PLEASE VOTE YES FOR THE FOREST
#1 CATHY MCKENZIE
#2 DAN REMSEN OR JOHN HYMAS
#3 SUSAN KAUN
#4 VINCE BICIUNAS
#5 JOHN BROWN
Check out the Candidates page
Our campaign has been endorsed by
Washington Conservation Voters
Fuse/Progressive Voters Guide
Whatcom Young Democrats
Coalition of Southside Neighborhoods
Edgemoor Neighborhood Ass’n
South Hill Neighborhood Ass’n
South Neighborhood Ass’n
Happy Valley Neighborhood Ass’n
and many, many more
Help Preserve Chuckanut Community Forest
After twenty years of struggle, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to save the beloved “Hundred Acre Wood” that serves as the forested backdrop to life on the Southside. Let’s preserve this land as a city park. Let’s save ALL of the Chuckanut Community Forest – forever!
Chuckanut Community Forest:
- It’s right: With Class 1 wetlands between two salmon-bearing streams, rich biological diversity and a mature mixed forest, this property has a tremendously high ecological value and should be kept intact.
- It’s fair: The City has already committed $5 million to the purchase and indicated that it was up to the citizens to raise the rest. The neighborhoods most affected by what happens here will pay a small extra cost to secure the best result.
- It’s time: After more than twenty years of wrangling over this property, the City finally owns it. Let’s keep it. If we cannot raise the necessary funding to repay the inter-fund loan, the City has indicated that it will sell a potentially large portion for development.
Let’s finish the job! After 20 years of wrangling, the purchase is made, let’s keep it!
On August 15, 2011, Bellingham City Council voted unanimously to purchase an 82 acre parcel located on Bellingham’s southside for parks and open space. Known locally as “Chuckanut Ridge” or the “Hundred Acre Wood,” the forested property has been informally used as a park for many years. With its healthy second growth forest, Category I wetlands, and peekaboo views to the north and west, the property serves as the wooded backdrop for life on the southside. The community has cherished these woods for many years, and it was specifically targeted for acquisition in the last two Greenways levies. But until recently, the City was unable to negotiate a purchase of the property at a reasonable price. All that changed with the failure of Horizon Bank, when its assets were transferred to Washington Federal.
Recognizing an important opportunity, the City of Bellingham acted swiftly and was able to negotiate a purchase of the property from Washington Federal for just one third of the original asking price. In order to close the deal, and finally end twenty years of community struggle to preserve this land, Bellingham City Council voted to purchase the land using a combination of Greenways III southside acquisition monies, Southside Park Impact Fees, and a $3,232,201 inter-fund loan from the Greenways III maintenance endowment.
Since it approved this financing plan, the City’s intent has been to sell a portion of the land to repay the loan if it is not repaid by 2017, when Greenways III sunsets.
A group of citizens organized to develop a plan to repay the loan and save ALL of the property. From these discussions came a proposal to ask the residents of Bellingham’s southside to create a Metropolitan Park District (MPD) and approve a small property tax levy dedicated to repaying the inter-fund loan and preserving these stunning forested hillsides for the residents of Bellingham to enjoy—forever.
The first step toward this solution was a petition to put the issue on the ballot for Southside voters to decide upon. The petition received strong support with 1664 Southside residents signing the petition during the summer months. This exceeded the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot by 50%! Now, Southside voters will have the opportunity to show their support of permanent protection for this precious community asset.
The CCFD Steering Committee consists of Daniel Remsen, Robyn Dupre, Joanne Peterson, Christopher Grannis, John McLaughlin, Gerry Wilbour, Larry Freeman