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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

May 28, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Getting to know the Eastside’s urban forest

sylvia tree-m.jpg
Sketched May 24, 12:48 p.m.
This tree in O.O. Denny Park on the northeast side of Lake Washington is so special it has its name written on a plaque: Sylvia. Once the largest living tree in King County, it grew to be 255 feet tall and 27 feet around before a storm blew away its top in 1993.
“Sylvia is symbolic of the beautiful, hidden riches of our area … one tree among many in an urban forest with remarkable old-growth vestiges,” said Francesca Lyman, a board member of the Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance, a group dedicated to protecting Finn Hill, one of the greenest spots around the lake.
On June 1, this quiet residential community where Sylvia has lived for more than 600 years will officially become part of Kirkland. The annexation, which also includes the neighborhoods of North Juanita and Kingsgate, will make the eastside city the sixth-largest in the county and 12th in the state with nearly 80,000 residents — a 65 percent increase.
Lyman said the annexation may inspire more Kirkland residents to discover this little-known “enchanted forest” in their city and get to know the thousands of neighbors who appreciate it and enjoy it.
oodennycesca-m.jpg
Sketched May 24, 11:23 a.m.
Lyman, above, and her friend Robin Rogers, shown on the top sketch next to “Sylvia,” along with her daughter Sally and granddaughter Mia –she’s carrying her on her back–, walk her dogs at O.O. Denny Park on a regular basis. “It’s dog heaven,” said Lyman, the proud owner of an 8-year-old collie named Toby.
O.O. Denny Park is named after Orion Orvil Denny, son of Seattle founder Arthur Denny. You can learn more about the park on this article at HistoryLink.org.
Blog extra!
More sketches from my visit to Finn Hill:
I’m happy to drive through this toll booth
The greenest corner of Lake Washington
Coming up: Once a month, I explore Seattle-area communities following readers’ recommendations. Where should I go next? Send me your ideas via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Have a great weekend!

Comments | More in Parks | Topics: Eastside, Finn Hill, Kirkland

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