City to offer free youth summer programs through grant award

Registration for all summer programs begins April 11, 2022

April 08, 2022 - by Melissa Bianconi, Parks and Recreation

Registration for summer programs through the City’s Parks and Recreation Department begins April 11, 2022, and this year’s summer recreation offerings include free youth summer programs and other engaging opportunities that are safe, affordable and help meet the needs of working families.

The Parks and Recreation Department received a $50,000 grant from the Washington Parks and Recreation Association to offer free day camps and youth programs this summer.

The SEEK (Summer Experiences and Enrichment for Kids) grant will fund scholarship opportunities at day camps for kids aged 6-14, a drop-in playground program called PUMP at Birchwood, Roosevelt and Cordata parks, and VolunTeens camp that provides teenagers immersive volunteer opportunities.

“We’ve worked toward reducing barriers to program participation this summer by simplifying our scholarship application process, offering free programs in higher need areas, and keeping all necessary fees as low as possible,” said Melissa Bianconi, Recreation Manager for Bellingham Parks and Recreation. “Kids need to stay engaged over the summer, and families need safe and affordable options. The SEEK grant is providing amazing opportunities to help meet these needs,” said Bianconi.

BellingCamp at Bloedel-Donovan Park is designed to meet the needs of working families with hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Adventure Day Camp takes campers on day trips to beaches, waterslides, state parks, and more, and runs Tuesdays-Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Families meeting scholarship eligibility criteria can register for up to two free weeks of BellingCamp or Adventure Day Camp using the SEEK scholarship. Foster families, non-English speaking households, and families with transportation barriers are also eligible to receive SEEK scholarships.

PUMP (Pop-Up Mobile Playgrounds) will be offered for free from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays rotating between Birchwood, Roosevelt and Cordata parks. These programs do not require any registration. Kids can drop in and enjoy themed activities, sports, and a healthy snack. The program runs from June 28th to August 18th.  

VolunTeens kicks off June 27th and runs through August. Teens will meet at Squalicum Creek Park and work with a variety of service organizations to learn leadership skills, become park stewards, and form meaningful friendships and community connections. This program is affordably priced at $25 a week. City scholarships are available for VolunTeens.

Registration for all summer programs begins on April 11. For more information on scholarships and summer programming, visit

Media Contact

Melissa Bianconi
Recreation Manager
City of Bellingham – Parks and Recreation
(360) 778-7004

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