It's the End of the World and I'm Forest Bathing

Leave it all behind and walk into Beacon Hill's forest and everything in your body will change.


A place anyone can see the whole meaning of one's life is a place of great value.
Friends of Wooded Methcamps.
Oh, Charles. Thank you for this, it is a lovely piece and I feel happier having read it.

I'm interested in your view on lichens--the fungus that has learned to farm--from your perspective as a person who thinks a lot of botanical things, things that are magnificently unlikely from the wide view, and systems of economics. There's a lot there, I think!
I had you down as despising trees. My mistake. Nice piece.
I remember reading an article penned by you, quite some time ago, where you mentioned that you had a fear of the woods.
Careful of the needles.
If people without homes are forcibly removed from a greenbelt so that the knowledge-worker class can enjoy it, is this not displacement? Is it not gentrification?

When we bathe in this city-forest-bliss after forcibly removing those who previously lived there, is this not precisely the bliss of the colonist?

Did the homeless ever feel the calming effects of this forest, or can this rarified pleasure only be experienced by the forest's enlightened savior-conquerors?
indeed, on the other side of silence is a hooker, taptaptapping for some green, a wood–pecker, a honk.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted with your celebration of nature, and your observations and reflections are marvelous—I wish the Stranger would have more of this type of writing. As director of the Seattle Nature Alliance, who actively advocated preserving this forest for pedestrian recreation and wildlife habitat, I can relate to your connection to this forest. We are striving for permanent preservation of these last tiny fragments of the urban wild so that more people, now and into the future, can experience nature on this level—in a low-impact and sustainable way. It’s too bad the fight between the mountain bike advocates and the nature preservationists had to happen, but in my opinion the fault for that lies squarely with the City of Seattle, that does not adequately preserve these spaces in the first place.

HOWEVER, please do not refer to the Friends of Cheasty as cranks, or as people who are after only the “pure”. I know many of these people, and they are anything but that. On the contrary, they are deeply committed to nature, and they are also committed to bringing nature to people. Many of them have spent decades of their lives in professions or volunteer activities that are all about this. Please write more articles like this, but stick to the nature part, and to the benefits it brings to urban life.
For clarification, there are no mountain-bike trails anywhere in Cheasty at this time. The families in the southern Mountainview section are using the pedestrian trails put in by volunteers with Friends of Cheasty Greenspace- Mountainview over the last 10 years. Ongoing restoration is occurring in the portion of Cheasty north of Columbian Way, where Mudede was hiking and future trails are planned.
@11) I saw bikers in the park and assumed it was permitted. But the real battleground is as I stated the South section.
The Friends of Cheasty that Mr. Mudede calls "cranks" won an appeal against the Seattle Parks Departments "Determination of Non-Significance (DNS)". for the bike park project.

The hearing examiner called the Parks Department filing "clearly erroneous" and reversed the DNS; in other words, a slam dunk for the Friends of Cheasty. Reversal is the best possible outcome for an appeal.

So please dig deeper before calling nature preservationists cranks, Mr. Mudede, because cranks do not win appeals against the city.

The "cranks" are the Parks officials who filed an erroneous DNS, then wasted thousands of taxpayers dollars unsuccessfully defending it.

Nice article otherwise. It really gets to the point of why people want to protect the beauty and peace in Cheasty Greenspace.
I live on Cheasty and while a lot of it is beautiful like Charles described, there IS a huge issue with trash and dumping along it. Even though there are volunteers who come to clean it up almost every month, the walkways are back to being lined with garbage (a lot of it broken glass) within a week or two. I have frequently have to squeeze past groups of homeless men (and teenagers ditching school) who are drinking or in one memorable incident, shooting up heroin in the middle of the path. If you want to say that's the price we pay for compassionate policies on homelessness, fine. But don't pretend the issue doesn't exist.