Parks and Recreation COVID-19 Information

The City of Bellingham uses the Governor’s Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Plan to help determine capacity, special events, and facility uses. 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

Picnic Shelters and Pavilions

We will accept reservations for reservable outdoor picnic shelters beginning on April 1, 2021. Reservations will be accepted for uses beginning June 1.

Due to risks associated with indoor social and family gatherings, the Fairhaven Pavilion and the Bloedel Multipurpose Room, and Bloedel Beach Pavilion will remain closed for general public use.

Woodstock Farm will be available for open space and barn rentals. The Gates house, barn apartment, and chicken coop will remain closed. No alcohol will be allowed.

Athletic Facilities

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

Civic Field: Open 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.

The Bellingham Bells are planning a modified 2021 season at Joe Martin Stadium.

Events, Programs and Volunteer Opportunities

Community Gardens: Registration for the community gardens opened 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 for the following week.

Special Requests

Special requests are applications for events using special use facilities, open to the public, commercial events, open space uses, runs, races, or anything outside of typical park use and will require a separately executed contract, insurance, and a COVID “safety plan” that demonstrates compliance with state re-opening guidelines.

Special Use Facilities

Depot Market Square will only be open to the Bellingham Farmer’s Market until further notice.

Fairhaven Village Green will be reserved using the Special Request process outlined above.

Maritime Heritage Park open space will be available using the Special Request process outlined above.

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, 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. Facility rental permit holders that notify us at least 24 hours before the event that they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can reschedule their event 1 time for another available time or receive a refund (minus a $20 administrative fee). 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
Online Registration and Facility Availability