Ten A.C.E. at Seattle Pacific University students joined A.C.E. staff and friends for a wonderful day of hiking, community, and environmental learning in the Teanaway River region of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
The Teanaway’s sweeping beauty enchanted our students’ senses. Brilliant sunlight and a stunning blue sky provided a vivid backdrop for the main attractions: Gallaher Head Lake and the surrounding meadows, forest, and rocky ridges. Crisp forest scents and a soundtrack of soaring bird calls accompanied them as they journeyed through the forest to the lake.
Students were perhaps most impressed by the amount of fresh, flowing water all around them. They were quick to splash about in the various stream-crossings and even waded out into the lake to find their own rock island! Others were happy to let their feet refresh and cool in the crisp waters of Gallaher Head Lake after a long day of hiking.
During their day on the trail, students also gained firsthand knowledge and appreciation for an important forest that is currently struggling to find lasting environmental protection. The current forest plan for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is undergoing a revision which will decide the future of this vast landscape, including the forests of the Teanaway.
This event was part of A.C.E. at SPU’s ECO initiative. The name “ECO” represents “Engaging Culture and the Outdoors”; the initiative’s priorities are three-fold: to create opportunities for international students to experience Washington’s incredible natural environment, to educate participants regarding the Seattle area’s world-famous environmental ethic and natural systems, and to facilitate conversations regarding how different cultures relate to nature.