Transition Whatcom

For your info, here below are some notes from the most recent Birchwood Neighborhood Assoc. meeting, where one item on the agenda was Squalicum Park. I have been the recipient of some emails on this topic from a woman named Wendy. She has some concerns and I think some good ideas for alternatives - ideas I think that are consistent with values around resilience and small, slow, simple solutions that don't require a huge input of resources, money, and energy.  Unfortunately, I am hearing that this park plan is pretty much a done deal - since it is specific to a former Greenways funding initiative approved by the voters, and it is a regional park rather than a neighborhood park. At any rate, it is worth reading Wendy's letter - see attachment:


Squalicum Park Phase 3.  Scott Rockwell

Scott reported on the public meeting concerning Phase 3 of the Squalicum Park Master Plan.  Phase 1 and 2 are finished. Phase 3 will be starting Winter 2014. Phase 3 includes:

  • a second baseball field - unfenced
  • outfield that can be used for other sports- soccer, lacrosse, rugby
  • 70’ tall light pedestals for both baseball fields-light is oriented down on the fields rather than out
  • playground for young children and one for older kids
  • basketball court
  • bathroom by off leash dog area
  • large picnic shelter
  • overhead utilities will be put under ground
  • winter sledding area

At the meeting, there were questions about Park programming.  The Master Plan includes large areas for ball fields but some people thought they were not utilized that much.  The central hill currently in the Park will be graded to make the new ball field.

Visit the Park Department website for more information on Phase 3.

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Replies to This Discussion

I would like to request another public hearing regarding the continued planned development of Squalicum Creek Park - Phase 3I believe that our parks need to be more inclusive and serve many purposes. 

Currently we have a manicured ball field. Adding more ball fields is equivalent to the practice of monoculture, and only meets the needs of some of the residents. Just as a permaculture site lends itself to many uses, so can a park. 
Let's embrace diversity by keeping the unique and interesting hill that is used by bikes, runners, kite fliers, sledders, dogs and walkers. Also, based on the number of dogs and owners, there is an obvious need for a large off-leash park. 
In times of uncertainty and economic need, gardens and edible landscapes should be an integral part of our plan. I think the community will be better served and involved if we include a community garden to Squalicum Creek Park phase 3 plan. All of these things can co-exist quite well.
The following ideas are based on best practices that other communities have adopted. The vision of Portland's Community Gardens is a model to be emulated. Their Produce for People Parks Department program had donated more than 10,000 lbs. of fresh produce (in a one-year span) to local charities (See video).
  • establish edible landscape areas interwoven throughout the park
  • establish and maintain a community garden with raised beds
  • rent beds to community members on a yearly basis (to invite year-round community participation) 
  • subsidize fee for recipients of food stamps and/or food bank 
  • retain parks department plant nursery, outbuildings and infrastructure
  • employ the use of permaculture and organic principles
  • utilize and build facilities for a teaching/demonstration garden
  • house a permanent holding/storage area for wood chip piles...
  • establish composting area(s)
  • wood chip the pathways (so no Roundup is needed)
  • develop a partnership and collaborate with other entities like Transition Whatcom, Center for Local Self-Reliance, and other local and/or volunteer organizations
I hope that we can consider expanding the nature trail areas and place emphasis on the creek for which Squalicum Creek Park is named.


Very well said! Thank you.


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