Recreation Northwest

In Support of Washington Tourism Alliance – A Testimonial

I wrote this in support of proposed legislation from the Washington Tourism Alliance (11/17/15):

As the Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, a member of the Big Tent Coalition and the Chair of the City of Bellingham Tourism Commission, I see first hand the positive effect that recreation and tourism have on our local and state economies. A new state study, completed by the Recreation and Conservation Office in January 2015, finds that people in Washington State spend nearly $22 Billion each year in outdoor pursuits. Olympia is responding positively to recreation. Why not Tourism?!

The recreation community has had the support of Olympia through the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force to make recreation a priority for funding and support. This year, the Governor’s office created a new dedicated position for the Outdoor Recreation Sector. We need to have similar support for tourism to help develop our state’s tourism economy. Our neighbors in Oregon, Montana, Idaho and California have budgets between $10 and $60 million.

The bills proposed by the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) need to be accepted and implemented in Olympia. These bills do not contain any state funding; instead they ask the state to help collect funds — because the state already has the collection mechanism in place, while the WTA doesn’t. Funding will be generated by the tourism industry itself through assessments and voluntary contributions. Through these assessments, the WTA estimates a $7.5 million target budget.

The positive impact and potential for growth of our state tourism economy holds tremendous potential. Please enable this economic development tool to be used for the great state of Washington.

Todd Elsworth, Executive Director
Recreation Northwest
Bellingham, WA


Trail Talk with Todd – Firehouse to Fairhaven Park

Please join us and bring a friend. Join the Facebook Event
Remember to wear boots, we will be walking through mud!

Saturday, December 12th.
11:00 am @ Firehouse Cafe – 1314 Harris Ave.
11:30 am @ Fairhaven Park Trailhead


Fairhaven Forest Trail Projectwordmark


Join Executive Director, Todd Elsworth, on a walk starting at 11:00 am from the Firehouse Cafe in Fairhaven to Fairhaven Park. We’ll meet others at 11:30 am at the Trailhead to venture into the Fairhaven Park Forest. (see map below)

The Trail Talk will cover the completed Phase One of the project and provide a sneak peak at the next steps to get across the muddy mess of the wetland. Phase Two of the project will require a wetland crossing with a boardwalk or series of bridges, that is yet to be determined.

We will continue into the woods to help orient people with the network of trails inside the forest. Our destination will be the “old gravel pit” area where we are in the process of determining the feasibility of working with neighborhood youth to build and maintain mountain bike trails and features.


Trail Talk with Todd is inspired by Nature Walk With Chuck (Almost Live!) but he will not replicate his behavior.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Opens Fairhaven Park Trail

We did it! Thank you to all who came out for our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Below, Board President Kurt Baumgarten addresses the crowd and shares his appreciation and reminds us, “Trails don’t build themselves”.

Below, Todd Elsworth, Executive Director, gives a warm welcome and thanks all involved.


Mayor Kelli Linville helped with the ceremonies and entertained the crowd.


President Kurt expounds on the importance of creating these partnerships between local non-profits and the city.


An interested crowd looks on!


The moment we’ve all been waiting for…


We did it!


Then we went for a little walk to see where we were going next.


This is our next challenge- crossing the muddy mess of the wetland.


Come for a tour of the trail and see the next steps on

Trail Talk with Todd – Firehouse to Fairhaven Park

Saturday, December 12th.
11:00 am @ Firehouse Deli – 1314 Harris Ave.
11:30 am @ Fairhaven Park Trailhead


