Summer Fun with WPRF

Heather Carter Community, Event, Places, Volunteer

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Summer is finally here!  Long days, warm evenings, plants in bloom, and hopefully more free time to Get Out &Play!

We know lots of people settle in Whatcom County because they like to play outdoors – and we have the best outdoor play places!

Whether you walk, run, hike, kayak, swim, sail, ride, bike, or just want to lay in the shade and read a good book, Whatcom County has an abundance of beautiful parks, trails, and open spaces to explore and enjoy.  Here at the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation, we heartily approve and support your recreation activities, and encourage everyone to Get Out & Play this summer!

We have planned a few activities of our own, and hope you will join us for some fun & education in our parks this summer.


   Tuesday, August 4th – Broadway Park Tour and Picnic at the Roeder Home

6:00 – Check in at the Roeder Home.  Walk from Roeder Home over to the corner of Broadway and Park, at the west end of the

6:30 pm – meet for tour of Broadway Park, guided by John Vesselink.  John will lead the group on a tour of Broadway Park and the many varieties of trees that have been planted there over the years.  See the Bellingham Parks & Rec Dept.’s Trees of   Broadway Park Guide for a preview of the many types of trees we’ll see on our tour.  The walk will end at the Roeder Home for a picnic/reception on the lawn.  The house will be open for self-guided tours.

Meet our Broadway Park tour guide John Wesselink:

… spent an unhealthy amount of time in arboreta, botanical gardens, college campuses, cemeteries, national, state, and local parks—even old sanitoria—looking at trees very closely.
John Wesselink
I’m John Wesselink. I’m a Western alumnus, class of 76, BA in Literary History with a minor in Art History,  and here I am, seemingly incongruously leading you on the tree tour. I’m completely self-taught in dendrology. . . that’s the study of trees and shrubs But I’m not a dendrologist. I haven’t done any of the coursework, and I’m certainly not an arborist as I often get called. I don’t plant ‘em, prune ‘em, disease treat ‘em, cut ‘em down, or climb up in them,  and the terms “tree expert” or “the tree man” that I hear occasionally would apply far more aptly and deservedly to others in the field than to me. What I have done to qualify for this gig is spent an unhealthy amount of time in arboreta, botanical gardens, college campuses, cemeteries, national, state, and local parks—even old sanitoria—looking at trees very closely. I’ve made tree maps of and guided tree tours through many of Bellingham’s parks I’ve given talks on Bellingham’s heritage trees.  When I retired from my day job back in 2007 I took an 18 month, 120,000-mile trip in a VW camper looking for the US’s 780 or so native tree species growing in their native ranges. . . . I found 760 of them. It was a great treasure hunt. In brief, what I am is a fellow with a pathological inability to walk by a tree without knowing what it is.


Take the Summer Parks Challenge!

WPRF-SLIDER-CF4 Did you know that July is National Parks and Recreation Month?  To show our support, we are issuing a challenge to all Whatcom County residents: who can visit the most parks in Whatcom County this summer?

The Rules:

  • Visits must take place between Sunday, June 21 and Monday, August 31st, 2015.
  • Download the Summer Parks Challenge 2015 Rules & Entry Form here
  • Fill out the information for each park visit.  All parks count – city, county, state, national parks, and designated open space throughout Whatcom County.
  • When you are finished, mail or email in your form.
  • All entries are on the honor system. We believe in you!
  • Prizes will be given for the most parks visited, the most parks in each system. All entries will be entered into a drawing for prizes as well, so even one visit counts!

Prizes include:

  • 6 month membership to City Gym in Bellingham
  • REI water bottles
  • Nikwax products to protect your gear
  • Dessert Tray for 20 from Kelly’s O’Deli
  • More prizes coming in – check back for updates!

WPRF Summer Event Series 2015

Peace   Tuesday, June 30th – Big Rock Garden Park Tours
   10:00 – 11:00 am or 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Thanks to our guest who turned out on June 30th for a morning tour of Big Rock Garden.  Rae Edwards and AmeriCorp volunteer Anna gave an incredible tour of the park, full of history and facts.  Photos will be posted soon.