Friday, November 4, 2011

a time to cut

... and along with good news comes the hard reality of changes to come....

from; Lisa Lantz, Resource Steward, SW Region, Washington State Parks  Oct. 31, 2011

"The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has not finalized plans for dealing with the bulk of the trees that are infected with laminated root rot (Phellinus weirii).  However, for the safety of our staff, we are moving forward with removing infected  trees in the immediate vicinity of the park office and the ranger residence.  This work will be carried out over the next few days, and it is separate from the work in the campground. " 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

History is where we make it

History, story, inquiry, witness.... although the time is drawing near for trees to start coming down in Kopachuck Park, their story will not be forgotten.  "All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record."

 It is a bittersweet pleasure to report that the Intertwined exhibit will be hosted at the Washington State History Museum in early 2012.  Stay tuned for more information as it develops.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Forests of the Future?

Trees Outside the Window by Josh Burkey
The whole world wants what we've already got..... forests!   This is way cool for city dwellers... but maybe not what we'd like to see happen to the forests of Washington State.  As population pressures make space more and more precious it's up to us to insure that the next generation can still experience a real forest not just look at trees outside the window.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Different Perspective

This is a photo of a Kopachuck tree taken from a different perspective.
I’ve always been attracted to the beauty of a tree’s bark and think of the many years it took for its unique texture to develop.  The moss that adorns it adds another dimension to its loveliness.

Marilyn Lepape

Friday, October 14, 2011

Intertwined Catalog Available

We have produced a catalog of work from the recent show at the Harbor History Museum.  The booklet is 8 x 5" the paper is similar to a good quality paperback book, but printed in full color. (not glossy)  It costs $6.95 for the soft cover version.  You will see other purchase options when you click to preview the book.   (note; there's a button on the lower right of the preview page that allows you to see a full screen view.)

The show comes down after this weekend, so stop by the museum soon.   Nice article in the "Go Arts" section of the Tacoma News Tribune yesterday. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Harbor Wild Watch at Kopachuck Park

Kopachuck Park includes the trees and their interface with the waters of Puget Sound.  The trees are very much intertwined with the marine ecosystem.  Marine creatures, plants and the dynamics of the seashore must also adapt to the changes coming to the riparian uplands of the park.  Harbor Wild Watch is a local environmental education group that provides summertime fun & learning opportunities right on the beach at Kopachuck.  Many children and the fortunate adults that accompany them have forged deep connections with the park and its shoreline.  It's never too late to learn and have fun doing it!   Visit HWW at Donkey Creek Park and in the Harbor History Museum parking lot for the Chum Festival in Gig Harbor this Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM.  Thank you to HWW for their participation in the Intertwined show, don't forget to check it out in the HHM lobby while you're at the Chum Fest. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Whispering In The Trees, Can You Hear?

Arguably the best speaker at the Intertwined reception was young Ian Gough who turned eleven on Saturday.  This is his poem....

The Kopachuck Woods

As you walk into the woods
you feel as free as the wind.
If you stop, you hear the firs rustling
as if whispering to each other.

Each of them seem the same, but not.

As you look, you see the differences
like you see the personalities in people.
The trees will be hard to leave
but they will always be remembered.

Ian P. Gough
Cub Scout, Pack 202

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Well Done!

Margo Macdonald hanging art for the museum show.

The "intertwined" image gave this effort a life of its own; so many subtleties in a word that caused everything and everyone to come together.   Pat Lantz

Last evening's reception was an affirmation of the power of community.  With the forest for a muse the participating painters, writers, sculptors, photographers, museum folks, financial supporters and park lovers (official and otherwise) created something special.  We can't save the trees from their fate, but from what I hear, we have influenced the approach that will be taken to mitigate damages.  Congratulations all, well done.  Besides that, the event was remarkably well attended and received, new people were introduced to our wonderful museum.... and I believe a few art pieces were sold to boot.  If you couldn't make the opening reception please stop by the museum before Oct. 16th, Tues-Sun, 10AM-5PM.  There is no charge to view the lobby exhibit.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reception this Evening 5:30 PM.....Join Us

Let the Forest Find You

"Whose Trees?" by robin peterson


Stand still.  
The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost.  
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost.  Stand still. 
The forest knows Where you are.  
You must let it find you.

