As part of our Mission to ensure the entirety of the Chuckanut Community Forest property is protected in public ownership in perpetuity, with respect for its ecological, recreational, and educational functions, the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District acquired from the City of Bellingham a Conservation Easement for the Chuckanut Community Forest.
In May of 2017 a Baseline Documentation Report of the ecological integrity and current condition of the Chuckanut Community Forest was concluded by Ann Eissinger. This report supports the Conservation Easement so that the Forest will be adequately protected and enhanced over the years while remaining accessible for public recreation and education.
To the best of its ability, the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District also supports the stewardship activities of Recreation Northwest and the South Neighborhood Association, official Chuckanut Community Forest Park Stewards recognized by the City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation.
Community Stewardship Program
Under Recreation Northwest’s new Community Stewardship Program, volunteers are working with the City of Bellingham to assist in the long-term preservation and planning of the Chuckanut Community Forest. Phase One of this collaborative community effort is to improve access by re-routing the trail entrance from Fairhaven Park in order to reduce increasing adverse environmental/ecological impacts and improve public access to the Chuckanut Community Forest.
The relocated trail will connect Fairhaven Park to the Chuckanut Community Forest at 18th Street. It will help protect the rich biological diversity of the urban habitat while enabling public access to nature.
So far, 80 donors have stepped forward to raise more than $21,000 to relocate the trail in Fairhaven Park, and the permits have been submitted in order to make this trail a reality come spring 2015!
Before & After:
More information about the project and a link to make donations is available at the Recreation Northwest website, http://www.recreationnorthwest.org/active/stewardship/bellingham/fairhaven-park/.
Other Stewardship Examples
As our community looks forward to participating in the Master Planning process for the Chuckanut Community Forest, the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District will provide links here to generate your informed ideas, discussion, and input based on what our neighboring Park and Recreation districts across the Pacific Northwest are doing in collaboration with their communities.
This regional trail corridor near northwest Portland, Oregon, provides recreational and educational public connections to nature, including restored forested wetlands, elevated boardwalks, and scenic natural areas (with an active beaver dam). All this in walking distance to surrounding parks, schools, shopping centers, public transit stops, and residential, multi-family, and commercial properties which have provided public tax dollars to create and fund ongoing stewardship projects along the trail.