Kingfishers

2019-20 Season


Congratulations Kingfishers on completing your second year of Explorers Club (EC)! We appreciate your willingness to play and connect with each other and the natural world. As the group moves into their third year in Explorers Club, mentors look forward to the group continuing to deepen both sides of their Explorers toolbox: socio-emotional and technical skills. The Kingfishers' skill focus for this year will be Art of Shelter and Art of Carving, through which we'll learn teamwork, leadership, patience, discipline, and responsibility, in addition to taking some time to learn and talk about beauty, art, and storytelling.

Please look over the schedule upon registration and give us as much advance notice as possible if there are any conflicts for your child attending. For more information, please visit our Missed Days and Make Up Policies. Please know that these dates are subject to change due to inevitable circumstances. We will update you if any dates do change!

Be sure to use the Be Prepared Checklist when getting ready for each Explorers Club outing. Wild Whatcom Mottos guide much of our program so please read them over with your Explorer.


Mentors

Ellen Reiche (they/them/theirs) | (253) 495-2963 | ellen@wildwhatcom.org

Christopher Penuelas (he/him/his) | (206) 920-4761 | christopher@wildwhatcom.org


Kingfishers 2019-2020 Schedule


OUTING #1: Saturday, September 28, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Shelter Building, North Lake Samish

In Whatcom County, we are blessed to have the endless trails of the Chuckanut Mountains right in our backyard. The North Lake Samish trail boasts some spectacular vistas and waterfalls and also holds some challenging route finding through mixed use logging terrain. On this outing we will tap into the near-universal child passion of fort-building, which turns out is an excellent foundation for our skill this season! With some finessing we can harness the power of fort-building to help us learn how to survive in the woods. And of course there will be plenty of time for exploring and games to get us back in the groove of the Explorers Club.

Directions: From Bellingham head south on I-5 and take exit 246 toward North Lake Samish. Turn left onto Lake Samish Drive for 1.6 miles. Take a sharp right onto Lake Samish County Park. The parking lot will be on your right. Map.


OUTING #2: Saturday, October 5, 2019: 10:00-2:00PM

SERVICE: Restoration Sites: Connelly Creek Nature Area and Happy Valley Park

Our official EC restoration sites have changed dramatically since we started working on them. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing and many of their persistent roots have been dug out. Hundreds of pounds of trash has been removed, the reed canary grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the alder are growing markedly faster than our Explorers.

With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), we are contributing to the very important work of salmon habitat restoration. Salmon are keystone species of the Northwest, playing important roles in every ecosystem and community they interact with. They are economically, culturally, and spiritually significant to Indigenous peoples, including our Lummi and Nooksack neighbors. Our restoration work creates a positive ripple effect that is felt in communities beyond just salmon, and gives us an incredible opportunity to be part of a legacy of stewardship and protection.

Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for 0.2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Map.


OUTING #3: Saturday, November 2, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

TRAVERSE: Lower Padden Creek

We’ve already explored at Lake Padden and traversed the Padden Gorge section of Padden Creek. Now, we will have an opportunity to follow Padden Creek from one of its tributaries, Connelly Creek, at our service site all the way to its eventual outflow into Bellingham Bay. Along the way we will explore the riparian zone and creek alike. We will also get to see firsthand how the Padden Creek Daylighting project is coming along; a great place to start conversations about how our cities and natural places rely on and impact each other.

Drop-off directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for 0.2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Map.

Pick-up directions: Heading south on I-5 take the Old Fairhaven Parkway exit. Take a right onto Old Fairhaven Parkway and drive for 1.3 miles. Continue onto Donovan Ave and then onto 10th Street. Turn Left onto Harris Ave. and continue for 0.4 of a mile. Take your first left after the train tracks and drive 0.1 of a mile until reaching Marine Park. Map.


OUTING #4: Saturday, December 7, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Yew Street Woods

The Yew Street Woods lie on the Western entrance of the Lookout Mountain Open Space. From our drop-off location on San Juan Blvd. we will access the power line trail and venture southeast along the lower flanks of Lookout Mountain. With plenty of space to roam and navigate we will utilize the myriad of social trails and spend some time getting to know this wild land located right in our own backyard.

