Local groups gathered at two outdoor events in the past two weeks, showing the public how to get together safely in pursuit of the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
One was a run in Stanwood, the other a walk in the woods on Camano Island. At both, people comments were made like, “I didn’t recognize you in a mask,” and “This is the first time I’ve seen you in person in a long time.”
Who let the goose out?
Between 30-40 people, a couple of dogs and a baby in a jogging stroller met at Heritage Park Saturday for the 2021 Goose is Loose Fun Run.
Stanwood Chamber of Commerce has been organizing the event since 2017. After skipping 2020, the chamber held the fun run, rain or shine. They got a decent turnout this year, even under soggy skies that delivered a light sprinkle.
“Rain doesn’t dampen the spirit of the Goose is Loose Fun Run,” said Deanne Sigel, chamber executive director.
Some participants told Sigel they were glad it wasn’t hot like the previous week. Cool weather is better for running.
The winners were Nick Cairus, running the 5K course in just over 21 minutes, and Annemarie Gaudin, coming in at 23:29 minutes.
The route led from Heritage Park’s parking lot east to the railroad tracks circling past eastside shops cutting across town to loop through the westside business district to City Hall and back again.
Mayor Elizabeth Callaghan joined the fun run.
“I’m happy to have an event where people can get together, masked and outside. No matter your stance on it, it’s all-inclusive this way.”
The fun run raised funds for the chamber to support a thriving business community and community events.
Chamber President Judy Williams credits the run’s success to the board members who helped put on their first event since the shutdown began.
Tall trees and history
Friends of Camano Island Parks hosted its first public guided walk at Four Springs Preserve on April 17.
Normally this active parks support group leads monthly guided walks from fall through spring. The walks were called off during the pandemic but have now resumed with masks and social distancing outdoors in the woods.
A group of nine gathered at Four Springs Preserve for the first walk of 2021. FOCIP founder Carol Triplett led the way, stopping at key points to point out features of the walk and tell how the parks group worked to make the trail open to the public.
FOCIP President Tom Eisenberg brought up the rear, talking about wild edibles. When the group reached the early 1900s barn where early loggers kept teams of draft horses, he described the process he participated in to renovate it.
The next FOCIP guided walk will cover the Iverson Trail Preserve, Kristoferson Creek and English Boom at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, in the Iverson parking lot.