The former home of Birch Bay Hostel will soon be a dormitory for volunteers during the Lions Camp Horizon summer camp.
The Bay Horizon Park building, owned by the Whatcom County parks department, became a part of Lions Camp Horizon after county council voted to include the building in the camp’s lease for no extra cost on March 25. The building was used as a hostel for more than 30 years, but the hostel didn’t fit in with the county’s vision for the area and its lease was ended in 2013.
“The building will become a part of the Lions Camp Horizon complex,” said county parks director Michael McFarlane. “They were very interested in that building and it makes sense to hand it over to them because it is in the same area as the rest of their buildings.”
Rachel Culnane, executive director of the Lions Camp Horizon Foundation, said the building would most likely become another dormitory for camp volunteers.
“We’re really hoping it will be ready in time for this summer,” Culnane said. “Once the acquisition has been approved by all parties, we’ll get in there and figure out what needs to be done.”
Culnane said she didn’t yet know what needed to be done to convert it into a volunteer dormitory.
Lions Camp Horizon is a summer camp for people with special needs. It was originally founded in Lynden in the late ’70s, but has been operated in Bay Horizon Park since 1986. The Lions Camp Horizon Foundation is owned and operated by Lions Clubs of District 19H, which encompasses portions of the lower B.C. mainland and northwest Washington.