Ferndale’s Star Park among rec projects to get state money

Ferndale has received a state grant to help build the proposed Star Park playground in Pioneer Park.
Ferndale has received a state grant to help build the proposed Star Park playground in Pioneer Park. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A proposed playground in Ferndale is among projects in Whatcom County getting $1.2 million in state grants for recreation and conservation.

The money was part of more than $110 million awarded by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board in the latest round of funding.

Ferndale received $230,666 for its much-desired Star Park project, which will be built in Pioneer Park. The city will provide a match in cash, staff labor and donations.

In its application, the city said the park will be a “major playground for children of all ages and abilities” — one that was needed.

“All of the city’s playgrounds are dated, have minimal accessibility for people with disabilities and serve only their immediate neighborhoods,” the city said.

The park was designed using feedback provided by students from Ferndale elementary schools.

Community volunteers, including contractors, will build the playground.

Playground money also has come through a community fundraiser.

Other Whatcom County projects receiving state grant dollars include:

▪ $500,000 to develop more than 1-1/4 miles of trail along Squalicum Creek in Bellingham.

The trail is part of the proposed 45-mile Nooksack Loop Trail, which will connect Bellingham to Ferndale, Everson, and Lynden, and part of the regional Bay-to-Baker trail, according to the application from the city of Bellingham, which will kick in $1.2 million.

This is the first part of a trail that will eventually connect the Bellingham waterfront to the city’s outer limits.

▪ $216,765 to the Port of Bellingham to replace the 20-year-old boarding floats at Fairhaven Boat Launch. The port will contribute $72,285.

▪  $74,262 to the Port of Bellingham to extend the Squalicum Harbor Boat Launch to make it easier for boats that now have trouble launching during lower tides because of scouring at the ramp toe.

The port will contribute $137,915.

▪ $144,900 to Whatcom County to replace the ventilation system, which was installed more than 30 years ago, at the Plantation Rifle Range. The county will give a $145,000 match.

▪ $95,310 to U.S. Forest Service so the Methow Valley Ranger District can improve, and make safer, a 12-car parking area at the Slate Peak trailhead in the Harts Pass area, which is on the eastern Whatcom County border.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.