Stories that shape us: Thank you to the 170 people who attended the May 24 Stories that Shape Us event at Depot Market Square, held to honor the identities, experiences, histories and cultures of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi-identified (APIDA) individuals during APIDA Heritage Month. In the photo above, members of the WWU Vietnamese Student Association perform a fan dance as part of the program. This was one of many local events and opportunities scheduled this month to engage with others and learn about APIDA communities. To learn more, see the APIDA Heritage Month website.
Cultural recognition partnership honored: This week’s APIDA Heritage Month event and others are organized by the Community Consortium for Cultural Recognition, a partnership developed to present diverse offerings of cultural recognitions and events open to the entire community, funded and hosted by a partnership of community organizations including the City of Bellingham, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, Bellingham Technical College, Northwest Indian College, Bellingham Public Schools, Peace Health, Swinomish Education Department and Skagit Valley College. The consortium has collaborated to host three MLK Day events, two Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations, two APIDA events and a Women’s History Month event. All events are designed to create opportunities for understanding of different cultures and ethnic groups, explore and discuss systemic racism, and elevate justice, dignity and equity for all. The consortium was honored this week with WWU’s Philip E. Sharpe, Jr. Community Engagement Award, which recognizes outstanding community service and engagement activities that support community well-being. Thank you to all involved in this partnership!
Lake Padden: Lake Padden and Padden Creek are highly valued natural resources that provide many benefits, including habitat corridors, flood protection and recreation. In our stewardship of Lake Padden Park, like all water resources in our community, we strive to protect public health, habitat and water quality while providing high quality recreation. Over the last several years, we have taken actions to evaluate and address emerging issues, including monitoring and testing for algal toxins, observing invasive species and educating community members to prevent the spread of invasive New Zealand mud snails, replacing aging sewer systems, and ensuring best management practices for maintenance and other activities. Our work to ensure the health of this important community asset, completed with the assistance of partner agencies, is described on our Lake Padden Watershed page.
Summer Reading for kids, teens and adults: It’s time for Summer Reading at Bellingham Public Library, June 1–August 31, 2023. Summer Reading activity cards and prizes are available for all ages: Early Learners, Kids, Teens and Adults. Pick up activity cards at any BPL branch or print them at home from the library website, available in English, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese. Special events this summer will include Library Card Night at the Bellingham Bells, Library Parties in the Park and two Children’s Craft Fairs. See the library’s Summer Reading announcement and Summer Reading page for more details.
Improving public spaces
Whatcom Falls Park trestle removal: Remnants of an old wood railroad trestle in Whatcom Falls Park will be removed for the safety of trail users and to improve water quality in Whatcom Creek. Crews will begin work in June when creek flows are low. Expect impacts to surrounding trails while cranes and trucks move in and out of the project site. Located just west of Electric Avenue, along the main trail in upper Whatcom Falls Park, the structure includes steel railroad rails, treated wood pilings and other treated wood. For the safety of trail users, a short detour was put into place several years ago until permits and plans to remove the dilapidated structure were complete. See the Whatcom Creek Trail Trestle Demolition project page for details.
Holiday weekend activities
Memorial Day weekend: Final preparations are underway for an active and meaningful Memorial Day weekend. Ski to Sea participants are getting in a final practice for race day (Sunday, May 28), merchants and vendors are preparing for the annual Fairhaven Festival (Sunday, May 28), organizers are ready to take to the streets for the Whatcom Memorial Day Parade (Noon, Saturday, May 27, in downtown Bellingham), and our Parks & Recreation team is readying Memorial Park for visitors after a recent sprucing up by volunteers, who cleaned and cared for this special park’s many memorials (see image below). While most City facilities are closed for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 29, emergency services remain available. As we honor Memorial Day in various ways, let us never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.