Volunteers provide big benefits for Bellingham

Volunteers make a difference in our City

Feb 01, 2013 - by Liz Haveman

With busy lives, it can be hard to find
time to volunteer. The

Parks Volunteer Program
provides drop-in volunteering opportunities that
have small impacts on your schedule but produce big benefits for our
community.

Most volunteer opportunities do not require advance registration; usually
everyone is invited and asked to simply show up.  Gloves, tools and
instructions are provided.

Volunteers who help restore habitat and beautify City parks make our
community a better place and are given opportunities to make new friends,
expand their networks and boost their mental and physical health.

Behind the scenes on a volunteer project

An amazing amount of work goes on behind the scenes leading up to a big
volunteer project.
For example, have you ever wondered what happens to the recycled holiday
trees picked up by the Boy Scouts? This year, they were chipped into mulch
that volunteers spread at a volunteer work party on January 21. Here's the rest of the story:

  • On November 10, 2012, Bellingham Parks & Recreation partnered
    with NSEA to host a 3-hour volunteer work party with 101 volunteers, who
    removed invasive Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy and Morning Glory,
    planted native trees and spread mulch on a hillside in Maritime Heritage
    Park. Thank you to those, who included WWU students in the
    LEAD program and
    24 girls from the Wild Whatcom
    Explorers Club.
  • On November 30, 2012, Bellingham Parks & Recreation arborists
    trained two crews from the Public Works/City of Bellingham sponsored
    Washington
    Conservation Corps
    .  The crews then spent 480 hours on chainsaw operation, tree removal and chipping
    by cutting down the invasive Hawthorn trees along the same hillside in
    Maritime Heritage Park.
  • On January 5, 2013, the local chapter of the

    Boy Scouts of America
    did a service project to collect discarded
    holiday trees throughout the community. They worked with Barkers
    Chipping and Grinding Services to turn over 5,000 trees into mulch on January
    7, 2013.
  • On January 9, 2013, The Parks Volunteer Program worked with 34
    students from
    Explorations Academy
    to further prepare the hillside in Maritime
    Heritage Park by removing over 1,500 pounds of invasive ivy and
    blackberry.
  • On January 10, 2013, City staff moved 310 yards of holiday
    tree mulch into place at Maritime Heritage Park.
  • On January 21, 2013, the City of
    Bellingham and NSEA
    held  a work party 
    organized by four
    AmeriCorps
    members through

    Washington Service Corps
    .  During this 3 hour work party, 158
    volunteers removed over 3,200 pounds of invasive ivy, planted 350 native
    plants and spread the 310 yards of mulch.  Local businesses donated
    refreshments and free raffle prizes.

More information:
City
of Bellingham volunteering opportunities

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