The Fairhaven Lions Club, led by President Joel Haggen, sealed the deal for us last week as we surpassed our goal of $30,000 for our organization’s first stewardship campaign in Fairhaven Park. In their largest donation in 60 years, they unanimously voted to contribute $8,300 to Phase One of our trail relocation project. Fairhaven Lions have a strong history with Fairhaven Park and are committed to helping us on our trail projects.
The Lions complemented the tremendous community support- from a total 92 donors. Donations came from our board of directors, families, friends, racers, local businesses and park neighbors. The substantial donation by the Fairhaven Lions has brought our total to $30,025. See the full list of Phase One Campaign Donors.
Our permits are in process for the city and we plan to be doing the phase one trail work this spring. We will be hosting trail work parties to prepare for the trail to be built. We invite you to join us.
This is the first phase of the trail project of our new stewardship program to demonstrate the value we see in taking care of the places we enjoy. This project grew out of a community request to provide support for the trails connecting Fairhaven Park and the Chuckanut Community Forest.
The trails need to be improved for easier access for all types of users—and even more importantly, for the health of the forest’s ecosystem. To make the project manageable, we have broken it into multiple phases. We began work on Phase One in August of 2014 and plan for this first project to be completed in spring of 2015. This initial project connects Fairhaven Park and the trail entrance at 18th Street by rerouting a highly-traveled access trail out of the wetland to higher ground. Phase One work was supported through community donations and in-kind services of our contractors and suppliers.
Phase Two will be identifying how to connect our successful new trail to the Chuckanut Community Forest- currently accessed via a trail that crosses the wetland and becomes a 25-foot-wide swath of mud. The rerouted trail will take a lesser grade climb up the hillside to connect with the main trails in the Forest. These sustainable trail improvements will eliminate sedimentation and allow water to flow freely, enabling the wetland to function in its natural state.
We are proud to be working to relocate unsanctioned trails through fragile wetlands in this special urban forest. The new trails will connect this popular park and newly acquired community forest with a diverse network of trails. The trails will be built to City of Bellingham’s specifications and will bypass the wetlands, allowing increased and enjoyable access for people as well as protecting this important habitat for wildlife and the ecology of the forest.
This is a great way to kick off the new year. Happy Trails to you in 2015.
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.