Outdoors

Muddy Boots

Building a park is a volunteer effort

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What: Chuckanut Community Forest Park District meeting
When: 7pm Thurs., Nov. 13
Where: Bellingham Public Library, Fairhaven Branch, Fireplace Room
Info: http://www.chuckanutcommunityforest.com

What: Fairhaven Park Trail Relocation Orientation
When: 1pm Sun., Nov. 30
Where: Fairhaven Park Upper Pavilion

Monday, November 10, 2014

Feeling gloomy about election results, Bellingham? Get out! In sunnier days, Southside voters approved a levy for the creation of the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District, a property tax instrument intended to make the Greenways endowment whole following the purchase of the vast acreage south of Bellingham known as Chuckanut Ridge.

“We’ve been approached to accept a gift of a small parcel of property adjacent to park property,” she said. “If we do accept this gift, we will need to budget for liability insurance and some title closing costs.” Details of the district’s successes and challenges will be presented by the CCFPD board at their budget meeting this week.

One of the subdued little excitements of Chuckanut Ridge has been the quiet assembly of adjacent properties by the city’s parks and Greenways boards that have increased the size of parkland to more than 100 acres, allowing the property to be linked directly to Fairhaven Park and trail systems to the north. Years of love, as hikers and bikers have crossed into these lands, have taken their toll, however. While the city has begun preliminary planning for park improvements, volunteers have stepped up to help repair and better connect trails in the near term.

Recreation Northwest will lead an effort to build a new trail in Fairhaven Park, replacing an existing trail that passes through vulnerable wetlands. The current trail’s location and increasingly heavy use is causing damage to the land and watershed. The new trail will connect Fairhaven Park to 18th Street off of Fairhaven Parkway.

Launched last year, the nonprofit recreational organization approached park district commissioners with a proposal to serve as a park steward, leading volunteer work parties to maintain and improve trails in the forest, which is home to sections of the Bellingham Traverse and Kulshan Quest Adventure Race courses Recreation Northwest sponsors. The races take their toll on trails, and the organization is committed to their repair and improvement.

“We saw a great opportunity to demonstrate our mission of promoting outdoor recreation, and bringing people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play,” said Todd Elsworth, executive director of Recreation Northwest.

“We are excited to collaborate with our team of professionals, the City of Bellingham’s Parks and Recreation Department, and Public Works to relocate this popular trail out of the wetland to higher ground, to protect the surrounding landscape and provide greater accessibility for all.”

“Recreation is so important for the health and well-being of our residents, and it adds to the quality of life that we all enjoy here,” said Bellingham City Council member Roxanne Murphy, who chairs the council’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “This trail improvement will be ideal for our athletes and families, alike, and developing it in an environmentally sustainable way will also be in the best interest of everyone and everything.”

To fund the project, Recreation Northwest recently kicked off a fundraising campaign, with a goal to raise $30,000. The organization has secured valuable commitments of support from Gerry Wilbour of Northwest Trails, Inc.; Perry Welch of Welch Ecological Services; Andrew Law of Wilson Engineering; and Brent Cowden of Cowden Gravel. Bellingham Parks and Recreation staff have also been instrumental in helping secure necessary applications and permits.

Recreation Northwest plans to continue to help improve trails throughout the forest, participate in long-term planning concerning the park and connect it to the forest land known—a bit stingily these days, it seems—as the 100 Acre Wood.

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Events
Today
The Giving Tree

10:00am|Village Books

Winter Wear Drive

11:00am|Upper Skagit Library

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

MVHS Holiday Concert

7:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Birding Adventures

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Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers

10:00am

Valley Crafters Holiday Bazaar

10:00am|Deming Presbyterian Church

Holiday Festival of the Arts

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Gifts from Our Gardens

12:00pm|Healthy Connections Room

 BHS Showstoppers

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Astronomy Meeting

7:00pm|Whatcom Educational Credit Union

Spanish Brass Christmas Concert

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

The Best Bad Things

7:00pm|Village Books

Noel Noir

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Annie

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A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

History Holiday Open Mic

7:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Portland Cello
Tomorrow
The Giving Tree

10:00am|Village Books

Winter Wear Drive

11:00am|Upper Skagit Library

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers

10:00am

Valley Crafters Holiday Bazaar

10:00am|Deming Presbyterian Church

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Noel Noir

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Annie

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Hot Cider and Cool Art

10:00am|Morgan Block Studios

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am|Sunset Square

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Drayton Harbor Shell-abration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Story Time with the Grinch

4:00pm|Village Books

Tasting and Tour of Lights

5:00pm|Eagle Haven Winery

Saving Christmas Town

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Dances of Universal Peace

7:00pm|Center for Spiritual Living

Reeb Willms and Caleb Klauder

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

A Charlie Brown Christmas

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Eager Beaver

7:00pm|Village Books

Northwest Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

My Three Ghosts, LOL-apalooza

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

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Hot Cider and Cool Art

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Story Time with the Grinch

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Tasting and Tour of Lights

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Saving Christmas Town

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

A Charlie Brown Christmas

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Northwest Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

My Three Ghosts, LOL-apalooza

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Eaglemont Golf Course

Coast Salish Winter Festival

9:00am|Lummi Gateway Center

Gingerbread Houses

10:00am|Semiahmoo Resort

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am| Depot Market Square

Mostly Magic with John Walton

11:00am|MBT's Walton Theater

Holiday Craft Bazaar

11:00am|Deming Library

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12:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Fairhaven Winterfest

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Seasonal Side Dishes

1:00pm|Chuckanut Center

Port Tasting

2:00pm|Siefert & Jones Wine Merchants

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2:00pm|Alternative Library

Comet Sense Signing and Talk

2:00pm|Studio UFO

Bellingham Community Chorus Holiday Concerts

2:00pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Arts and Ales Holiday Market

2:00pm|Aslan Depot

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

Bowman Bay Holiday

4:00pm|Bowman Bay

Firehouse Holiday Party

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