Free City Walks around Seattle

Come walk with us. We are leading free fun and interesting urban nature walks in the greater Seattle area.

Our next walk is on July 9, 2017. We are busy designing it right now and will announce all of the fun details here soon! 

Or, to get our walk announcements delivered right to your in-box, subscribe in the box on the left side of this page. Share with your friends. They are free and fun!


Eleven signs of spring in the Pacific Northwest

Spring Azure Butterfly.© 2017 Curt Given/Given Photography  

  1. Earlier dawns
  2. Budding trees, despite the iffy weather
  3. Flocks of birds flying overhead
  4. Croaking frogs
  5. Appearance of butterflies and other insects
  6. Sun tracking higher in the sky
  7. Blooming wild daffodils
  8. Birds singing and displaying mating behavior
  9. Warmer sunshine
  10. Hummingbirds are back
  11. Baby plants poking their heads out of the ground

A Sweet Little Guide to Nature Me For You


A Simple Way to FEEL MORE JOY in your life

© Cary Given/Given Photography 2016



Journal Archive

From the Puget Sound Urban Nature Series

A jewel in the midst

by Rebecca Bailey

Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle © Curt Given/Given Photography 2012

Without a doubt, the Conservatory is the best part of Volunteer Park, which is located in the Capital Hill area of Seattle. The 6,300 square foot conservatory connects five unique greenhouses, lushly filled with plants from a variety of geographical areas. Park literature says that its greenhouses have 10, 400 square feet of production space under glass. 

Upon entering the building, you instantly feel good and soon realize it’s not a place for a quick look. It is all smiles and politeness as you navigate the narrow walkways, lush with a variety of plants from floor to ceiling. Voices are quiet, even hushed. Bright flowering displays in orange, yellow and purple occasionally accent the lush green plants, along with beautiful displays of orchids. Interpretive signs offer interesting facts about the plants.

In the fern and palm houses towering palms, filtered light, soothing water features, and warm temperatures create a pleasant tropical experience. Bromeliad and cactus houses bookend the five greenhouses offering a dramatic climate change from the other middle houses. A beautiful lemon tree is in the bromeliad house and a 75 year-old jade tree can be found in the cactus house.

Lemon tree, Volunteer Park Conservatory, Seattle © Curt Given/Given Photography 2012Surprises await. Tucked in the back along a narrow walkway is a tiny charming gift store that sells “long lasting” orchids. Benches, overhead wooden trellises and cobbled paths are interspersed. The conservancy houses two unusual pieces of art. A sculptured bell that is “intended to honor life and the human spirit,” created by Toshiko Takaezu and a sculptural instrument created by Oregon sound artist Dan Senn.

After a visit, you'll feel oh-so serene.