- This event has passed.
Background Information on Mount St. Helens
On May 18, 1980, a cataclysmic event occurred at Mount St. Helens as the north flank of the volcano slid off in one of the largest landslides in recorded history, unleashing a powerful eruption. This eruption buried 230 square miles of existing old-growth forest with hundreds of feet of volcanic debris. In some places closest to the crater of the volcano, almost no living organisms survived. Ash from the eruption blew across the United States and megatons of logs and volcanic debris clogged up rivers, lakes, and streams. The eruption dramatically reshaped the landscape, creating a mosaic of habitat types that are now home to a diverse suite of birds.
In 1982, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was designated to protect the land closest to the volcano as a place for research, recreation, and education. Today, home to more than 80 species of nesting birds, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument offers unique birding opportunities.
Distance: Total walking distance of up to 2 miles on flat graded gravel trail & boardwalk trail.
Elevation changes: Total elevation change of less than 50 feet. The ½ mile boardwalk trail is flat and graded. The possibility is that the group may walk across the street to the forested trails of Seaquest State Park (dependent on time and weather). These trails are flat, graded, and have minimal elevation change.
Trail tread & average width: We will be walking on trails that are packed gravel, pavement, boardwalk and packed dirt. wide enough for two people to walk side by side. The trail is ADA-accessible.
Pacing: The trip will move slowly along the boardwalk section and more quickly in the forested section.
Rest stops: There are several benches along the boardwalk trail. Participants are welcome to drive between the Visitors Center and the trails at Seaquest State Park. Picnic tables are available throughout the park.
Sun exposure: The boardwalk trail is ~30% under the shade cover of trees. Depending on the season and the dominant tree type in the forest, it may be more sunny or shady. The forest trails are 100% in the shade.
Amenities: Indoor restrooms with running water are available while the Visitors Center is open. There are also bathrooms available in the campground at Seaquest State Park, across the street from the Visitors Center and boardwalk trail.
Public transit: Public transportation is NOT available for this field trip. Participants are encouraged to carpool. There is a park-and-ride at the Information Center in Castle Rock, Washington, which has free wifi and is a great place to leave vehicles for a day.
Audubon Birding Day Details
- Date: October 1, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Class fee: $45 members / $65 non-members
- This class is a great introductory class for birding and is not designed for advanced birders. We will take a holistic view of ecology, human history, and geology. We will interact with and discuss all of the landscape features that support habitat for birds.
Gina Roberti is a geologist, naturalist and educator who grew up digging quahogs and exploring the shorelines of the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island (the state with the largest coastline per capita!) amidst ancient metamorphic rocks of the Appalachian Mountains. Since graduating from Brown University with a degree in Geology-Biology, Gina spent several years working as a geoscience educator in various geologic regions in the western U.S., including the Colorado Plateau, Snake River Plain, Klamath-Siskiyou, North Cascades, and presently the active Cascade volcanic range. In each of these places she taught thousands of youth and adults about earth science in a variety of field-based and classroom settings.
Gina currently works with the Mount St. Helens Institute. She strongly believes in the power of education to inspire awareness, appreciation and stewardship for the natural world. When Gina is not working she can be found on long walks or cross country skis, often in the company of birds.