Playbook - Fall 2020

Bellingham Parks & Recreation Leisure Guide

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In case you missed it, after six months being Interim Director, I am officially the Director of Parks & Recreation, and I am thrilled at the opportunity. You may think that there is not a lot happening to be optimistic about, but you are mistaken! Yes, there is an asteroid heading our way, we are in the middle of a global pandemic and recession, our country's politics are extremely divisive, but there are good things too. We are examining and taking action against systemic racism, we are actively choosing healthy practices to minimize spread of the Coronavirus, we are creating new ways to support our local businesses, and we are navigating virtual online learning. Through it all Bellingham succeeded in keeping our amazing park and trail system open. This commitment required dedication of staff to ensure the park facilities were safe for visitors who desperately needed that outdoor natural space to recreate, exercise, and escape. I would like to specifically thank the facilities staff that clean and disinfect our restrooms every single day, and the recreation staff that support our community's emergency response in so many ways. They distributed food for the food bank, helped at the Emergency Operations Center, acted as park ambassadors to remind visitors of safety guidelines, created new and engaging virtual programs, and successfully planned and reopened the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center. What an amazing team we have in our department! This team also includes our development team that just completed Cordata Park, our first community park in the north side of town. Long awaited, Cordata Park is now open except for the playground, parkour and adult exercise equip- ment. The paved pump track, restroom, beautiful picnic shelter and parking are all open, as well as all the remaining trails. As fall continues, thousands of plants and trees will be added to enhance the natural areas and landscape the park. Once we enter Phase 3, the closed areas will be opened for everyone to enjoy (I'm especially excited for the built in Twister). I admit it has been a very tough year so far, a year for the record books, but also one that has demonstrated our community's resilience and optimism. We are looking towards a fall full of uncertainty, but one thing I do know is that we have each other's backs. We are there for each other. And the parks and trails of Bellingham are there and open for you. Check out our new offerings and programs to help you and your family remain optimistic during this difficult time. Stay safe everyone. Nicole C. Oliver Parks & Recreation Director OPTIMISTIC FALL OUTLOOK 1 Director's Letter Photo by Todd Elsworth Photo by Elliot Bellis www.cob.org/parks • (360) 778-7000 1

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