Tag Archives: free

Park Hunt!

My two young sons and I have been going to the same few parks since they were born. We all love being outside, playing together, finding new friends and I love the fact that they are free! Researching local parks for a company picnic, I came upon huge lists of all the local parks I’ve never even heard of – and an idea was born! Visit and enjoy as many parks as we can in all seasons to find the best! … Or just play around as much as possible. 😀

A little about us…

My name is Bronwyn, I like parks so crowded with people that you lose yourself and I love deserted playgrounds. Adrian is 3 and a half, he prefers walking to running and likes gross things that I don’t want him to play with. He loves swirly slides and the swings. Isaiah just turned a year old, he likes any animal that he can grab and stick his face on. He also enjoys swinging and yelling as loud as he can in the open air.  These two adventurers are happy to join me on my park find and I hope you find equally great company to join you on yours!

Pirate Park in Bethany (NW Portland)

Pirate Park

In the middle of a suburban neighborhood an adventure awaits young pirates and their parrots (or little brothers, as I like to call them). This park is AWESOME. Two substantial play structures both shaped like pirate ships; one ship for the youngin’s – shorter slides, easier to climb, closer to the ground – and one ship for the older folk. At either end of the playground are identical swing sets and in the middle is a BIG sand pit with a push-button water fall! This is where we spend most of our time, building castles and sand lady bugs – a new one Adrian did all on his own! This park is primarily playground structure, but there are walking trails and some small fields a short distance away. I have to pry Adrian’s little fingers from the waterfall when it’s time to leave.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park (Beaverton)

At the entrance to this park is the Nature Park Interpretive Center, which houses a small library, classrooms for preschool, a nature store, meeting room and exhibit area. My friends actually held their wedding reception there! The park itself is forest with paved and non-paved trails. Both of my children love to wander the paths like new explorers, finding newts, listening for birds and squirrels dropping nuts. Several times now we’ve even had deer cross our paths. Bridges span marshlands and creeks. Wild bunnies run past, making my boys squeal. Several different trails lead to different things or circle back. The park is highly frequented but it never seems “busy” with how big the park is (222 acres!) and everyone you meet is extremely respectful and friendly. This is the park that Adrian requests more than any other… “Mom! Lets go to the nature park, I NEED to see some slugs!”

So this is my free idea! Go find new parks for you and your family; you could even make a log book, take pictures, and describe unique experiences. Not only will you be having fun discovering new places, but you’ll have a wonderful memory book, too. It would be great to hear from you about the fun things you find!

Here in the Portland Metro area we are lucky to have www.thprd.org and www.portlandparks.org which will give you complete lists of all the parks. Here is a link to all the National Parks www.nationalparks.org and I’ve been googling “New York parks”, “Kansas parks”, etc. and found many websites with lists. Or go old school and peruse a map! Another, more involved, park finding tool is to read books about your town, a lot of the time they make mention of parks that no longer have names or have hidden entrances. Its a great way to find a one-of-a-kind park.

I hope you have fun park hunting! We’ve already begun and we love it!

Free Fundraising Idea For Schools

Last week I spoke with a customer who was raising money for her daughter’s high school grad night.  She came up with a brilliant idea to collect books from students, parents, and teachers.  She would sell the books collected to Cash4Books and deposit the proceeds into a PayPal account she had created for the school.

This got our brains at Cash4Books thinking: what an amazingly green and creative way to get rid of unwanted books and raise money for a great cause! She inspired us to share with you how Cash4Books can help fundraising groups raise money.

However, before you start emailing, texting, tweeting, and changing your facebook status – here are a few things to consider before collecting boxes of books!

Cash4Books may not buy all books.  What we buy can change day-to-day depending on resale values, our current inventory, and market demand.

What kind of books is Cash4Books more likely to buy?


  • Published no more than about three years ago



Our Top 5 categories: 

  • Health, Mind & Body
  • Business & Investing
  • Literature & Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Children’s Books

To get started with your fundraising, there are five easy steps.

  1. Set up your group’s PayPal* account.  The coordinator of the group shares the PayPal account (email) name with group members.  When each group member registers an account on Cash4Books, they choose PayPal as their payment preference and then they enter the group’s PayPal email at the bottom of the Cash4Books registration form. Each group member must register with their own Cash4Books account, but the PayPal email is what is common across all group members.
  2. Second, each group member types in ISBNs, of their books to donate, into the box on the Cash4Books.net homepage.  They do this from their own home computer, at their own convenience. They will get a price quote for each book we are buying.
  3. Third, each group member chooses their own FREE shipping method.  Cash4Books will provide everyone with prepaid shipping labels, so there is no cost to the group or group members! If any of your group members to not have a printer at home, we have a solution for that too–they simply contact us and request free shipping labels be mailed to them.
  4. Fourth, group members pack and ship their books to us. The group coordinator may optionally help facilitate this process by providing boxes. Read our FAQ for suggestions on where to find boxes.
  5. Five, Cash4Books receives and inspects the books, and then deposits payment into your group’s PayPal account within three business days.

For questions, special requests or considerations please contact us.

This method of having group members enter their ISBNs from their own home computer is generally preferable to the alternative method (not described here) of having a book drive and a single point drop-off location. This is because book drives tend to get older books that are in low demand, which decreases the chance that Cash4Books will buy them. For more information, read our blog article “Why didn’t Cash4Books want to buy my book?“.

* As an alternative to PayPal, Cash4Books can also issue a check to your group by sharing the name and address field across group members in the registration process.

Free Recycling!

I’ve been using websites to find great free stuff for a while now, and it surprises me every time I talk with someone who doesn’t know about them. While some go out and spend $200 on a new dining set, I found mine for free – and it’s nicer looking!

Just a few things I’ve snagged:

  • A toddler bed in great condition
  • Clothing for my kids
  • Clothing for me!
  • Two BIG bean bag chairs in new condition
  • Food
  • Plants
  • A really cool kid’s art desk

Generally you have to go pick it up, but sometimes they’ll be nice enough to deliver.  What’s a few cents lost on gas when you get a free TV!

These are the sites I visit most often:


www.craigslist.org (the free section!)

www.freesharing.org (this one has another list of even more free-recycling websites!)

You can even specify what you want by posting “Wanted” ads! Of course, it’s all local to whatever town, county, state, etc. you live in, just specify!

When you’ve satisfied your “gimme gimme” craving, give back and free-recycle your unwanted but still in good condition (or not) stuff!

Happy sharing!