With up-close views of the City of Bellingham's Squalicum Creek re-route habitat restoration project, a new segment of the Bay to Baker Trail that stretches more than a mile from Orchard Street to Irongate, is not to be missed. You can help improve salmon habitat and the new trail at a community work party on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16 with Bellingham Parks, Bellingham Public Works, and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA). At the work party, volunteers will enhance the area by planting native trees and shrubs along the new Squalicum Creek Trail adjacent to Squalicum Creek.
What: Martin Luther King Jr. Day community work party
When: Monday, January 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Travel by car: Follow signs to park at the end of West Orchard Drive off of Meridian Street, then follow more signs leading to the work site.
Travel by bus: Several WTA routes serve the area, with a nearby stop at Meridian and W. Orchard Drive—find a route here. Once you arrive, follow signs leading to the work site.
Hosted by: Bellingham Parks, Bellingham Public Works Natural Resources, and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association
Who: YOU, your friends and family, and other community members (all ages welcome)
You need: Weather appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes
We provide: Tools, gloves, refreshments and instructions
Work party contact: Rae Edwards, Bellingham Parks Volunteer Coordinator (360) 778-7105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Details: RSVP is not required for this free, all-ages event. Unaccompanied youth under the age of 18 must provide a *Youth Liability Release Form signed by their legal guardian to participate.
*The Youth Liability Release Form can be found at www.cob.org by searching "youth liability form."
These City of Bellingham trail and restoration projects are two of many that provide outdoor recreation opportunities to nearby residents, as well as improved habitat and water quality for people, salmon, and wildlife throughout our community.
"The Squalicum Creek Trail connects nearby neighborhoods to Sunset Pond Park, Cornwall Park, Squalicum Creek Park, Little Squalicum Park, and Bellingham Bay," says Bellingham Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Bryson, adding, "People can use the new trail to get out and walk, run, or ride this greenway corridor and connect to other trails throughout Bellingham that used to be difficult to reach from this area." The trail will also connect to the Nooksack Loop Trail, which is planned from Bellingham to the County. Learn more at www.cob.org/parks.
Prior to recent restoration work, Squalicum Creek ran directly through Sunset Pond, a source of poor water quality for endangered salmon and other wildlife. In 2015, the Squalicum Creek re-route project separated the creek from Sunset Pond to improve water quality and expand habitat in the creek. "Squalicum Creek has immense potential to support the recovery of native Pacific salmon runs," notes Renee LaCroix, Assistant Director of Public Works. Learn more by watching "Squalicum Creek Reroute Phase One" and visiting www.cob.org/squalicum.
The City of Bellingham is not the only local entity working on habitat restoration in Bellingham. NSEA implements habitat restoration throughout Whatcom County and works both independently and collaboratively with the City of Bellingham to rally thousands of volunteers to NSEA and City habitat restoration sites each year. Habitat restoration in Bellingham is truly a shared effort, and you have a role to play! Join us on January 16 to be a part of the effort.
Over 270 volunteers joined together at a community work party in 2015 to help plant more than 1,400 native plants along the new channel in the Squalicum Creek re-route project area.