Tour shows off eco-friendly home, landscapes in Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 16, 2014 

Sustainable Connections will showcase new Arts and Craftsmen exhibit and the best of Whatcom County's eco-friendly homes in its 12th annual Imagine This! Home & Landscape Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 21-22.

Tour stops will include homes using green design, renewable or solar energy and reclaimed materials. The tour stops range from north Bellingham to the Bow area.

Renters will enjoy the tour because they can learn about topics such as composting, container gardening, rain barrels and raising chickens, said Rose Lathrop, green building and smart growth manager at Sustainable Connections.

"Even if you're renting, these are things you can install temporarily and take with you," she said.

She recommends people head to the Saturday Bellingham Farmers Market, 1100 Railroad Ave., and start their tour at Boundary Bay Brewery across the street.

"It's a self-guided tour so you can go at your own pace and visit homes you're interested in," Lathrop said.

The tour will have a variety of newly constructed homes, historic homes and landscapes, she said. New this year is the Arts and Craftsmen exhibit, which will show features built for homes by local craftsmen with metal, wood, concrete and glass such as benches or gates.

One of the tour stops will be the 100-year-old Caretaker's House and Garden, 107 Chuckanut Drive. The house was built in 1914 as part of the former Fairhaven Park Rose Garden and is volunteer-run today.

Tickets include all tour stops, admission to the Arts and Craftsmen exhibit, workshop opportunities and a tour map and directory of home and landscape businesses.

Tickets are $10 for both days and can be bought the day of the tour. They're available at Village Books, both locations of the Community Food Co-op or online at sustainableconnections.org. Admission is free for kids age 15 and under.

An interactive map with photos, descriptions and information about the tour stops is available at sustainableconnections.org. Details: 360-647-7093 or rose@sconnect.org.

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