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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Stewardship Opportunities
January 18, 2021 , 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Thanks to everyone who supported our MLK Day work parties! Together, we helped implement 17 small-scale work parties across Bellingham led by our dedicated Park Steward volunteers. Overall, 182 volunteers planted 225 native trees and shrubs, removed 50+ cubic yards of invasive species, and spread 75+ yards of mulch, all to restore habitat and improve the health of our community. To get involved in future volunteer events, please visit www.cob.org/parkvolunteer.
Join us in celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 18th and beyond. Dr. King not only championed civil rights, he also inspired the environmental justice movement through his concern for the urban environment. Environmental justice embodies the principle that all people have the right to clean air, water, and soil, as well as the right to live in safe and healthy communities.
Restoring and enhancing habitat attracts birds, butterflies, and other pollinators, beautifies our neighborhoods, and improves air and water quality, which benefits everyone in the community. In lieu of our large annual MLK Day work party that typically draws hundreds of volunteers, the City is offering several alternative options to get involved in habitat restoration that meet safety guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Community members can 1) attend one of several “micro” work parties hosted by community volunteers throughout Bellingham, 2) complete habitat restoration in their own backyard with resources from City experts, or 3) choose to become a Park Steward and volunteer independently.
Prize Drawing: Submit a photo of you restoring habitat on Jan. 18 to firstname.lastname@example.org and be entered to win one of three $25 Think Local First gift cards, a prize that also benefits local businesses. Submissions are accepted until noon on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
1. Attend a Community-Led Work Party in your Neighborhood
Spend a few hours on Jan. 18 volunteering at one of 17 micro community-led work party in Bellingham. Tools, gloves, and direction provided. Masks are required and COVID safety guidelines must be followed.
Group size is limited to 5-10 participants and registration is required. Please register early by searching “mlk” on ActiveNet or by clicking the links for specific locations below. No previous volunteer experience necessary. All ages welcome.
Work parties will be held at the following locations:
- Big Rock Garden Park
- Connelly Creek Nature Area near Donovan St.
- Connelly Creek Nature Area near Joe’s Garden
- Cornwall Park near South entrance
- Cornwall Rose Garden
- Fairhaven Park
- Railroad Trail near Pacific St.
- Railroad Trail near Vining St. and View Ridge Dr.
- Railroad Trail near Niagara St.
- Roosevelt Nature Area near Roosevelt Elementary School
- Salmon Woods by Wildflower Way
- Samish Crest Trail near Racine St. trailhead
- 16th St. Trail near Fairhaven
- Sehome Hill Arboretum
- Squalicum Creek Park near Indiana St.
- Squalicum Creek Park near Willow Spring
- Whatcom Falls Park near St. Clair Park
2. Stewardship in your Backyard
If you are unable or prefer not to join a work party, you can restore wildlife habitat in your own backyard. See our Backyard Habitat Restoration website for tips and ideas created and compiled by City staff. Learn about planting native trees and shrubs, applying much, removing invasive plants, and attracting birds and wildlife to your yard.
3. Become a Park Steward and Volunteer Independently
You can adopt your local park, trail or open space for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and beyond! Park Stewards are long-term volunteers who work independently after receiving training and direction. Park Stewards can volunteer individually or as a group, up to five people. This is a great way to get the whole family involved! Visit www.cob.org/parkvolunteer for more information.