Enhancing Areas of Bellingham Parks That Need Restoration and More Tree Canopy
We’ve partnered with City of Bellingham Parks to plant hundreds of new trees in several existing parks that needed additional tree canopy.
Urban park enhancements like this provide clean air, water/flood resilience, expanded habitat, shade for hot summer days, carbon capture, and many other benefits.
Our Bellingham Parks projects include:
Padden/Galbraith Parking Area
During 2022-3, we partnered with Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition to plant 200+ young trees around the new 184-stall parking lot for mountain bike access on Galbraith Mountain. Creating the lot improved pedestrian/biker safety but unfortunately forced the removal of many mature trees from Lake Padden Park well beyond the pavement area. (See our tree planting plan above.) The mix of native tree species we planted matches the Park’s surrounding mature forest — primarily douglas firs, cedars, and maples.
We planted trees in the northeast portion of wonderful Julianna Park. (See purple areas on aerial map above.) There, urban impacts, Himalayan blackberry, and climate stresses had degraded the landscape, preventing native tree seedlings from naturally regenerating. With a little help from us, that problem can be overcome!
During 2022, we held several volunteer work parties to clear non-natives. A Washington Conservation Corp crew we obtained assisted, too. In March 2023, with COB Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) we planted 200+ native tree seedlings in the newly-prepped areas.
Squalicum Creek Park
Early 2023 along the western slope of Squalicum Creek Park above the ball fields (see magenta area in map above), we cut grasses and remove non-native plants such as Himalayan blackberry. A Washington Conservation Corp crew secured by WMTP assisted. Then we planted 120+ native trees, respecting the neighborhood’s requests for view corridors, small play areas along the slope top, and an winter obstruction-free sledding slope.
We eventually hope to expand to the north slope of the park (beige area in map). Such landscape improvements are consistent with the park’s approved Master Plan.
Woodstock Farm Park
Whatcom Million Trees Project has preserved and planted more than 100 trees at beautiful Woodstock Farm Park — a wonderful National Historic Register site on the bay south of Fairhaven.
On the northwest side of the park, our volunteer work parties during 2022 removed Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and other non-native plants that were reducing the forest’s health and biodiversity. In early 2023, WMTP together with COB Parks planted 100+ native trees, such as Douglas firs and western red cedars.
In ALL of Our Planting Projects
Each tree seedling is mulched, plus caged/tubed for protection from animal nibbles. We’ll regularly water them during hot summer spells, and remove nearby grasses as needed. All of our planted trees are monitored by WMTP for five years, especially after windstorms, severe rains, or extreme heat periods.
Any seedling mortality we’ll replace. Normally mortality can be 20-30% even in the best of circumstances. So far it has been only ~5% in our projects — a good indicator of our planting methodology as well as the care and love our volunteers have given to our planting projects in Bellingham Parks!
• Want to be one of our “eyes” who occasionally checks our trees at one of these Bellingham parks, such as where you may walk regularly anyways? Please let us know!