Pacific Chorus Frogs

2019-20 Season


Congratulations Pacific Chorus Frogs on completing your fourth 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 fifth 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 Pacific Chorus Frogs' skill focus for this year will be Art of Wilderness Travel and Art of Fire, through which we'll deepen our trust with one another and learn teamwork, patience, humility, and respect for the forces of nature.

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

Joey Christianson (he/him/his) | (425) 281-8255 | joey@wildwhatcom.org

Benjamin Schieber (he/him/his) | (503) 583-1117 | benjamin@wildwhatcom.org


Pacific Chorus Frogs 2019-20 Schedule


OUTING #1: Sunday, September 15, 2019: 9:00-4:00PM

EXTENDED EXPLORATION: Chuckanut Ridge Traverse

This journey along Chuckanut Ridge is a great hike through the heart of the Chuckanuts. We'll start where Dan's Traverse Trail meets Cleator Road about 1.7 miles up the windy, mountain road. Then we'll connect to the Chuckanut Ridge Trail and the Lost Lake Trail which will take us north, past great views, and an abundance of healthy forest. There is nothing quite like traipsing through a natural setting with a group of close friends to revitalize the soul. We should cover four miles or so, so eat a big breakfast and be ready to hike!

Drop-off 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.

Pick-up Directions: From I-5, take exit 250 (Old Fairhaven Parkway) and head south on Old Fairhaven Parkway/Chuckanut Drive. Just past the intersection with Old Samish Rd there will be a parking lot on your left with a sign saying North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead. Map.


OUTING #2: Sunday, October 13, 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: Sunday, November 10, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

TRAVERSE: Follow Whatcom Creek

As salmon swim upstream, so too will we be walking upstream on this urban exploration, following Whatcom Creek through downtown and into Whatcom Falls Park. We'll begin near the creek's mouth at Waypoint Park and follow it through the city, discussing the history of both, making observations and asking questions about what we encounter along the way. We’ll work together to navigate both physical and emotional landscapes as we traverse across space and time on this very special outing.

Drop-off directions: From I-5, take Exit 253 for Lakeway Dr. Head west on Lakeway Dr. until it turns into Holly St. Drive for .6 miles, then turn left onto Bay St. At the light turn right onto W Chestnut St. At the light turn left onto Granary Ave. Parallel parking is available. Map.

Pick-up directions: From I-5, take Exit 253 for Lakeway Dr. Head east on Lakeway Dr. for 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Silver Beach Rd and drive for .4 miles until you reach the parking lot near the playground and fish hatchery. Map.


OUTING #4: Sunday, December 15, 2019: 9:00-4:00PM

EXTENDED EXPLORATION: Old Growth at Mile Marker 44

We’ll pile into a trusty Wild Whatcom bus and drive a long way up Mt Baker Highway to a place you’ll only be able to find if you know just how to get there - the Old Growth. Officially this area is known as the North Fork Nooksack Research Natural Area, a place for scientific sampling and study established in 1934. However, like all locations we visit, it has a much longer history - since time immemorial, old-growth forests have been places of immense spiritual significance and important harvest for the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest coast. With this history in mind and heart, we’ll step back in time and get to see for ourselves what happens when a place is left untouched by logging or modern development.

Directions: From I-5 take exit 250. Turn west onto Old Fairhaven Pkwy for .5 of a mile. Turn right onto 24th St for .3 of a mile. Turn right onto McKenzie Ave for .2 of a mile to Cascades Montessori Middle school. Map.


OUTING #5: Sunday, January 26, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Fire, Larrabee State Park

As Explorers mature they get the opportunity to take on more and more responsibility in their Earth Skills journey, and today we will take a momentous step: learning to make fire. Today we will get to know fire a little better, harvest some fire building materials, and then utilize the fire rings at Larrabee State Park to practice and experiment with what we know and what we’ve learned. Our goal is to make and maintain a fire on what will likely be a cold day, but we all know by now that it’s about the journey, not the destination - and this journey is bound to teach us a lot.

Directions: Drive South on Chuckanut Drive from Fairhaven, for 5.5 miles. The parking lot for Lost Lake is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance, on the left hand side. Map.


OUTING #6: Saturday, February 22, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

GAMES DAY: Life and Death in the Forest at Lookout Mountain - with the Jumping Mice

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve is roughly 370 acres that house the headwaters of Austin and Beaver Creeks. Lookout Mountain is one of our most expansive, close-to-town wild spaces. It provides fantastic habitat for deer, bear, bobcat and even our most elusive wild cat - cougar. Together we'll explore the on and off-trail spaces that this preserve has to offer, including a 2.2-mile loop, viewpoint trail that offers stunning vistas of Lake Whatcom, a waterfall loop, and an 8-mile service road that climbs the flanks of Lookout Mountain.

Directions: From Bellingham, take Lakeway Drive East for 3 miles. Continue for another .5 miles as it turns into Terrace Ave and then Cable Street. Take a right on Austin Street, Austin becomes Lake Louise Rd follow for 3.3 miles. Destination will be on the right. Map.


OUTING #7: Sunday, March 8, 2020: 9:00-1:00PM

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: Sunday, April 26, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Locust Beach

Locust Beach is a real gem. Prepare for epic tide flats filled with curious creatures, mud pits, roaming streams, and wide expanses of adventure. What will we find as we traverse the water's edge? There is more wildlife here than many people imagine there is; past groups have seen and tracked coyotes, rabbits, eagles and even flounder! If you think the weather will be nice enough to get into the water, bring your water shoes and swimsuits. Parents: make sure to have a towel ready for your really muddy Explorer!

Directions: From I-5, Take Exit 258 Bakerview Rd/Bellingham International Airport. Head southwest on Bakerview Rd. Stay on this road as it turns into Airport Dr and Alderwood Ave. When Alderwood Ave meets Marine Dr, turn left. And continue for 0.6 miles. Turn right onto Locust Ave. The parking lot is on the right hand side of Locust Ave just after you turn off of Marine Drive. Map.


OUTING #9: Sunday, May 17, 2020: 9:00-4:00PM

EXTENDED EXPLORATION: Team Building at Racehorse Falls

We will be taking a Wild Whatcom bus to a tributary of the North Fork Nooksack River that boasts a spectacular 139-ft waterfall, some awesome geological features, and fossilized relics from the Eocene. This special spot is a favorite of past Explorers groups and today we’ll find out if we will join their ranks. We’ll revel in the majesty of waterfalls, explore and play in the forest, and take some time to work together, bond as a team, reflect on our time together and look forward to the time we have left together.

Directions: From I-5 take exit 250. Turn west onto Old Fairhaven Pkwy for .5 of a mile. Turn right onto 24th St for .3 of a mile. Turn right onto McKenzie Ave for .2 of a mile to Cascades Montessori Middle school. Map.