By Elizabeth Bentz
The morning I first stepped out of my house into my new home, Deception Pass State Park, comes back to me instantly. I remember specific sensations; it was damp, fog was coming over the trees, and most distinctly, there was a wonderful evergreen smell to the air. I remember feeling comforted by the quiet morning mist and towering trees. Coming from the east coast, this beautiful, forested area with shadowy fog rolling through was a mysterious delight.
My first journey into the park took me across the bridge and to Rosario Beach. The fog continued to surround me, shrouding the coast in mystique as I strolled. I greeted the maiden of Deception Pass before climbing the rocky cliffs, past the beautiful, red-barked madrona trees, toward Bowman Bay and Lighthouse Point. Later into the day, as I made my way back the fog rolled away. Suddenly before me, was a large expanse of beautiful-blue sparkling water. After experiencing the quiet envelope of fog and trees, the park chose to reveal its whole self to me. From the foggy morning to the sunny afternoon, deep within the lush green forests to the rocky beaches, I could see this park was a gem. With many different ecosystems, trails, beaches, and cliffs Deception Pass State Park is unlike anything I have every experienced. I am beyond lucky to be in such a majestic place.
My name is Elizabeth Bentz and I will be working as an AmeriCorps interpreter for Deception Pass State Park this year. I am elated to make this place my home for the year to come. I am grateful to be working with the Deception Pass State Park Foundation and all the park employees. I will be working with both the Deception Pass Foundation and the Deception Pass Interpretive Program to assist in events, projects, volunteer coordination, and interpretation.
I found my way into environmental education through parks such as this one. I love spending time outdoors and especially enjoy hiking and camping. I grew up in Pennsylvania where I spent my childhood playing sports and running around outside. I attended a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in environmental science and a minor in history. Upon graduation, I knew instantly that I wanted a job outdoors, helping others appreciate the majesty and vulnerability of the outdoors. Last year, I made the decision to move away from Pennsylvania and ended up at an outdoor school in California. l realized then that I loved outdoor education and connecting others to the environment. I have always had a passion for community service as well. These two experiences drew me to this environmental stewardship and education position at Deception Pass State Park.
I have now been at Deception Pass for a few weeks and the evergreen aroma is still in the air every morning. I have noticed more plants and animals, including an otter swimming in the pond. I have had a chance to see the beautiful sunsets on both North and West Beach. Each day there is something new that draws me closer to the park. From my first day here, the park has continually captured my attention with its beauty. There are still many trails I must explore. However, that is the beauty of Deception pass, it is vast. Each part provides its own wonderful experience to those who visit.