Sturgeon

2019-20 Season


Congratulations Sturgeon on embarking on your first season of Explorers Club (EC)! Explorers Club is a long-term program with a subtle spiral curriculum that builds upon itself for years. We're excited for you to join our community and look forward to seeing how we all craft our coming adventures. We have a great season planned that is sure to include lots of new exploration and discovery as we romp through the woods in our own backyard. Along the way we will introduce the group to some introductory naturalist skills and fundamental EC values that will help to lay the groundwork for future seasons. The Sturgeons' skill focus for this year will be Art of Camouflage and Art of Harvest, through which we'll learn to Widen Our Circle, play with honor, and expand our awareness.

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

Adam Yost (he/him/his) | (360) 319-7387 | adam@wildwhatcom.org

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


Sturgeon 2019-20 Schedule


OUTING #1: Saturday, September 21, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Camouflage, Fairhaven Park

The Hundred Acre Wood is the EC unofficial stomping grounds. For years, Explorers have met here to learn and harness new skills. Over consecutive seasons we can see the changes in the land, and even get to know some of the same animals and birds that call this place home. We'll embark on the Art of Camouflage and learn the activities that connect Explorers across all age groups. One game begins with an "H" and it sends everyone flying into the bushes!

Directions: Drive down Chuckanut Dr. from Fairhaven. Turn left into Fairhaven Park. Turn right into the first parking lot. Map.


OUTING #2: Saturday, October 5, 2019: 10:30-2:30PM

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 #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 will spend some time learning about this amazing and important member of our more-than-human community before we honor and witness their journey.

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 7, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Lake Padden (Golf Course/Dog Park Entrance)

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. It's a great spot to play some epic games, one of which is the ultimate test of everything we’ve learned in the Art of Camouflage. We’ll see how well we can blend in!

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

EXPLORATION: Introduction to Harvest, North Galbraith Mountain

Galbraith Mountain isn’t just good for mountain biking, but exploring as well! Come prepared for adventure and discovery as we pick a location and navigate our way through this local forestland. Along the way we’ll introduce our new Earth Skill for the season: the Art of Harvest! We’ll learn how to harvest respectfully and safely, and get a literal taste of what the forest can offer us. Of course, there will be time for some games, challenges, and open exploration. Let’s see what we can find out there!

Directions: Drive east on Lakeway Dr. from I-5 for approximately 2 miles. Turn right on Birch St. and continue to the end of the road 0.3 miles. Map.


OUTING #6: Sunday, March 1, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Clayton Beach (via Lost Lake Parking Lot)

There is just so much to do here! Forests to explore, fossils to find, rocks to climb, giant hills of sand to play on, plus all the awesome plants and animals that call this area home. We will meet some common plant friends, use our senses to make observations about them, and learn how to tell them apart from their neighbors. Other than that, where we go and what we do is determined by our curiosity.

Directions: Drive south on Chuckanut Dr. from Fairhaven for 5.5 miles.The parking lot for Clayton Beach is a short distance past the main Larrabee State Park entrance (left hand side of road). We'll aim for a quick-turnaround at drop-off and pick-up. NOTE: Washington state requires a DISCOVER PASS if you'll be parking. Map.


OUTING #7: Sunday, March 15, 2020: 10:30-2:30PM

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: Saturday, March 28, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Tree ID, Whatcom Falls Park

Trees breathe new life into the air, their roots bind and protect riverbanks, their trunks and canopies create whole ecosystems, and they are utilized by indigenous peoples to make shelter, tools, and medicines. On this very special outing, the group will begin to learn how to distinguish the five most prominent trees in our area - Alder, Big Leaf Maple, Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Western Hemlock. In outings to come, we will use this knowledge to learn about the medicines, foods, and tools that all come from our friends, the trees.

Directions: Drive east on Lakeway Dr. Turn left on Silver Beach Rd. at the traffic signal. Follow the road to the parking lot in front of the playground, picnic shelter, and fish ponds. Map.


OUTING #9: Sunday, April 19, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: North Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom Park is part of a 8,000+ acre park that came to Whatcom County’s stewardship only five years ago. It is a living example of how with some careful preservation and stewardship, an ecosystem can recover from being a terribly-managed timberland. This vast expanse of mountainous forest provides ample opportunity to learn about and meet some very special plant friends - the ones that provide us delicious and easy snacks! As we wrap up our first year of Explorer’s Club, we’ll take some time to reflect on our time together and look forward to the years to come.

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.