RE Sources, Bellingham Parks plan restoration at Little Squalicum

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities will team up with the Bellingham Parks Volunteer Program to restore Little Squalicum wetlands and creek from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The restoration project is being done in honor of Whatcom Water Week, an annual awareness initiative from Sept. 8-22, that aims to improve community understanding of water issues in Whatcom County.

As former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup site, the streambed and surrounding land of Little Squalicum Park was heavily contaminated by industrial operations for decades. The remediation of that land, recently completed in 2011, has left a clean streambed and soils, as well as acres of newly replanted land.

Before the plantings become fully re-established, wetlands and riparian habitats are vulnerable to invasive species and are in need of mulching and weeding. Wetland and riparian habitats with well-established native plants are integral to maintaining water quality and habitat for native species, according to RE Sources coordinators.

 “Good water quality and high quality habitat need support in disturbed areas like Little Squalicum Creek,” said Wendy Steffensen, RE Sources’ lead scientist. “RE Sources often works on the technical and policy end to support waters and habitat. I am glad we can also work on-the-ground and in-the-ground to effect change.”

The Sept. 15 event kicks off what will be the first of many weeding, mulching, and re-vegetation work parties hosted by RE Sources at Little Squalicum Park.

The work parties are open to the public.

Attendees will meet at 9 a.m. in Little Squalicum Park near the entrance from the lower parking lot of Bellingham Technical College. Parking is allowed in BTC’s lower lot.

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