Events both inside and outside celebrate Earth Day and the environment in the days ahead, with a low tide walk at Marine Park and an Earth Celebration in the Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher galleries.
"It's a RARE event," said the museum's Chris Brewer. "We're going to have a fun Earth Day."
Brewer, the museum's education and public programs coordinator, was using the acronym for the Recycled Art and Resource Expo, an art project that incorporates recycled materials. It's sponsored by the RE Store, a Bellingham home-improvement store featuring used furniture and building materials.
Museum events are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in the Lightcatcher, 250 Flora St. at Grand Avenue. Admission is $3, which allows access to the special activities and to all museum exhibits. It's free for museum members.
Also featured will be storytelling, Lightcatcher tours, and mask-making for the 10th annual Procession of the Species parade, which is Saturday, May 4, in downtown Bellingham.
Brewer said the RARE program will be in the museum's first-floor Family Interactive Galley, called the FIG. Mask-making and noisemaker projects will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the second-floor art room. All materials for masks will be provided, but Brewer said participants can bring items such as bicycle helmets and hoodies if they want advice on how to incorporate those items into a costume.
Tours of the Lightcatcher's "green" architecture - including its living roof and storm water system, a cistern and its use of natural lighting - are at 11:30 a.m. and at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Storytelling with Harper Stone, whose tales have a nature-oriented theme, is at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
"He's just kind of a kick," Brewer said.
LOW TIDE WALK
Wild Whatcom Walks, a local nonprofit group that emphasizes nature and environmental education, offers a guided walk during a very low tide next weekend at Marine Park in Fairhaven.
"It's a field trip for families," said Holly Roger, who handles the group's community education. "It's not so much information as it experiencing," she said.
Roger said the excursion is part of the group's Family Nature Club, which strives to help local residents learn about their local geography, flora and fauna. It's during a minus-2-foot tide from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Marine Park, at the west end of Harris Avenue. Cost is $7 a person or $21 for a family of four. Registration is required and the group is limited to 20-25 people. Such activities often fill up fast, said Holly Roger said.
"Low tide here is such an awesome thing," Roger said. "We are certain to see sand dollars - they live in communities and to watch one move is really amazing."
Roger said she'll discuss how tides work and have a playful activity that illustrates the ocean's endless ebb and flow.
She'll also describe what she calls the "hard-working" barnacle, an arthropod related to crabs and lobsters.
"Talk about a school of hard knocks," Roger said. "They eat with their feet. There's nothing like watching a barnacle eat."
Participants should meet Roger at the Wild Whatcom Walks sign in Marine Park, where there's plenty of free parking and a clean restroom facility (pack hand sanitizer). Roger reminds participants to dress for the weather and notes that the Marine Park shoreline can be quite windy. She also suggests bringing a snack and a water bottle, and wearing knee-high rubber boots. Camera, binoculars, magnifying glass and a notepad could be helpful too.
For more information and register, go online to wildwhatcom.org/family-nature-club.
Suggest your ideas for family-friendly events or day trips to Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.