Gateway: Living

Roses and Rosedale walk to highlight history of Sehmel Homestead Park

Walkers pass one of the iconic cows at Sehmel Homestead Park.
Walkers pass one of the iconic cows at Sehmel Homestead Park. The News Tribune

Fall may be approaching, but outdoor events are not off the schedule for Gig Harbor residents.

A new walking event is on offer to showcase some of the trails and history at Sehmel Homestead Park.

Roses and Rosedale: A Historical Walking Tour of Sehmel Homestead Park will be led by Karen Larson, development director for EnviroCorp, a branch of the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation.

“I’m very knowledgeable about the history of the farm,” she said. “Sehmel Homesetead Park is kind of a hidden jewel for those of who live in Gig Harbor.”

I’m very knowledgeable about the history of the farm. Sehmel Homestead Park is kind of a hidden jewel for those of who live in Gig Harbor.

Karen Larson, development director for EnviroCorp

Larson has been involved with the park for years and is the former coordinator of the Master Gardener demonstrations at the park. She also worked to preserve the plants on the location and learned the area’s history from the last owners of property, Don and Mary Ellen Sehmel.

The walk is designed to be an easy stroll through some of the park’s trails, with the history and information on local plant life told by Larson.

“We’re not going to cover a huge amount of ground,” she said. “I chose the part that, in my mind, has some of the prettiest things to look at.”

Part of Larson’s goal for the event is to increase the visibility of the miles of trails within the local parks and to attract some more volunteers to help maintain the park trails.

“I’m working to really grow the volunteer side of the program for the trails,” she said. “I want to provide info but I also want people to develop a sense of ‘this place is really special’ and be interested in volunteering.”

Sehmel is a place where my heart is. It’s the jewel in the heart of PenMet, it’s their biggest park...what I’m trying to do is bring some of the history to life and let people know that there’s some layers there.

Larson

For those interested in volunteering in the park, National Public Lands day is Sept. 24, with a work party scheduled for Sehmel. As an additional incentive, those who volunteer at the work party will get a discount on a ticket to the Cider Swig, held that afternoon.

Whether attendees come just for the walk or make volunteering a regular event, Larson hopes to showcase the unique nature of the Sehmel Homestead Park.

“Sehmel is a place where my heart is,” she said. “It’s the jewel in the heart of PenMet, it’s their biggest park ... what I’m trying to do is bring some of the history to life and let people know that there’s some layers there.”

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

Roses and Rosedale: A Historical Walking Tour of Sehmel Homestead Park

The walk will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday (Sept. 10) at Sehmel Homestead Park, 10123 78th Ave NW. The walk will meet at the flagpoles by the park’s snack bar. Registration is not required.

For more information on volunteering, contact klarson@gigharborfoundation.org or visit facebook.com/EnviroCorps.

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