FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Recreation Northwest Leads Trail-Building Effort in Fairhaven Park
Non-profit organization serves as Fairhaven Park Steward, in partnership with
City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation.
BELLINGHAM, Wash., October 27, 2014—Recreation Northwest is leading an effort to build a new trail in Fairhaven Park in Bellingham, Washington, replacing an existing trail that passes through vulnerable wetlands. The current trail’s location and increasingly heavy use is causing damage to the land and watershed. The new trail will connect Fairhaven Park to 18th Street off of Fairhaven Parkway in Phase 1 of the approach.
As park steward, Recreation Northwest has been leading volunteer work parties to maintain and improve trails in the forest, which is home to sections of its Bellingham Traverse and Kulshan Quest Adventure Race courses. The organization agreed to take on the trail-building project after Executive Director Todd Elsworth learned that the City of Bellingham’s budget lacked the necessary funding.
“We saw a great opportunity to demonstrate our mission of promoting outdoor recreation, and bringing people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play,” said Elsworth. “We are excited to collaborate with our team of professionals, the City of Bellingham’s Parks and Recreation Department, and Public Works to relocate this popular trail out of the wetland to higher ground, to protect the surrounding landscape and provide greater accessibility for all.”
“Recreation is so important for health and well-being of our residents, and it adds to the quality of life that we all enjoy here,” said Roxanne Murphy, Bellingham City Council Parks and Recreation Committee Chairperson. “This trail improvement will be ideal for our athletes and families, alike, and developing it in an environmentally-sustainable way will also be in the best interest of everyone and everything.”
To fund the project, Recreation Northwest recently kicked off a fundraising campaign, with a goal to raise $30,000. The organization has secured valuable commitments of support from Gerry Wilbour of Northwest Trails, Inc.; Perry Welch of Welch Ecological Services; Andrew Law of Wilson Engineering; and Brent Cowden of Cowden Gravel. Bellingham Parks and Recreation staff have also been instrumental in helping secure necessary applications and permits, and meeting various requirements.
Once Phase 1 of the project is completed, Recreation Northwest plans to continue improving trails throughout the forest, participate in long-term planning concerning the park and connect it to forest land recently acquired by the City of Bellingham, known historically as the 100 Acre Wood, Fairhaven Highlands and the Chuckanut Community Forest.
Recreation Northwest believes that the site will provide the opportunity to create an regionally recognized example of logical, thoughtful and sustainable recreational land-use design for our community.
About Recreation Northwest
Recreation Northwest is a Bellingham, Washington–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 Northwest Traverse Multi-Sport Series, which celebrates the salmon’s journey and culminates each year with the Bellingham Traverse; the Quest Adventure Races; the Race Directors Summit; and the Recreation Northwest Conference and EXPO. Learn more at RecreationNorthwest.org.
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.