Petrichors

2019-20 Season


Congratulations Petrichors on completing your first 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 second 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 Petrichors' skill focus for this year will be Art of Navigation and Art of Tracking/Bird Language, through which we'll begin to build our awareness and learn teamwork, Collaborate & Compromise, patience, and interspecies empathy.

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

Jasmine Vilar (she/her/hers) | (509) 844-4536 | jasmine@wildwhatcom.org

Nicole Keeler (she/her/hers) | (260) 341-7947 | nicole@wildwhatcom.org


Petrichors 2019-20 Schedule


OUTING #1: Sunday, September 22, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

TRAVERSE: Introduction to Navigation, Padden Gorge Traverse

Lake Padden is a local gem with all kinds of mysteries hidden in its sandstone folds: giant cedars in a secret sanctuary, trillium, oyster mushrooms, raptors, crayfish, and much more. For this traverse, we'll hike along the Padden Gorge Trail to its junction with the Padden Lake loop trail ending up at the dog park. Following Padden Creek, we'll explore some of the lesser known areas of the west side of the park as we get familiar with compasses and directions for our first foray into the Art of Navigation.

Drop-off Directions: From I-5, take exit 250 for Old Fairhaven Pkwy and head east on Old Fairhaven Pkwy. Continue onto Connelly Ave. for 446 feet. Turn right onto S. 34th St for .01 of a mile. Map.

Pick-up Directions: Drive south on Samish Way for 2.4 miles.Turn right onto Lakeshore Dr (golf course/dog park entrance). Continue to the end of the road by the dog park. Map.


OUTING #2: Saturday, October 26, 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 16, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: North Chuckanut Mountain

Located just south of Bellingham, the Chuckanut Mountains are a rare and amazing gem for our community. Offering endless trails, expansive ravines and hillsides, lush forests, and most importantly for us: spawning habitat for Chum salmon. We met Salmon last year, and now we will get to know them even better by navigating to our destination the same way they do - with our noses!

Directions: From Fairhaven head south on Chuckanut Dr. Just past the intersection with Old Samish there will be a parking lot on your left with a sign saying “North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead.” You're here! Map.


OUTING #4: Saturday, December 14, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve

Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve is a newly protected forest of roughly 370 acres that houses the headwaters of Austin and Beaver Creeks. Together we'll learn how to read topographic maps in order to help us navigate the trails 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 Dr. east for 3 miles. Continue for another 0.5 miles as it turns into Terrace Ave. and then Cable St. Take a right on Austin St., which becomes Lake Louise Rd. Follow for 3.3 miles. Trailhead parking lot will be on the right. Map.


OUTING #5: Sunday, January 12, 2020: 10:00-4:00PM

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Tracking, Whatcom Land Trust Property on Smith Road

The Whatcom Land Trust is a local organization that does good hard work in our community to protect and heal the land and waters around us. On this outing, we will be taking a Wild Whatcom bus to visit a property of theirs out on Smith Road off of Highway 542. Formerly a homestead and sustainably logged forest, it has been donated to the Whatcom Land Trust for the express purpose of environmental and outdoor education. After taking some time to consider the history of the land we will turn our minds and senses to tracking, which will reveal itself to be the exact same thing - there are so many stories the land can tell us, we just have to learn how to look for them.

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 #6: Saturday, February 8, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Bird Language, Tennant Lake

Explorers in their second year have the lucky privilege to learn two skills in one season: Tracking and Bird Language, which we will come to understand as deeply intertwined. This exploration will take us to the 360-acre Tennant Lake wetland area, which is one of the most important bird habitats in Whatcom County and thus one of the best places to listen to the language of birds. Here we’ll navigate our way through cattails and along the meandering boardwalk, learn about the history and significance of the peat-bog lake under our feet, and begin to decipher what the birds might be saying.

Directions: Drive north on I-5 and take exit 262. Turn right onto W Axton/Main St and drive for 0.6 of a mile. Turn left onto Hovander Rd. and and drive for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto Nielsen Ave and drive until you reach the parking lot for Tennant Lake Interpretive Center. Map.


OUTING #7: Sunday, March 8, 2020: 9:30-1:30PM

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 19, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Squires Lake

Squires Lake Park is a hidden gem just off I-5 on the border of Whatcom and Skagit Counties. With an active beaver pond, tons of bird habitat, and the possibility of finding big mammal signs, it’s the perfect place to continue working on our skills for this year. We’ll decide which way to explore around the lake and then see where our newly awakened tracker senses lead us from there. Many things can motivate our explorations, but today we will try to answer: What can we find if we take the time and effort to simply notice and listen?

Directions: Take I-5 south to WA-99/Nulle Rd, Exit 242. Turn left onto WA-99/Nulle Rd and drive 0.7 of a mile. The trailhead will be on your left. Map.


OUTING #9: Saturday, May 9, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

TRAVERSE: Larrabee State Park Boat Launch to Clayton Beach

Previous Explorers have made the momentous journey from Larrabee State Park Boat Launch to Clayton Beach and it is now time for our group to try. This year, we'll embrace the low tide and get around the corner first thing. Please send your Explorer with close-toed water shoes in case the urge to wade in is high! Following this route, we’ll have access to paths within the park boundaries that will make this a memorable and challenging trip. Come ready for adventure!

Drop-off Directions: From Fairhaven, drive south on Chuckanut Dr. for 4.7 miles. Turn right on Cove Rd. and drive for 0.3 miles. Turn left on Pleasant Bay Rd., follow signs to the boat launch. Map.

Pick-up Directions: Drive south on Chuckanut Dr. from Fairhaven, for 5.5 miles. The parking lot for Clayton Beach (the sign on Chuckanut Drive says Lost Lake Parking Lot) is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance, on the left hand side. Map.