2014 Race Director Summit Attendees

Summit Attendees


Name Organization
Todd Elsworth Recreation Northwest
April Claxton Recreation Northwest
Lance Romo Bellingham Parks & Rec
Brent Molsberry Recreation Northwest/Quest Adventure Races
Emily Morhouse Recreation Northwest/Quest Adventure Race TEAM
Dusty Caseria Recreation Northwest/Quest Adventure Race TEAM
Lori McKnight Arthritis Foundation/Jingle Bell Run/Walk
Christie & Kyle Duque North County Road Race
Michele Medlen Everyday Superheroes 5K
Amy Howat Lake Samish Salmon Row & Paddle & Legendary Banked Slalom
Rachael Woods Skagit Ragnar
Ben Twigg Bellingham Bay Marathon
Cyndi Meuchel Run Like a Girl
Eric Brown Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition
Audrey Myers Run 4 Refuge
Doug Schoonover Mt Baker Bike Club
Melissa Riker Whidbey Island Marathon
Loni Rahm Tourism – Basecamp Bellingham
Louise Mugar Point Roberts Press/Mount Baker Experience
Catherine Darkenwald Point Roberts Press/Mount Baker Experience
Jennifer Longstaff NW Tandem Rally
Jen Gallant Girls on the Run
Sharon Stone Girls on the Run
Kelly Krieger Hamster Endurance Runs
Stacy Smith +1 Super Hero 5k
Sam Alexander Klicks
Raina Clark Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers
Chris Ohana Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers
Denise Deriech Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers
Patsy Cosgrove Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers
Kyle Nelson Fun With The Fuzz 5k
Elba Benzler Get Bold Events
Ryan Rickerts Cascade Cross
Cisco Rodriguez Bellingham BMX
Steve Walker Community Boating Center
John Rybczyk Dirty Dan Rowing race
AL Coyle Lake Padden Trail Half
Tad Davis Lake Padden Trail Half
Kevin Hall  
Candice Burt Bellingham Trail Running Series
Daniel Probst Cascade Mountain Runners/Mount Baker Ultra Marathon
Jackie Yereance Backcountry Horseman
Polly Favinger Greater Bellingham Running Club
Lindsay Mann-King Greater Bellingham Running Club
Melissa Krantzler Greater Bellingham Running Club
Ben Shaklee Jack’s Bicycle Homegrown Racing team/Cascade Cross “Border Clash”
Javon Smith Jack’s Bicycle Homegrown Racing team/Cascade Cross “Border Clash”
Val Thompson WMBC
Kevin Dougals Lost Lake 50k, 25k, Ghost of Birch Bay Marathon, …
Curtis Anson Whatcom Events
Jason Mckay Clawson  
Charlie Heggem Festival 542 – Mt. Baker Hill Climb

2013 RD Summit Attendees

2015 EXPO Exhibitors and Door Prizes


Here is the list of 2015 Recreation Northwest EXPO Exhibitors.
Check out the DOOR PRIZES they had to offer as well!


eqpd gear
Fairhaven Runners & Walkers
Fanatik Bike
Jack’s Bicycle Center
Klicks Running and Walking
Kulshan Cycles
McNett – Gear Aid
Rad Dog
REI Bellingham
Square One Map Company
Trail Insight
Yeager’s Sporting Goods featuring Hobie Kayaks


Advanced Medical Massage
Aspire Adventure Running
American Alpine Institute
Girls on the Run
Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures
PRIME Massage & Sports Medicine
Rolfing® Works
San Juan Sailing
Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics
Wenzel Coaching
Whatcom Family YMCA


American Rivers
Bellingham Bay Outrigger Paddlers
Community Boating Center
Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC)
Italian Motors USA
Mount Baker Club
Nooksack Nordic Ski Club
North Cascades Institute
Recreation Northwest 
Western Wildlife Outreach
Whatcom Association of Kayak Enthusiasts (WAKE)
Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition
Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation
Wings Over Water NW


Bellingham Bay Marathon
Bellingham Canoe Kayak Sprint Team
Bellingham KIDS Traverse
Bellingham Parks and Recreation RACES
Bellingham Trail Running Series
Bellingham Traverse
Fun With The Fuzz
Hamster Endurance Running
Island Quest & Kulshan Quest Adventure Races
Muds to Suds
Northwest Tandem Rally (Mt Baker Bicycle Club) 
Ragnar Events
Run Like a Girl
Ski to Sea
Tour de Whatcom
Whatcom Paddlers
Whidbey Island Marathon


Adventures NW Magazine
Bellingham Business Journal
KAFE – 104.1
Mount Baker Experience
Outdoors NW Magazine


Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Best Western Lakeway Inn

Port of Bellingham
Village Books


2015 EXPO Door Prizes

Bellingham Traverse Team entry
Kulshan Quest Adventure Race Team entry
Bellingham KIDS Traverse Team entry
Annual Membership to Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC) = Free entry to all their 2015 races)
INDIVIDUAL Entry into Ragnar Trail Cascades 2015
Entry to the Deception Pass Marathon & Half
Tour de Whatcom
Muds to Suds 
Pooch Scoot
Bellingham Bay marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K 
Bellingham Bay Rough Water Race
Chuckanut Century 
Girls on the Run 5k

