Close to our goal…
Please help us with the finishing touches on the transformation of our stewardship project in Fairhaven Park into an Outdoor Classroom with a covered pavilion. This project is a partnership with Bellingham Parks at the entrance to the Hundred Acre Wood. Outdoor Classroom Project Overview (PDF)
Project amenities include Native Plant & Invasive Species identification signs displayed in the existing Native Plant Garden. An Amphitheater with public benches; a stone stage; and covered pavilion is in the process of being built. The covered pavilion will be the icing on the cake to complete the project. Site Plan with Pavilion (PDF)
We’re almost there! We have $13,500 left to raise from our community. The funding will cover the pavilion’s costs for design, engineering, permitting, construction, materials, and project management. Current support for the project includes Bellingham Parks, The Norcliffe Foundation, Phillips 66 Ferndale, Superfeet, and our community of donors & partners.
The Outdoor Classroom’s primary purpose is to transform our trail and boardwalk mitigation planting site into a public outdoor classroom for active and passive use for our community. The primary goal is to create an outdoor classroom learning environment with dedicated spaces and interpretive signage to connect the community to nature that is open to the public. Our secondary goal is to reflect our Parkscriptions philosophy of the public-health benefit of spending time in nature.
Pavilion Site Plans
A Community Effort
As an outdoor educational non-profit, we are members of the Whatcom Coalition of Environmental Education (WCEE). WCEE facilitated our Community Needs Assessment Roundtable for our Outdoor Classroom project. At the roundtable, we worked with representatives from local organizations whose groups currently use the park for their environmental education programming. These groups included representatives from Wild Whatcom, North Cascades Institute, Bellingham Parks, and Recreation Northwest. Collectively, they expressed a need for, “Having a safe space for us to retreat to with all of our participants.” This project plans to provide such a space with benches, stage, and covered pavilion for their students.
The covered pavilion will provide shelter for our WCEE cohorts and other community members who use the outdoor facility for programming or events. Without the covered pavilion, what happens? Students get wet, uncomfortable, and struggle to hear instructions or engage with peers. Further, a roofed pavilion serves as an important transition zone for students that are new to spending time outdoors and may be wary of visiting the forest. We believe that an intergenerational audience will also benefit from this public facility.
Covered Pavilion Space
Click on the photo below for a Photo Journal of the Outdoor Classroom Amphitheater space where the pavilion will be located.
This project aligns with our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play. The public pavilion exemplifies our vision of a “Community Connected to Nature” as a symbiosis of our two visionary programs under one roof.
Push Play >
This past Spring Quarter we were delighted to have Torie Wold as an intern from WWU’s Communications Department. Torie spent the quarter with us capturing the efforts that we’ve put into building an Outdoor Classroom in Bellingham’s Hundred Acre Wood. We thank her for her efforts in helping us tell our story. Push Play.
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.