Fall Playbook_2021

Bellingham Parks & Recreation Leisure Guide

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CHANGE IS IN THE AIR 1 Director's Letter Photo by Gina Austin Photo by Micaiah Rideout cob.org/parks • (360) 778-7000 1 As autumn approaches, we prepare for falling leaves and shorter days as summer slips behind us. Summer is always busy at Bellingham Parks and Recreation, but this year was exceptional in many ways. Unprecedented heatwaves and a pandemic-fatigued community brought more people than ever into our parks and our recreation programs. We brought back our time-honored traditions of track meets, summer camps, triathlons, and music in the park, but we also added new critical services in response to community needs. A generous donation by the Bellingham Bay Rotary Club presented beautiful new swimming docks at Bloedel, and with it, lifeguards at the beach. Our aquatics staff pulled off a feat keeping our swimmers safe despite the challenges presented by crowding and sweltering temperatures on our opening weekend and throughout the season. A new Park Ambassador program was implemented to help our park goers understand rules and regulations regarding everything from burn bans to keeping our canine friends on leashes. All the while, we continued fulfilling our overall mission of providing high quality services via our operations, recreation, and design & development teams. I'm in constant awe of the creativity and dedication of our staff. We've never been more proactive in our response to our extraordinarily supportive residents. You motivate us to keep striving to be the best at what we do every single day. Thank you! While we wind down from the whirlwind of summer, we look forward to what lays before us. The recent successful negotiation to restore Lehigh Pier promises to be a "northside Taylor Dock". We delivered on our plan to enhance the north end of the city with projects like Lehigh, acquisition of property on Bakerview Road for future park development, and continued design for future phases of Cordata Community Park. We are responding to calls to address climate change by installing electric car charging stations at our community parks and we are constantly evaluating energy efficiencies and innovative ways to preserve our precious natural resources. Please take some time as you read this publication to think about how you can participate in something new. Part of being a "Bellinghamster" is loving our parks, recreation and open space system. You owe it to yourself to unwind and kick a ball (maybe before trying out our fantastic hillside slide at Maritime Heritage Park), or learn about our native plants, or take a freezing cold dip into Lake Padden on New Year's Day. We'll be there, and we can't wait to see you – even in a mask! Nicole C. Oliver Parks & Recreation Director

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