Directions: Heading South on I-5 take Exit 253 and head East on Lakeway Drive for 1.1 miles. Turn right on Yew Street and drive for 0.7 of a mile. Turn right onto San Juan Blvd. On street parking will be on your left. Map.


OUTING #5: Saturday, January 11, 2020: 2:00-7:00PM

NIGHT OUTING: Stars and Stories, Location TBD

Get ready to embrace the night! On this very special outing, we will explore and get to know the outdoors from dusk to dark, focusing our attention to the sky. We’ll observe and identify constellations, reflect on the night sky and how people have related to it throughout time, and hear some stories from a variety of cultures about the infinite starry and planetary sphere above. Please send your Explorer with a headlamp or small flashlight and lots of cold-weather layers and help them prepare for the new experience of exploring outside at night.

Directions: TBD


OUTING #6: Sunday, February 2, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Carving and Knife Safety, South Lake Padden

We’ve adventured along the west and east sides of Lake Padden Park before, and now we’ll get the opportunity to explore the less-visited south section. The extensive network of trails winding through mature groves of hemlock, spruce, dedar, and Douglas fir offers us a living example of forest succession and health. Come prepared for adventure and discovery as we navigate our way through this local forestland. Once we find a good spot for our basecamp we will take the momentous step of responsibility into knife usage! Of course, there will be time for some games, challenges, and open exploration. Let’s see what we can find out there!

Directions: From I-5, take Exit 252 for Samish Way/WWU. Drive south on S. Samish Way for 3.6 miles. Go past the entrances at Lake Padden for the lake and golf course. Look for the gravel parking lot on the right. Map.


OUTING #7: Saturday, March 14, 2020: 10:00-2:00PM

SERVICE: Restoration Sites: Connelly Creek Nature Area and Happy Valley Park

Our official EC restoration sites have changed dramatically since we started working on them. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing and many of their persistent roots have been dug out. Hundreds of pounds of trash has been removed, the reed canary grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the alder are growing markedly faster than our Explorers.

With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), we are contributing to the very important work of salmon habitat restoration. Salmon are keystone species of the Northwest, playing important roles in every ecosystem and community they interact with. They are economically, culturally, and spiritually significant to Indigenous peoples, including our Lummi and Nooksack neighbors. Our restoration work creates a positive ripple effect that is felt in communities beyond just salmon, and gives us an incredible opportunity to be part of a legacy of stewardship and protection.

Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for 0.2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Map.


OUTING #8: Saturday, April 25, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Rock Trail

The Rock Trail trail is carved out of the steep, rugged hillside connecting the top of Cleator Road to the South Lost Lake Trail. This is one of the Chuckanut's newest trails offering steep climbs, gorgeous views, and a peek at our area's fascinating geology. 100-foot high sandstone cliffs pocked by little holes and large caves, enormous mossy boulders, and handmade staircases and bridges are just of few of the exciting wonders that await us. If we have time we might even make it to Lost Lake!

Directions: From I-5, Take exit #250 and turn right onto Fairhaven Pkwy. Go to second stoplight. Turn left on SR 11/Chuckanut Dr for 1.3 miles. Turn left onto 12th st. for .1 of a mile. 12th st. becomes Chuckanut Dr. Follow for 3.6 miles. Turn left onto Hiline Road. Follow until it turns into Cleator Road at .6 of a mile. Then continue an additional 3.5 miles all the way to the top/end of the road! Map.


OUTING #9: Sunday, May 17, 2020: 10:00AM-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Nature Art, North Lake Whatcom

Following in the footsteps of the great natural artist Andy Goldsworthy, the team will be spending this beautiful spring afternoon envisioning natural art installations in the forest and on the beach. We will gather dead, down, or brown leaves, flowers, branches, stones, and other natural materials along the trail, talk about concepts of beauty, perspective, and art, and each make our own, unique work of art. Some Explorers may choose to make mandalas, while others may build sculptures, and some may even create floating flower wreaths. There will be no wrongs or rights as we work together to create pieces of ephemeral, natural art.

Directions: From downtown, take Cornwall Ave. north for 1 mile. Turn right onto Alabama St. and drive for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Northshore Dr. and follow it for 7.2 miles. Turn left onto Northshore Rd. The trailhead will be in your left in 0.5 miles. Map.