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Community celebrates new Lake Whatcom park

Jan 27, 2014
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Whatcom County residents joined local elected and community leaders in commemorating the new Lake Whatcom park, looking forward to a public process for new trails and recreation.

Community celebrates new Lake Whatcom park

The new Lake Whatcom park is the result of years of effort and vision. Photo: Paul Anderson

On January 22, more than 8,400 acres or nearly 15 square miles of forested slopes above Lake Whatcom was formally transferred from state to county management, creating a new Lake Whatcom park. To celebrate, on January 25, nearly 200 residents gathered at Bloedel Donovan Park, to mark the successful culmination of a long and spirited campaign to create the watershed park led by conservation groups, local businesses, and the larger community.

See press release
“In 35 years of conservation work, I’ve never before seen business, conservation, and recreation interests all come together the way we did here. It speaks to a shared vision and opportunity we have in this community to have a healthy landscape and a healthy economy.” 
                   – Rand Jack, with the Whatcom Land Trust

The event featured brief remarks from a variety of local elected and community leaders and culminated with Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws cutting a symbolic ribbon for the new Lake Whatcom park - the largest local park in the state - and a singing of new stanzas to This Land Is Your Land penned by Bellingham's Rand Jack.

Various organizations staffed information tables about the park and opportunities for enjoying it. Food and refreshments were provided, and children had the opportunity to ride their mountain bikes on a small outdoor course.  

Early citizen action spurred a great new park

The lands now protected feature exceptional views and great hiking, running, camping, biking, and equestrian opportunities. Trails on the new park lands will create an important link and eventually connect Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay and existing parks such as Squires Lake, Whatcom Falls, Lake Padden, Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve, and Stimpson Family Nature Reserve. Because the park contains legacy old-growth trees and will mature into old forest, forest dependent animals such as the endangered marbled murrelet will also benefit. The park's opening represents a triumph both for the local economy and for conservation. 

 

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