Special activities and presentations with some of the area’s top environmental-education groups are part of a celebration this weekend of the 15th anniversary of Stimpson Family Nature Reserve.
Events are set from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the reserve, which is on Lake Louise Road between Austin Street and Valleybrook Lane.
Stimpson Reserve features about four miles of trails through an enchanting second-growth forest of Douglas fir, hemlock, and western red cedar. Its easy and well-groomed trails are popular with trail runners and families with children.
Hikers head deep into a shady temperate rainforest canopy, past a beaver pond, marshes, creeks and a duckweed-coved pond. The reserve features stunning examples of seasonal wildflowers, and a variety of mushrooms and bird life, especially around the pond.
The reserve started in 2000 when a 116-acre site was donated to Whatcom Land Trust by seven Stimpson siblings, according to the Land Trust’s website. Some 80 acres was bought from Trillium Corp. and other tracts were added to bring the park’s size to 350 acres. It’s now managed by the Whatcom County Department of Parks and Recreation.
For the anniversary celebration, naturalists with Whatcom Land Trust, North Cascades Audubon Society, Wild Whatcom, Element Solutions, Turner Photographics, and the Koma Kulshan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society will be stationed along the 1.2-mile Geneva Pond Loop Trail to offer information about the flora and fauna at the reserve.
At 10:15 a.m. in the parking lot/trailhead area, Whatcom Land Trust board member Rand Jack will describe the cooperative effort to create the reserve.
Representatives of the Land Trust, Rotary Club, state Department of Natural Resources, and the Stimpson family will be available to answer questions.
Parking at the site is limited. The park is served by the Whatcom Transportation Authority bus No. 512, which runs hourly between Sudden Valley and downtown Bellingham. Additional parking will be available at Whatcom Hills Waldorf School, 941 Austin St., which is near a stop for bus No. 512 ( ridewta.com/route_512).
Pit toilets were installed at Stimpson within the past year. No bicycles or pets are allowed on the trails.
For a map of the area showing the trails, go to whatcomcounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/6976.