And these Prizes too:
Basic Sailing (ASA/American Sailing Association 101) weekend Live-aboard course from San Juan Sailing
Avalanche AIARE course (3-day program) from American Alpine Institute & Outdoors NW Magazine
Whidbey Sampler
$20.00 gift card to Fanatik Bike Co
Nuu-Muu dress 
Complimentary Rolfing® Session(s)
A Release N Run (Dog collar and leash in one) and a Pocket Bowl 
Intro to Karting Class 
Hat or t-shirt from WMBC 
Hobie Kayak Demo
Kayak/SUP Rental from Yeager’s
Hamster Endurance Running fleece blanket 
Fun With the Fuzz Pint glasses, shirts, water bottles
$100 Gift Certificate to Vital Choice
InCamp Shelter from REI
Amphipod Armpod Smart Phone Carrier from Fairhaven Runners
$20 Gift Certificate to Village Books
Free half-day kayaking trip for two from Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures 
Full set of Square One Travel and Recreation Maps 
Wings Over Water T Shirt 
Photo of a triathlon swim start from Wenzel Coaching 
Blackburn Adaptable Cargo Carrier and Boundry Bay Growler from Jack’s 
Mounted poster of a North Cascades Grizzly Bear from Western Wildlife Outreach 
Pair of Hats from Mount Baker Bicycle Club, presenting Northwest Tandem Rally 
Tech T-shirt from Mount Baker Bicycle Club and Chuckanut Century 
Girls on the Run Prize Pack 
Run Like a Girl Prize Pack
an eqpd Last Grocery Bag 
1 hour massage from Advanced Medical Massage

Recreation Northwest Sets New Forest Trail Ribbon Cutting for October 8, 2015

        Contact Information:

Todd Elsworth
Executive Director
Recreation Northwest


Recreation Northwest Sets New Forest Trail

Ribbon Cutting for October 8, 2015

Accessible trail links Fairhaven Park and Chuckanut Community Forest, reduces impact on wetlands.

BELLINGHAM, Wash., October 1, 2015—In fulfillment of its mission to care for the places where we play, Recreation Northwest is pleased to announce that its first stewardship project, the building of a new trail connecting Fairhaven Park with the Chuckanut Community Forest, is complete and ready for public use. A celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the trailhead on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

Starting in the spring of 2015, volunteers and professionals worked to create the new trail, which is Phase One of a longer-term effort to preserve and plan the Chuckanut Community Forest. The wide, accessible, gravel trail leads from Fairhaven Park to 18th Street, off Fairhaven Parkway, replacing a path that took users, such as runners, hikers, dog walkers and mountain bikers, directly through a wetlands area. While the path was inconveniently muddy and messy most of the year, increasingly heavy use also threatened the health of the forest and watershed.

A series of work parties throughout August and September brought together over 100 volunteers to remove brush, move mulch and clean up after heavy-duty excavation and graveling was completed. Business support and volunteers were provided by Q Laundry and Alcoa Intalco Works. Jack and Tony of Fairhaven’s new Stones Throw Brewery hosted volunteers after the work parties and will be welcoming the public after the ribbon cutting on Thursday.  

Recreation Northwest collaborated on the building project with The City of Bellingham’s Parks and Recreation Department and Public Works, as well as Northwest Trails, Inc., Welch Ecological Services and Wilson Engineering. Funds to build the trail were donated by the public and community groups, such as the Fairhaven Lions Club.

“The Fairhaven Lions Club was happy to invest in this well-planned endeavor, and to work with Recreation Northwest on a hands-on project,” said Joel Haggen, club President. “We are very proud to have our club’s name on the new trail, and are looking forward to collaborating on Phase Two, as well.”

“Recreation Northwest brought people together on this project to create a win-win for the community and the environment,” said James King, Director of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department. “They put in considerable effort to construct a great new trail that everyone feels good about, and we are very happy with the outcome of our partnership.”

On October 8, 2015, the public is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Event will be held adjacent to the upper pavilion in Fairhaven Park, it begins at 5:30pm and ends at 6:30pm. After the ribbon cutting, a tour of the new trail will be given as well as insight into the proposed trail alignment for Phase Two- to cross the wetland area- providing access into the woods. The public is then invited to join a celebration at Stones Throw Brewery in Fairhaven at 1009 Larrabee Ave. from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

For more details, or to learn more about Recreation Northwest, visit or call 360-739-8458.

About Recreation Northwest

Recreation Northwest is a Bellingham, WA–based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting outdoor recreation, and bringing people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. Through partnerships with local businesses and organizations, we work to raise awareness of our public green spaces and their inhabitants, including one of the Northwest’s most revered symbols—the salmon. Recreation Northwest produces the Bellingham Traverse; the Quest Adventure Races; the Race Director Summit; and the Recreation Northwest EXPO. Learn more at