David Wagoner is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington, where he has taught since 1954.  
His poem, quoted above, was inspired by being lost in the Hoh rainforest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Haunted

The woods are haunted, it is said
Where roots once tumbled ancient land
From bark to birth to brother’s hand
A ministry of trees
For trespass forsaken
In green cathedrals braced against ruin
In life pulsing through caged anatomy
A loamy thaumaturgy
Yet I've seen more good in them
Than all the children of men
The town is overrun with shadowed regrets
Cast by creaking giants
Soughing branches
And a darkness that whispers of us
Of the bounty we’ve abandoned
I have felt them
Phantom seedlings resting in skin
They will not let me alone
They fear I will soon forget
What it was like to

Elizabeth Beck

Entries due today!

"Layers" by Taylor Reed Rydell
"It was strange being at the park with the trees and thinking about how long they had been there and how amazing they are and thinking how wonderful it is that we still have places like this in this state for people to see now and generations from now and then remembering that they won't be there generations from now, they won't be there till the end of the year....   :( sad... "    Taylor

Today is the day.... bring your inspired work and your entry form to the Harbor History Museum between 3 and 4:30 this afternoon.  Treehuggers stand tall in the Pacific Northwest, we don't call this "god's country" for nothing.  Thanks for sharing everyone!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

We Stood Tall

"We Stood Tall-Requiem for the Trees"  by Pat Meras
It's gratifying to see such widespread creativity and support emerging from the community.  Remember to bring your work to the museum this Tuesday, Sept. 27th from 3 to 4:30 pm.
Writers may submit their work via email, deadline for receipt is also Tues. Sept 27th.
Email;  with questions or written submissions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reaching for the Light

"Reaching for the Light" by Jill Nordfors Clark
This sculptural basket, 22.5 inches high and 6.5 inches in diameter, is fashioned with hog casings, parachute cord and apple twigs using a needle lace technique.  photo by Tom Holt

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whispered Memories

"Whispered Memories", watercolor by Myrna Binion
Thank you to Peninsula Art League for spreading the word.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First Name Basis

Each and every tree in the park has a unique face.  If you get close enough they'll whisper their names.  If you lean in and listen, they might tell you what the last 100+ years have been like.

It's not too late to get on a first name basis with the trees at Kopachuck..... but it will be soon.  Marking has begun and rumor has it that cutting will begin in November.  Don't hold me to an exact start date though, just get out there now and start your own conversation.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thank you to our Sponsors

"Forest Magic" by Chris Bronstad

We want to acknowledge Dave Gordon; Gordon & Associates Law Firm, Richard Pifer; Timberland Bank and Scott Junge; Rosedale Gardens for stepping up to sponsor our show reception at the Harbor History Museum on Sept. 30th 5:30 - 7:30PM. These longtime residents and members of our community recognized the value of this project and didn't let us down.  We are very grateful!  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On the Trail

"Sean & Adam on the Trail"  by Myrna Binion

There's nothing like experiencing the trails yourself. The park is open, it's a good time to visit the trees. Time spent in a forest is never wasted, it may have more impact on your well being than you know, get your Discover Pass, pack up  the kids and find out.

And a thank you to Northwest RVer  for spreading the word about the park.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ode to Thyne Trees!

Soaring skyward in calm quiet strength,
shafts of beauty reaching to stars !
A grove of evergreens majestic in stance,
guardians from heaven … nature’s czars !

