Op-Ed

Chuckanut shares food skills

Handicapped ramp railing and framing underway during renovations at the Chuckanut Center.
Handicapped ramp railing and framing underway during renovations at the Chuckanut Center. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Chuckanut Center, formerly the Center for Local Self Reliance, was established in 2009 and had about 200 volunteers in 2015.

Purpose: We grow food, skills and a resilient community, via classes, volunteering, and social gatherings for all ages. On our site we demonstrate how to grow healthy, organic food in an urban setting. The renovated and handicapped-accessible historic house will serve as a community hub for classes from food preparation and preservation through multi-generational skill sharing on a variety of interesting topics later this year.

Volunteer highlights: During the growing season our gardeners meet Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to dusk to prepare produce for pickup by the Bellingham Cargo Club. Produce is delivered to Chuckanut Square and Lincoln Square and the Food Bank. During the off season volunteers help with general garden maintenance or specific projects. To volunteer with the garden contact Lynn Loveland at 360-927-1398 or loveland2000@q.com. Volunteers assisting with the caretakers house meet up at the house on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m.-noon. Tasks vary from week to week. Some basic skills are helpful. We’ll match your skills to a project. To volunteer with the house crew call Steve Wilson at 360- 671-3380 or swilson1733@gmail.com.

Signature fundraiser: Right now, we have our annual plant sale scheduled May 14. Otherwise send donations directly to: Chuckanut Center, P.O. Box 4200, Bellingham, WA 98227. Your online opportunity to donate is at npo.justgive.org/ChuckanutCenter.

Wish list: We have many needs as we move forward to prepare the house for occupancy at bit.ly/ChuckanutCenterWishList.

Current volunteer needs: We are always looking for volunteers to assist in preparing the house to open for classes and gardening. We could also use assistance with grant writing.

For more information, go online to ChuckanutCenter.org.

VOLUNTEER MONTH

April is National Volunteer Month and The Bellingham Herald has partnered with the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County to highlight local nonprofit agencies that offer opportunities to become involved in our community. For more information online about the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County, go to whatcomvolunteer.org.

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