Calling all paws! 18th annual Furry 5K to benefit orphaned pets

Seattle Animal Shelter invites animal lovers to register for the June 11 run at Seward Park

Register now for the Seattle Animal Shelter’s 18th annual Furry 5K run/walk happening at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at Seward Park. Each year, the fun run attracts thousands of two-legged runners accompanied by hundreds of their four-legged furry companions. All proceeds directly support the shelter’s Help the Animals Fund. To register or for more information, visit http://www.furry5k.com.

The Help the Animals Fund was created in 1977 to pay for lifesaving veterinary care for sick, injured and abused animals at the shelter. As the shelter’s veterinary needs grew, volunteers started the Furry 5K in 1999 to raise money for the fund and to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership. Last year, the fund covered nearly $250,000 in veterinary bills.

“The Furry 5K helped our shelter become a lifesaving organization. SAS is an open-admissions shelter and accepts any animal that is surrendered or found within Seattle city limits,” said Ann Graves, Seattle Animal Shelter’s acting director. “Thanks to the generous Furry 5K donors, we are able to also provide them with a range of veterinary services and ensure all adoptable animals are placed into loving homes.”

Shelter staff anticipates this year’s Furry 5K will draw more than 2,000 people and 1,000 canines. In-person registration begins at 10 a.m. The race will be followed by Pet-a-Palooza, featuring entertainment, music, contests, awards and an interactive vendor area. Admission to Pet-a-Palooza is free. The Furry 5K is one of the few races in the Puget Sound area that encourages participants to run or walk with their dogs.

Powered by pet licenses, volunteers and charitable donations, Seattle Animal Shelter saved 3,715 animals from homelessness, neglect and abuse in 2016. Additionally, the shelter’s low-cost Spay and Neuter Clinic performed 2,613 surgeries, preventing thousands of pets from becoming homeless in the future.

The Seattle Animal Shelter, located at 2061 15th Ave. W., is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday for adoptions and licensing. For more information, call 206-386-PETS (7387) or visit http://www.seattleanimalshelter.org.

Winter walks in Seattle parks

Carkeek Park

Winters in Seattle are wet and damp but they help keep our parks lush and green. Don’t let a little rain keep you from seeing the wonder of winter flora this season. We have dozens of trails that are waiting to be explored.

Carkeek Park
Carkeek Park offers extraordinary views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. Explore the hidden gems of this Northwest Watershed just nine miles from downtown Seattle. The park encompasses 220 acres of lush forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks and beach and has more than a dozen trails running through it. Hike along Piper’s Creek or be awed by the Puget Sound. The Carkeek Park demonstration garden is alive with winter color this time of year. Kalmiopsis leachiana provides tiny pink buds and Mahonia repens shows its deepest purple, red and maroon. In total, the park offers just over six miles of trail. The Salmon to Sound trail, the Piper’s Creek trail from the lower meadow to Piper’s Orchard and the Wetland Trail are all ADA accessible.

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden
Hidden in South Seattle, Kubota Garden is a stunning 20-acre landscape that blends Japanese concepts with native Northwest plants. The City acquired the property, which is a historic landmark, in 1987 from the estate of master landscaper Fujitaro Kubota. Unlike the Seattle Japanese Garden which closes for the winter months, the Kubota Garden is open year-round and there is no admission charge. The gardens are a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges and rock outcroppings. Last spring, the Kubota Garden Foundation celebrated the grand opening of a new terrace overlook.

Take a self-guided tour of the garden using a map provided by the Kubota Garden Foundation, or take a public, guided tour for free the fourth Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. A Foundation docent will be the guide. Tours leave from the garden’s parking lot.

Discovery Park

Discovery Park
Dancin’ in the moonlight! Everybody’s feeling warm and bright…and exploring Discovery Park! From 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, take a guided hike and experience Discovery Park from the perspective of a nocturnal animal. The views in the park are always beautiful, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it bathed in starlight. The Full Moon Trek event costs $5 per person and is designed for ages 8 and older. Find registration information here.

Discovery Park is a 534-acre natural area park. It is the largest city park in Seattle, and occupies most of the former Fort Lawton site. The site is one of breathtaking majesty. Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. The secluded site includes two miles of protected tidal beaches as well as open meadow lands, dramatic sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams.

If you’d like to discover the park on your own, take a look at the trail map here.

Washington Park Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Pak Arboretum is a 200-acre park on the shore of Lake Washington in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle with more than 40,000 trees, shrubs and vines from all over the world. Start your visit at the Graham Visitors Center where you can talk to a botanist, pick up a park map and lists of trees and plants.

Just a short walk from the visitors center is the Jospeh A. Witt Winter Garden that features a central lawn encircled by tall cedars and firs and a wide assortment of smaller trees and perennials. While the rest of the garden is more subdued, the winter garden is coming alive. For a winter garden map and plant list, go here. For a general arboretum map, go here.