Using guidance from the Governor and Washington State Department of Health, Bellingham Parks and Recreation is moving towards reopening park amenities and resuming recreational programming. While we are eager to return to normal operations, we follow stringent best practices for COVID-19 prevention to decrease the transmission risk to the community and our staff. We will continue to update this page and appreciate your understanding and support during these challenging times.

Parks and Trails

The City has over 3,400 acres of park land and 80 miles of trails to explore. While visiting please make sure to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people outside of your household and stay home if you feel ill or have been exposed to someone suspected to have COVID-19.

Restrooms are available at:
Year-Round – Big Rock Garden, Birchwood, Bloedel Donovan, Boulevard, Civic Field, Civic Skatepark, Cordata, Cornwall, Fairhaven, Fairhaven Village Green, Joe Martin Stadium, Lake Padden, Maritime Heritage, Squalicum Creek, Taylor Dock, Whatcom Falls 
Open April through October – Broadway, Downer field, Elizabeth, Forest and Cedar, Frank Geri field, St. Clair, Roosevelt

Reservations for Pavilions, Picnic Shelters and Special Use Facilities: are currently on hold. Please follow our City News webpage as a press release will be issued when reservations become available.


Arne Hanna Aquatic Center: Opened with limited hours and modified programming.

Civic Field: Opened for limited programming and modified school district activities only.

Lake Padden Golf Course: The golf course and driving range are open with modifications for play under the state guidelines.

Events, Programs and Volunteer Opportunities

Community Gardens: Registration for the community gardens opens in January. As of February 1st, all plots are full. Please contact us at if you would like to be put on a waiting list.

Enrichment Programs: We have many modified program opportunities for all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Join us to discover new passions, improve fitness levels and meet new people.

Races: Our new virtual race experiences are designed to fit everyone’s fitness journey from novice to pro. Come join us on one of our identified routes or create your own experience to track your fitness journey, tackle new challenges, build endurance, and perform your personal best.

Sports Leagues: We are looking forward to softball and outdoor volleyball leagues starting this spring. Join us and boost your game!

Swimming – The aquatic center is currently taking registrations for lap swim, deep water running, water aerobics and water walking. Current pass holders may register at 8:00 am every Wednesday.

Special Events

Special Events – Bellingham Parks and Recreation is accepting Safe Start Parks Special Request Applications for youth programming​​ under Executive Order 2020-03.1. Applications will be processed, reviewed, and permitted based on facility availability and ability to meet conditions outlined by the State of Washington, Department of Health and Bellingham Parks and Recreation.   

Special requests for events open to the public, commercial events, request for trail or park space, large events and all tournaments are currently on hold. Staff continues to evaluate our capacity to permit, administer and host special events at park facilities and are working with other municipalities to coordinate our approach using state guidelines. Please follow our City News webpage as a press release will be issued when we resume taking applications.

Volunteer Opportunities

Join us to help restore Bellingham parks! We have several small-scale work parties throughout the community that follow strict COVID-19 guidelines.


Bellingham Parks and Recreation public meetings are being conducted virtually. Visit our Events page to see scheduled meetings.

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations may occur based on the most current information from the Governor, Washington Department of Health, maintenance and repairs or for City need. Programs and facility rentals cancelled by the City will be granted a full refund within 60 days if the cancellation is prior to the start date. Customers will receive a prorated refund for programs that are cancelled by the City after they have started. Aquatic center pass holders may request to have passes extended.

How can you help?

Please help us prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community by wearing a mask, social distancing and stay home if you feel ill.



​​Parks and Recreation
(360) 778-7000

All Parks Department Contacts