Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Ursus americanus visits the NW Stream Center


Last updated 7/3/2019 at Noon

Closed circuit cameras captured images of a young black bear on a leisurely stroll though the NW Stream Center in McCollum Park on Sunday, June 28. The bear was spotted just eight minutes before the center opened for Visitors Day at the popular local attraction. Adopt A Stream Director Tom Murdoch said bear sightings are rare at the center because the animals use their sense of smell and hearing to avoid contact with humans.

An honored guest dropped in to pay a visit to the NW Stream Center last week. And his appearance created quite a stir among both visitors and staff.

Ironically, the young black bear paid his respects just before the gates opened at the center for Visitor’s Day on Sunday, May 28.

“It has been a year since we took a picture of a bear at the Northwest Stream Center,” said Adopt A Stream Foundation Director Tom Murdoch. “It is nice to know that wildlife are taking advantage of the great habitat we have here in the middle of the suburbs.”

The morning’s “visitor of the day” arrived just before the public had access to the center at 9:52 a.m. The small black bear strolled on the Elevated Forest and Wetland Walk past the Salmon Arena Viewpoint sponsored by the Mill Creek Rotary.

Because bears have great hearing and an amazing sense of smell, said Murdoch, they often avoid the human visitors at the Northwest Stream.

The director explained that The Northwest Stream Center is a fabulous place for people to visit and learn about the connections between forests, wetlands, streams, fish, wildlife and people (

The half-mile-long Nature Trail is wonderful for kids and adults who enjoy seeing trout and crayfish through viewing windows of the Trout Stream Exhibit and strolling through 20-acres of deep forest and wetland on the center’s Elevated Forest and Wetland Walk.

The Northwest Stream Center (NWSC) is located at the southern end of Snohomish County’s Mc Collum Park at 600 128th Street SE in Everett. It includes approximately 20-acres in the park as well as an adjacent 12.78-acres that is a pure wildlife reserve not open to the public.

In addition to bears, deer, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons and a wide-range of other mammals make their home at the NWSC. Murdoch advises that most of the waterfowl found in the Pacific NW have paid visits along with river otters and beaver. He also enjoys hearing pacific chorus frog serenades.

The NWSC is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays 10a.m. to 4p.m. with the last admission on the Nature Walk at 3p.m. Reservations are recommended by calling 425-316-8592 as no more than 30 visitors are allowed every half-hour. Admissions range from $3 to $7. More information can be found at


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