BELLINGHAM - During Whatcom Water Weeks people can learn how to make a rain barrel, admire sustainable landscapes, enjoy story time for children and families, and celebrate Lake Padden's 40th birthday.
In its third year, the annual celebration has grown to two weeks. It kicks off with a series of events Saturday, Sept. 8, and continues through Saturday, Sept. 22.
"We hope that people will learn new things about water, that they'll renew an appreciation for all the water resources we have in this county," said Melissa Roberts, of the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee and an organizer of Whatcom Water Weeks.
"We want to make this two-week event fun and meaningful so that people are learning while they're having fun," she said. "It's a celebration of all the ways that water impacts us every day."
The celebration this year promises something for everyone. Previously held activities, such as the Taylor Shellfish tour, are back but with some changes.
"If someone has gone to them in the past, they're not going to be disappointed going to them again," Roberts said.
Roberts also is excited about new offerings, such as the Whatcom Creek Restoration Walking Tour on Tuesday, Sept. 11, and the Locust Beach cleanup Saturday, Sept. 15.
Also notable is the Discover the Sea and Mountains event at Larrabee State Park on Saturday, Sept. 22, in which particpants can learn about outdoor recreation and environmental issues, including pollution at Wildcat Cove.
Find details on those events and others during Whatcom Water Weeks by going online to whatcomwin.org.
Meanwhile, events the first day, Sept. 8, are:
- Kickoff: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bellingham Farmers Market, 1100 Railroad Ave. Displays, information and a chance to get a handshake and a picture with Wayne Drop, the Water Weeks mascot.
- Rain barrel workshop: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 7096 Point Whitehorn Road, near Birch Bay. The free workshop will include information about the basics of rainwater collection, along with hands-on instructions on how to install and maintain a rain barrel. Participants will take home a pre-drilled 55-gallon barrel. Space is limited. Register online at bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org or call Ingrid, 360-715-7450, ext. 50787.
- Shellfish farming: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Taylor Shellfish Farms, 2182 Chuckanut Drive, near Bow. People can tour the operation, with information on shellfish farming and a cooking demonstration with samples for tasting.
- Hatchery tour: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Skookum Hatchery, 6498 Saxon Road, Acme. During the open house and salmon lunch people can learn about operations at the salmon hatchery and about recovery efforts.
- Farm tour: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free self-guided tour of Whatcom County farms, with educational and interactive activities at stops, and a chance to win prizes. Details: http://sustainableconnections.org.
- Landscape tour: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A self-guided tour of sustainable landscaping practices. Participants receive a write-up of the practices at each location, a chance to talk to the property owners and a list of best-management practices they can use in their own yards. Tour sites are in the Bellingham area: Otto residence at 3695 Agate Bay Lane; LeDonne residence at 1760 Waterside Lane; and Taylor Residence at 3131 Hilliard St.
- Lake Padden Park 40th anniversary celebration: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include mountain bike ride and a kids' run, both at 11:15 a.m.; bird-watching hike at 11:45 a.m.; lake swim at noon; kids' mountain bike ride at 12:15 p.m.; trail run at 12:45 p.m.; native plant hike at 1:15 p.m.; guest speakers at 2:05 p.m.; and happy birthday cake and song at 2:30 p.m. Details: http://p4lp.org/.
The third annual Whatcom Water Weeks runs Sept. 8 to 22. Learn more and find related events for children and adults by going online to whatcomwin.org. Organizers say events will be added as they come in, so people should keep checking the website.
Reach KIE RELYEA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2234.