FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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 https://www.recreationnorthwest.org 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 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.