Over the past two years we have diligently tried to replace our traditional recreation events with outdoor and nature education experiences. This approach just didn’t have traction. Fortunately, our grounded stewardship work in Fairhaven Park has the traction we need. We are now poised to build an Outdoor Classroom in the park.
The use of our Rock Bench & Native Plant Garden area as meeting spaces demonstrate the community need and interest in dedicated space for small groups to gather in our parks. For a detailed description of the project, check out our draft Fairhaven Park Outdoor Classroom Project Overview.
There are many formal groups that use Fairhaven Park trails and 100 Acre Wood urban forest for their outdoor activities and environmental education programs. There are also informal groups and individuals who utilize the available spaces to be outside. Having dedicated places for people to connect with one another and with nature is core to an outdoor education program approach.
In December 2021, we hosted a Focus Group with fellow members of the Whatcom Coalition for Environmental Education (WCEE) who use Fairhaven Park. Led by Hannah Newell, WCEE, we received community input from representatives of Bellingham Parks, North Cascades Institute, and Wild Whatcom to help provide direction with planning for the needs of our outdoor education community. We integrated these elements into our design of the space.
We were honored to be included in the WCEE Member message speaking to both the value of the organization and the benefits of being outdoors, in nature. Enjoy the video here:
Our plans were integrated into the final Master Plan for the 100 Acre Wood by Bellingham Parks and we have resounding response from our community partners. Please help us on this Giving Tuesday to turn these plans into reality.
About Recreation Northwest
At Recreation Northwest, we teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we 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.