Opinion

Marine Park fundraising looking for last push to fund Blaine playground

The City of Blaine and the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District No. 2 have partnered to build a premier destination waterfront playground in Marine Park. Modeled after Blaine’s historic lighthouse and a turn-of-the-century sailing ship, the Marine Park Playground speaks to Blaine’s rich maritime history and captures the spirit of adventure with this state-of-the art nautical playground.

Thanks to a generous grant from the parks district, funding from the city of Blaine, and funds raised from local business and residents; Blaine is coming together to make this happen. But we need your help!

Located just off the first southbound Interstate-5 exit and across the street from the Blaine Marina, this project will bring visitors into Whatcom County and families into downtown Blaine, which is a win for our residents and a win for our local businesses. The Blaine Marine Park is a perfect place to enjoy the water, birdlife and beach. The playground features a full-sized, handicapped-accessible sailing ship that is modeled after the tall ships that visit our community each summer. There will also be a two-story lighthouse play structure that will offer views of Blaine Marina, Semiahmoo and White Rock, B.C. The two structures are designed to hold hundreds of children at a time, making it a welcoming location for schools to take field trips that would be both fun and offer an opportunity for marine education. New, modern public restrooms are also directly available in the city’s new Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation facility.

We are not only looking to build this as a benefit to the residents of Blaine, but we are hoping it will be enjoyed by families from all over Whatcom County and those who are visiting or passing through on I-5. Come explore the Marine Park beach and rediscover Blaine with Edaleen’s Dairy ice cream shop newly opened just up the street. If you are really up for an adventure you can hop on the Plover Passenger Ferry that docks just across the street from the new playground and take a ride to the Semiahmoo Resort. We see this as far more than a playground; it is a boost for our local businesses and an attractive draw for tourism. Our goal is to make Blaine more enjoyable for local families and to share our beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest with everyone. Help us make Blaine a great place to spend the day with your family!

Fundraising efforts have shown some promise for reaching our goal, but we need to make one more push to make this dream a reality. We have secured approximately $390,000, but we need to raise an additional $55,000 to finish the entire project. Equipment must be ordered in mid-February to ensure we can break ground this summer and lock in 2014 pricing. We need your help today!

Please help us make this amazing new waterfront playground happen with a donation that will be recognized on the Pacific Northwest Sea Life Wall. As a backdrop to the sailing ship, project donors will have their name engraved on bronze plaques of sea creatures. The plaques are of differing sizes and offer a select number of written characters for personal messages or memorials. Each donation level has a different sea creature associated with it. We would love to see your family or business recognized forever on the Sea Wall as someone who helped make this playground happen.

Donations can be made to the City of Blaine, 435 Martin St., Blaine, WA, 98230 or on our “Go Fund Me Page” at gofundme.com/bqrgdg. Please include contact information so we can contact you for wording on your plaque. Anything helps, no donation is too small. Call 360-543-9979 for more information or visit cityofblaine.com.

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