A Hopping Good Time at the Frog Frolic at Shadow Lake
Shadow Lake’s 20th annual Frog Frolic is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 10th from 1 PM-5 PM. Save Habitat And Diversity Of Wetlands (SHADOW) is a nature preserve in Renton that encompasses a 5,000-year-old peat bog, an amphibian pond and eight other distinct habitats. Their mission is to ensure the sustainability of Shadow Lake Bog and other unique habitats within Jenkins Creek Basin through environmental education, preservation and restoration.
The Frog Frolic is a fun, family-friendly celebration which includes guided tours, children’s activities, silent auction, raffle, drinks, food (featuring “Wild Pies”), and even a small beer garden! The local band “The Forgotten 45’s” will be the entertainment at what is sure to be the “hoppingest” party on the lake. The parking lot is small, so you will have to park on the side of the road, but the “green machine” will drive by and shuttle you to the main event.
Shadow Lake Bog is a green, peaceful secret fairly close to Tahoma High School, where 1,500 students a year come to learn about its rare peat bogs. There is a flat, half-mile long boardwalk through part of the preserve that is open daily to the public from dawn ’till dusk. Halfway along the boardwalk is where the 5,000 year old peat bogs are featured. You will know them by the distinct carpet of green, mossy hills called hummocks. The boardwalk ends at a platform that overlooks Bog Cranberry, Bog Laurel and White Pine.
Right past marker number 7 on the boardwalk, there is a small, hard to see trail off to the left that is well worth the detour. The footpath springs under your step from the thousands of years of built up sphagnum moss. It’s like walking in a fairyland. You half expect to see little gnomes peeking out from behind the soft hills. Even in late summer there is a rolling, green carpet under the trees, magical.
You can find the Shadow Lake Bog’s at 21656 184th Ave SE, Renton, WA 98058. Their phone number is 425-432-4914. Office hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10 AM-5 PM. The office is above the Richter Interpretive Center near the entrance. For more information on the nature preserve or the Frog Frolic, visit www.shadowhabitat.org.
~ Written and contributed by Michelle Gehlman-Teeter. Photos by Michelle Gehlman-Teeter.