From sports fields to art sales to its immense lakefront off-leash dog area, Magnuson Park is a lot of things to a lot of people. But to Seattle's nature fanciers, it's a special place.
Just ask Emily Bishton, otherwise known as Teacher Emily, who spent 13 years as an environmental educator, showing people around the park.
"It has such a diversity of ecosystems. The wetlands are very unique. There is a milelong lakeshore, acres and acres of grassland ecosystem."
There is forest too, but it comes in small chunks, so there is lots of the kind of edge habitat — part forest, part meadow — that attracts a lot of wildlife. For example, around 200 species of birds will spend time in the park over the year.
It's safe to say that most families who come to the park aren't there for the scenery. Thousands of kids play youth soccer and/or youth ultimate, and most of them end up playing at Magnuson at some point, either in the turf fields or in the wide grass field called the sports meadow