Public Volunteer Work Party at Fairhaven Park in Bellingham, WA
This past Saturday July 17, 2021 we had our first public volunteer work party of the year at Fairhaven Park! There was an aura of excitement and positive enthusiasm in the air as folks were eager to connect with other friends in the community in a satisfying way.
As you all know, Todd Elsworth is the man with the vision of Recreation Northwest. He started the morning by giving a thorough tour of the Fairhaven Park area of which we have been stewards. He was able to give a brief history of the land, and how it has evolved over the years with help from volunteers like you!
We then switched gears and got down to the nitty gritty by continuing our restoration project. Caleb (that’s me), the new Program Coordinator, led the team through a safety talk, along with a brief outline of the morning ahead.
The Three Big Goals of Our Public Volunteer Work Party
We discussed the objectives of the public volunteer work party which were:
- Remove small invasive blackberry plants in three spaces.
- Create donuts with mulch around native saplings.
- Suppress the growth of other invasives with remaining mulch.
Notice the shovel in the “turtle position”—we are all about safety here, and of course having fun!
Jim Fonte, our master gardener and volunteer extraordinaire, was the main point person who helped people spread the invasive weeds over the compost pile. Having compost piles on site is an effective way to reduce our carbon footprint while allowing the weeds to decompose over time.
Enjoying some company, while taking a break to re energize his mind, body, and stomach!
Busting Blackberries Site by Site at Fairhaven Park
The team was ambitious to get to work! The gloves flew out of the bin, and the clanking shovels made their way to one of the three work sites. A few volunteers went to the upper site—just a few months ago the massive area was infested with invasive blackberries!
Thanks to our terrific volunteers, there were just a few small blackberry saplings to be removed from the ground. Rita went over there to tackle the job with a smiling face and full of energy!
Half a dozen folks went to the space behind the stone bench at Fairhaven Park to give some love to some of the small native saplings. As mentioned, the goal was to remove any surrounding invasives and then create a donut with cedar mulch, allowing the plants to breathe.
Our Volunteers In Action at Fairhaven Park
Henry, who found out about the public volunteer work party at Fairhaven Park through signs posted at the park, works alongside his sister Lucie!
Placing signs in the park (first time happening) was a genius idea from Todd. Thanks to his signs, we garnered a few volunteers for the event.
Gary, a new volunteer with Recreation Northwest, hard at work moving buckets of mulch to native plants.
Michelle, one of several volunteers eager to make new connections in the community, dumped a bucket of mulch around a native plant.
A big pile of mulch, surrounded by a giddy group of volunteers, moving the mulch to its respective new homes!
After a morning of satisfying work of removing invasive plants at Fairhaven Park, the native plants were smiling back and able to breathe with the layer of mulch around them.
Speaking of smiles, the crew was smiling ear to ear after a morning filled with laughter and restoration work with Recreation Northwest. Plus, they got to get a glimpse of the new shuttle van for our experiences moving ahead!
Huge Thanks to All at the Public Volunteer Work Party
We would like to graciously thank all of our hearty volunteers. It was an amazing morning spent with you all!
Also a huge thank you to Amy Brown, Volunteer Coordinator with the City of Bellingham, https://whatcomvolunteer.galaxydigital.com/agency/detail/?agency_id=2763, who continues to partner with us to loan us tools, and other resources for these volunteer events!
This restoration project is not possible without the support of our generous funders and donors like you! Please consider a donation by clicking here. https://www.recreationnorthwest.org/recreation-northwest/donate-now/donate-online/
We look forward to our next public volunteer work party and continuing to connect with helpful, warm-hearted people in this beautiful community!
Thank you kindly,
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.