Learn about birds, geology and plants of Sehome Arboretum May 18


BELLINGHAM - "It's Your Arboretum" day aims to teach the community about something special in its midst, organizers said of the Saturday, May 18, event.

"It's a beautiful spot. I want them to realize just how special it really is. It's an inner-city forest that's unique," said David Engebretson, a geology professor at Western Washington University.

The arboretum is a 180-acre park nestled between Western and surrounding neighborhoods.

WWU is hosting the free family-friendly event. It runs noon to 3 p.m. at the Outdoor Learning Center on the Huntoon Trail in the western part of Sehome Arboretum, which adjoins the campus.

Participants will learn how to identify birds by sight and sound, and identify native plants. They'll also learn about some of the arboretum's geographic features.

A short history of the arboretum and points of interest is set for 1 p.m. Other activities, such as face painting and leaf prints, will occur throughout the event.

Engebretson also wants people to know about problems at the arboretum, including litter, graffiti, illegal trail building and transient camps.

"One of the main goals is to raise awareness and talk about what the rules are and kind of the pressures that the arboretum is under right now," he said.

Event parking at WWU is free, including in the upper and lower arboretum parking lots on Arboretum Drive.

Reach KIE RELYEA at kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2234.

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