E’er watching o’er souls and life beneath,
from tops to roots deep in the earth !
Flow’rs ‘n grass, nestled birds ‘n boughs,
cradling the wonders of nature’s girth !

In summery days filtering suns wrath,
the fields beneath held cool !
In coolness of night hovering that be,
in mornings crisp, a silent jewel !

In weather times your limbs hold firm,
shielding bluster of heaven’s guile !
Bending gently whence winds doth blow,
stalwart strong of the woods all while !

Your legacy bound forever more,
thyne path ahead you’ll not tread alone! 
In the days aft in abyss high and o’er,
‘tis in our hearts wherest be your home !

 by Martha Reisdorf,  September, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

View From Atop

"View from Atop" by Kristin Johnson

Circles surround us in nature. They are whole, complete, and beautifully simple, yet they also represent the process of change. Their circular motion shows that objects of nature are always changing. As we attempt to grasp this harsh reality of Kopachuck, maybe we can also realize that the new growth to be planted will once again fill the empty space.

Kristin Johnson

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


In precious stillness,
filtered moonlight dances with the campfire.
Silence is broken
 by the hoot of an owl and crack of flame.
 We’re gratefully at ease
 in the midst of you,
 our beloved steadfast paladins.
 Lying on the softest floor
we deeply breathe your fragrance.                 
Now safe enough to tell our truths and
 share our innocent laughter,
 we drift into contented dreams.
Youthful sisters
in sleeping bag cocoons
blissfully tucked into allegiant roots
 defended by your branches.

by Susan Norton Lewis

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Entry Form

The entry form for "Intertwined, Requiem for the Trees" show at the Harbor History Museum is now available.  A note to writers, please submit your written contributions as soon as possible.  Organizers will mount them for the show.  Please contact us at  if you have any questions or if you would like this form sent to you via email.  Thanks for being involved.

Monday, September 5, 2011

In Reverence of Trees

"Tall One" by Patricia Rush
From John Buday, Key Peninsula master carpenter;  "I have often had the thought when laying hands on large timbers laying on the sawhorses that I am about to work with the bones of a huge living thing that was brought down by an act of violence. That I need to respect the sacrifice, not waste the thing, see that it is put to the best use and that it is sustained in that use for as long as possible."

This article from the Seattle Times  speaks to our connection to the land and specifically to the particular way that old growth trees affect us... it's hard to put into words, you can feel it though and that's what we are doing here.  It's the mandate of artists; painters, poets, carpenters, musicians... all, to bring the intangible to life and in doing so, inform our choices with consideration for future generations.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Forest Garden

Forest triptych by Beverly Pedersen

A flurry of tree painting has been happening at Beverly Pedersen's Art Barn on the Key Peninsula.  This triptych is painted on metal with sign painters enamel and is designed to be placed outside.  It is double sided, with leaves and ferns painted on the back of each panel.... leave it to Beverly to push the boundaries of possibility.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Poem for the Park

Ode to the Doomed Trees of Kopachuck Park

O large and foredoomed Firs, whose shady depths 
retain the fleeting sun and cooling rain; 
our sighs for you are crying through the boughs.
This summer eve among the dark'ning green
where pairs of fox kits played about your roots,
I mourn your soft wood beds and long-held home. 

Salal and huckleberry will abide
and gray-blue tides flow on beyond the land
long past the killing of your time and kind.
And we'll return in passing, even stand
where now your noble crown and glory waits,
as witness to the swift and deadly cuts.

We humans hate the ill that can't be cured, 
and serve the break that takes a better death, 
nor stop to care what road your soul prefers.
But still, it seems a cruel and fatal plan 
of man to demonstrate the flawed design
that saves the woods by cutting out the trees. 

