updates on new trails, here.

When you’re on the trail and want to impress your friends with how to correct identify the  botanical beauty that surrounds you, we’ve got you covered. (Thanks to Stewart Wechsler, who leads the Washington Native Plant Society’s plant identification workshops, for these tips!)

1. Trilium
Pronounced:
Trill-ee-um
Its official name: Trillium ovatum
Fun fact: These three-petaled flowers, which are often white, red, yellow, or purple, are one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic plants.
Where to find them: forests in low and high elevations

2. Salal
Pronounced: Suh-lal
Its official name: Gaultheria shallon
Fun fact: Salal is a shrub with dark, leathery green leaves. It usually has tiny white and pink flowers that blossom in the spring. It also grows edible, dark purple berries.
Where to find them: forests, coastlines, and rocky bluffs

3. Douglas fir
Its official name: Pseudotsuga menziesii
Fun fact: This conifer, which is found throughout the northwest and across the U.S., is the largest tree in the pine family. It’s also a common variety of Christmas tree.
Where to find them: low to mid-elevations

4. Stinky-bob geranium or Herb Robert
Its official name: Geranium robertianum
Fun fact: This plant, which usually has five-petalled pink or white flowers, is covered with short hairs that make the plant feel sticky.
How did it get its name? Because its leaves give off a strange smell that some have described as a mix of diesel and mint. It’s believed to have originated in Europe.
Where to find them: shady forests with damp soil

5. Fringecup
Its official name: Tellima grandiflora
Fun fact: Fringecup has tiny, spiky pink or white flowers. It’s also covered in hairs, which give off a sweet smell, and is also found in Alaska and from British Columbia to Northern California.
Where to find them: damp woods and along streams from low to moderate elevations

Think you’ve identified some of this local flora on the hills? Tag #theevergrey on Instagram or Twitter in your favorite pics from your trek.

Heading down to Oregon for a hike this season? Well then you better mosey on over to our rival sister publication, Bridgeliner, in Portland. Their morning edition’s got the scoop on the coolest trail plants you’ll find in the Beaver State. Check it out here. And go Northwest. 🌲

NOW HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR CITY 🏃

It was supposed to be easy. Making sure that kids, at least, aren’t living in the tents and homeless encampments that we see in so many parts of the city. But it wasn’t easy enough. According to new state data, 125 Seattle school students are living in tents, cars, parks, or abandoned buildings. That’s up from just 13 kids five years ago. And when you look at all the students the district considers “homeless” — a number that includes kids who stay in shelters or with friends — that total’s gone up by 45 percent since 2015.

Columnist Danny Westneat helped inspire a “No Child Sleeps Outside” campaign that raised $7 million to fix this, and we’re as confounded as he is. “After there was a hue and cry that no child left outside is the least we can do; after it was described as solvable, as ‘low-hanging fruit’ — even after all that, the glittering city somehow has more kids in cars and shacks than ever.” (The Seattle Times)

Never give up! Some struggles are hard enough that at some point you have to call it a day and go home. That’s what West Seattleite Greg Kroleski did at the Boston Marathon on Monday. He got bad hypothermia, went to the medical tent, and left. Five hours later though, he felt a bit better, saw runners on TV and decided he needed to finish. So he took an Uber back to that medical tent and ran the rest of the race. 💪 (KOMO)

This week in transit bloopers, part 1… First, the surprising official message to drivers who were driving south on I-5 Tuesday: “U SUCK.” A local named Ruslan Kozlov saw it light up the digital sign that WSDOT — our state transportation department — usually uses to warn us about traffic and such. So Ruslan did what we suppose he had to do: He took a picture and shared it on Reddit. WSDOT’s explanation? It was a “training error.” 😜 (KING)

And now part 2… Someone spotted an SUV stuck in a ditch off the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is bad for two reasons: No one likes getting stuck in a ditch, and oh yeah — the Burke is for bikes and pedestrians only. “Great,” one local wrote on Reddit. “One more irrational fear I’ll have while running on the Burke with headphones on.” (Reddit)

More parks pioneers. Earlier this week we told you about Linnea Westerlind, a woman who’s been to all of Seattle’s 485 public parks. Readers Amber Harner and Bo Roth wrote in to tell us about another Seattle parks project to know about. It’s called “Reasons to go Outside,” and it’s the four-year, 330+ Seattle parks adventures of a couple guys named Jackson and James. Thanks for the tip, Amber! (Reasons to go Outside)


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HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP 📅

PARTNER EVENTS

🗣  TONIGHT: Explore the living history of Seattle’s first people at the second edition of Seattle Live (Queen Anne)

💻👩  April 23-27: Connect with inspiring mentors, peers, and resources at the weeklong Women in Tech Regatta (South Lake Union)

🎙 April 24: Boost your small business and meet peers in your industry at the inaugural Elevate NW Conference (Queen Anne)

Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.


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AROUND TOWN

TODAY

🎟  Laugh away your parenting woes (University District)
🎶  Do a girl group/boy band sing along (Central District)
🍴  Fill up on this happy hour food walk (International District)
🗣  Hear the stories of Seattle’s first people at this Evergrey partner event (Queen Anne)

TOMORROW

🎶  Get your swing on at the Hep Cat Ball (South Lake Union)
🎟  Let actors turn your bio into a literary epic (Belltown)
🎶  Watch a massive hip hop dance-off — through Saturday (Central District)
👋  Check out the one and only Specialty Coffee Expo — through Sunday (Downtown)

SATURDAY

🏈  Meet the 2018 Huskies at this big spring fan fest (University District)
🛍  Shop the Handmade & Homegrown market (Georgetown)
🏞  Run for Earth Day and get a tree (Sand Point)
🍿  Watch flicks at the African American Film Festival — through Sunday (Central District)
🗣  Hear from locals using art as ‘creative resistance’ (Hillman City)

SUNDAY

🏞  Hike a trail on Earth Day (All over)
👋  Volunteer with fellow LGBTQ+ folks (All over)
🎈  Take the fam to the opening of a Universe of Super Heroes (Queen Anne)
🎈  Celebrate cherry blossoms and Japanese culture (Queen Anne)

GOING TO ONE OF THESE EVENTS?

Send us a pic or tag #theevergrey. See more upcoming events (and submit your own) on our events page.

WE’RE COMING FOR YOU, SPHERES 🏐

The big, round, horticulturally glorious Amazon Spheres downtown are finally open to the public for two Saturdays a month. The visitor slots fill up fast, so listen up. Amazon says they’re doing tours twice a month and opening up new reservation slots 30 days ahead of each Saturday tour. By our math, that means the next open tour slots — for Saturday, May 19 — should go online today.  Want to peek inside Seattle’s eden? Check this page for those May 19 (down where it says “Book a Visit”) and book fast.

Godspeed. — The Evergrey