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
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

10:00am|Skagit Valley

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Unstable by Design

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Silent Sky

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Tulip Festival Street Fair

10:00am|Downtown Mount Vernon

Spring Book Sale

10:00am|Fire Station #1

Bellingham Beer Week

12:00pm|Throughout Bellingham

Genre Legends, Hot Dogs

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Buffett Beach Bash

7:30pm|Anacortes Port Transit Shed

The Coronation of Poppea

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Tulip Pedal Bike Ride

7:30am|La Conner Elementary School

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

COB Earth Day Work Party

9:00am|Fairhaven Park

Fun with the Fuzz

9:00am|Bellingham Police Department

Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament

9:30am|Bellingham Sportsplex

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Kiwanis Kids Egg Hunt

10:00am|Maiben Park

Cedar Dust Trail Ride and Party

10:00am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Plant Sale and Easter Events

10:00am|BelleWood Acres

Community Easter Egg Hunt

11:30am|Bellingham at Orchard

Obrigado Wines Tasting

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Jesse Otero Art Talk

4:00pm|i.e. gallery

Splinter Ideas, Halibut on the Moon

4:00pm|Village Books

Artist Workshop

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Skagit Valley College Drag Show

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Problem Child and Ten Miles Wide

8:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Blue collar comedy in Edison

8:00pm

Salsa Night

9:00pm|Cafe Rumba

Village Books
Tomorrow
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

10:00am|Skagit Valley

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Tulip Festival Street Fair

10:00am|Downtown Mount Vernon

Bellingham Beer Week

12:00pm|Throughout Bellingham

Plant Sale and Easter Events

10:00am|BelleWood Acres

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Egg Hunt and Easter Brunch

10:00am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Bellingham Handmade Market

11:00am|Goods Nursery and Produce

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Barkley Village Egg Hunts

11:00am|Barkley Village

Easter Brunch

11:00am|Ciao Thyme Commons

Nina Gerber and Chris Webster

2:00pm|Nancy's Farm

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Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

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Bellingham Beer Week

12:00pm|Throughout Bellingham

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Earth Day Sustainable Food Fair

11:00am|Viking Union 565

Plant Diagnostic Clinics

4:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Before the Flood

5:30pm|Pickford Film Center

Women's Backpacking Round Table Discussion

5:30pm|REI

Swing Dancing Classes

6:00pm|Presence Studio

Healthy Desserts

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Student Poetry & Art Showcase

6:30pm|Burlington Public Library

Poetrynight

7:00pm|Alternative Library

Salish Sea Early Music Festival

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Wild & Scenic Film Festival

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

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9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »

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