Patty Craig Kennedy, Gig Harbor, Washington

Tree Huggers Show Their Stuff

Click this link to read an article in the Kitsap Sun by Charlee Glock-Jackson.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tapping for Treasures

Tap Tap Tapper, acrylic 6"x6"  robin peterson

"What feasts await your woodpecker in the thick bark ridges of Kopachuck's old growth firs. I can almost hear his noisy banging and see the chips fly from his aggressive pecking."    Pat Lantz

Our goal for the exhibit at the Harbor History Museum is to present a fitting testament to the trees.  A committee will be in charge of selecting and hanging the best, most representative and diverse art works for the venue at hand.  We have experienced people to fill these roles and we are confidant that we will mount a beautiful show.  That said, we are also aware that some contributions may not be easily displayed and we are exploring ideas about how to let everyone have their say.  One idea is to assemble a catalog of creative works which would make a nice record of all our efforts.

As a start, I am soliciting digital images of works to share on this blog site.  The contributing artist will be credited if/when the image is used.  If you would like to be included in the blog, please email your image (jpg, no larger than 1 MB) to   and the following information; your name, title of the work(s) and this message; (copy and paste it into the email, then fill in your name)   I, (artist name)  grant Robin Peterson permission to post my work on the blog site. 
Images used on the blog are small (72 dpi) so there is little issue with plagiarism.  

Let us know if you are interested in a catalog, would you contribute?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Discover" Kopachuck Park

Closed for camping, Open for day use

I know everyone is anxious for show info. and the entry form.... we're working on it!  The Harbor History Museum is a busy place and as soon as we confirm dates and details we will post the entry form so keep checking in.  The easiest way to stay in touch is to become a "follower" and get new posts delivered right to your email. (see sidebar)  What I can tell you is that you have less than one month, so get out to the park soon.

Another item of interest to Kopachuck tree huggers is that while the park is open for day use, it now requires a user fee.  State parks no longer receive any state funding and in order to stay open we are going to have to pony up.  They are now selling a Discover Pass which gives you access to state parks, DNR and WDFW sites throughout the state.  It is $30 for the year or $10 per single visit (+dealer fees).  You can pick up a pass at the Gig Harbor Ace Hardware and at Big 5, near Costco, check the official site for more info. and locations,

Petra & Hannah give a shout out for Kopachuck Park!

"My name is Petra Lillie Lindner. I am 7 years old.
 And this is my painting '  Lovely  trees '.  My sister Hannah and I love the park, and the big old trees.
We hope there will always be beautiful trees, to enjoy, in the Kopachuck Park."

Monday, August 29, 2011

From the ground, up

Here is Margo Macdonald, co-organizer of the "Intertwined" show, taking in the trees and logging in some time with her sketchbook.   She's got a studio painting in the works now.  Let us see what inspires you about Kopachuck Park..... contributions to the blog may be emailed to   Images no larger than 1MB please.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Step to your right (brain) please

Lets get politics out of the way so we can all switch over to the right side of our brains.....

The decision concerning the trees in Kopachuck Park has been made by folks who have NOT taken their responsibility lightly...  They have educated themselves, consulted with experts in the field and made an agonizing decision with the best interests of the public and the park in mind.  This arts effort has nothing to do with that decision, nor is it in ANY way critical of it.  Our goal is to appreciate what we have while we have it and make the best of a difficult situation.  

If you would like additional information about the disease caused by Phellinus weirii a good reference is; "Laminated Root Rot in Western North America" by Walter G. Thies and Rona N. Sturrock, a USDA Forest Service Publication.  For more details about the Park Commission’s decision it's always best to consult the source rather than to spread un-verified information, please contact Peter Herzog, Stewardship Manager, WA State Parks and Recreation, 360-902-8652.   In case you're wondering, any money made from the sale of timber harvested from Kopachuck Park will go directly into park stewardship funding, with much of it already earmarked for replanting efforts at Kopachuck.

Towering Trees

A gentle fog shrouds the treetops in this photograph by Bryan Peterson, taken at Kopachuck Park on August 25th 2011.

