Dear Friends of Recreation Northwest,
We’re close to The END. The end of what we anticipated to be a monumental year. 2020, instead became The Year that threw us ALL for a loop. Our organization shuddered in the wake of the pandemic as the core of our mission to bring people together, was void. We dug deep and found value in responding where we could for the recreation community and grateful for the work we could do outdoors. A brief look back:
Since 2014, when we adopted this special place, we’ve been actively engaged in “promoting outdoor recreation and bringing people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play,” as our mission states. The one constant commitment to our work, has been, and will be OUTSIDE in Fairhaven Park.
We’d like to offer A Timeline Fairhaven Park Stewardship Project by Recreation Northwest. This outlines our stewardship work according to the related stories we’ve told on The Confluence for project development, community support, fundraising, volunteer work parties and celebratory ribbon cutting events. This past year we had a few work parties, installed a new park bench and created a new relationship with students at Western.
The value of nature and our access to it became prevalent during the pandemic. We were proud to read the headlines and share the stories of how nature as mental health therapy was consistent and positive. We applaud our supporting practitioners, funders, and community partners for helping us transition through this time.
We look forward to continuing to work with our core team of partners as we ease into 2021, expanding into program development as an organization. Our core partners include Family Care Network, Unity Care NW, Bellingham Parks, and WWU’s Recreation Department.
Recreation Economy Advocacy
In the beginning of the year we hosted local Gatherings in both Bellingham and Seattle to connect people and ideas. The calendar was filled with great potential and our hosts were excited to share what happens “behind the scenes” at their businesses.
Our pivot! With the network we had in place, we were able to jump in and support the valued segment of the outdoor recreation economy that is our Guides and Outfitters. Working closely with the Governor’s Office, we were able to get the green light for these businesses to get back to work in Phase 1. Thank you to all who signed on to the Outdoor Recreation Guides & Tours Working Group Letter to the Governor. This group represented businesses across our great state, reflecting varied types of outdoor recreation we have to choose from.
We look to 2021 with hope and optimism. We are proud of our work and commitment to Fairhaven Park, Parkscriptions, and advocating for local recreation economies.
Yes, 2020 was a tough time. Yes, we weathered the storm.
Yes, we are poised for success in 2021 and beyond.
Yes, we appreciate your support.
Todd Elsworth, Executive Director
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.