Laminated root rot is not a new or unusual disease, it is a relatively common affliction of Douglas fir and Western hemlock trees in our area. It is just one path of natural progression in an aging grove, but it is particularly devastating at Kopachuck Park due to the number of trees involved, the severity of their infection and the location.  Standing dead trees are a natural and integral part of an old growth ecosystem (ask the pileated woodpeckers).  Without being judgmental, the truth is that we as a society have little tolerance for the inherent risk they present and small stands in urban areas must be managed.  The fungus may persist in roots for 50 years or more and spreads via root connections, so one management plan is to plant more resistant species, which is what they plan to do here.  With careful tree removal, minimal damage to the understory and replanting, in a few years newcomers won't understand our angst.  Which is good, but also why it's important to remind them that there are possibilities beyond the limits of what they see when a forest is allowed to grow to maturity.  Maybe to agree that remaining old growth forests are a legacy worth saving?  We are the final witnesses to this relatively mature forest and we're doing this because we believe that our observations are worth documenting and sharing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Whose Trees?

Felled by the filamentous,
light as fluff, taking giants to their knees.

Whose trees are these?

Is it owl who's feather drifted down this long elevator of bark,
squirrel, chasing chipmunk from a cache of cones?
Is it woodpecker, tap, tap, tapping softened flesh,
or raven, croak, croak, croaking from the swaying tip tops?
Is it deer, not bothered by giant bodies, prone on her path?
or is it the child who never knew that trees once grew…. into giants?

Tell me, whose trees are these? 
                                                        robin peterson

(you don't need to be good.... just inspired to post here :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Response from painter Chris Bronstad

"As I was painting, I was treated to the beautiful shifting light and the shrill calls of piliated woodpeckers in the upper story; amazing. I got a close look at where this fir had snapped and saw what I believe to be an example of this root rot.  I got a nice two sittings on the painting and enough info (pics and memory) to finish it. I took lots of other photos, but plan to go back again to paint other subjects.  The immanent loss is difficult to imagine, but bringing like-minded people together to try and capture in may forms the essence of these trees and this forest is amazing and worth while."

An idea takes form...

Clearly there is a connection between the human soul and (especially) the centenarian trees that share our world.  Thank you for helping us explore that intertwining as we prepare a requiem for the trees and dedicate it to the future... ours and the generations to follow.  

This project started with Pat Lantz, Washington State Parks Commissioner, in response to the decision to cut trees afflicted with laminated root rot that pose a danger to life and property.  Unfortunately, the disease is pervasive, with no remedy, so many of the oldest fir and hemlock are slated for removal before the trees fall on their own. Outreach to the arts community is one way to respond positively to the heartbreak created by such a loss.  So here we are, a disparate gathering of tree huggers, looking for catharsis and bearing witness to the magnificence of trees.  

On August 24th uncounted artists gathered at the park to draw, paint, photograph and talk about the project.  Besides the catharsis of the creative process, there is also an opportunity to share our work with the community.  Harbor History Museum has graciously offered to accommodate us in a lobby show with an evening reception on September 30, 2011.  

Robin Peterson & Margo Macdonald are spearheading the organization of this quickly developing project.  We hope that, besides visual artists, poets and writers, schoolchildren and park lovers will respond to our call.  The goal is to bear witness to what is here now, but will soon be only a memory.  We want the children to know that we did our best to protect their legacy, even when hard choices had to be made.  We want their children to know what a centuries old tree looks like, feels like, smells like... how it resonated so strongly with our souls.  Dramatic?  maybe, but it's their trees and although the Kopachuck Park will be replanted so that a healthy forest will once again grow there,  we know that those towering giants will never return.

 If you'd like to be involved or want more information, follow along on this blog or contact us at   The project is evolving as we speak and the timeline is short, so let us know how you want to contribute.  There are many ways to help, whether you produce a tangible art project or not, this is truly a grass roots event without official sponsorship.  

Cathartically,  Robin, Pat and Margo