It has been another year of growth for Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2). In 2019, the district partnered once again with the Whatcom Land Trust in the acquisition of property at 4656 Drayton Harbor Road. The property abuts the property purchased in 2017 on California Creek. This will add more acreage for park development. In May, the district was awarded $757,000 in grant funding from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office to begin park development.
The district continued to work on Phase 1 of the Bay to Bay International Trail with recently acquired property on Waters Edge Lane and secured other trail easements for an off-road trail between Lincoln and Drayton Harbor roads.
BBBPRD2 partnered with local organizations to help support their financial needs: the Blue Beat Bike Program with the Blaine Police Department and the Healthy Youth Coalition; summer events with the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Whatcom Conservation District and the annual Run with the Chums; help with Cub Scouts Pack 4025; and sponsorship of two local youth sports programs, the Barracudas Wrestling Club and AAU Girls Basketball. BBBPRD2 also partnered with the YMCA to offer junior cheer, gymnastics and soccer classes at the Birch Bay Activity Center.
The pickleball program continues to grow at the Birch Bay Activity Center. A third outdoor pickleball court was added. BBBPRD2 helped to bring two professional players, Tyson McGuffin and Matt Goebel, to the Birch Bay Activity Center to conduct Pickleball Boot Camps in February and offered a community night introducing pickleball to the community. In September, over 150 picklers participated in skills training, drills and challenges at the first Picklers Palooza event.
The district hired two new staff members, Heather Johnson and Laura Marshall. In addition to the many community events that BBBPRD2 sponsors, we added the Run to the Border 5k event to the schedule of events.
With the purchase of a 2007 Chevrolet bus, we have been able to offer field trips for both the youth and adults in our community. Kids can ride the bus to the Birch Bay Activity Center after school to attend the Kids Open Gym program. The Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Healthy Youth Coalition joined forces with BBBPRD2 to purchase a used utility trailer that is used as a registration and information booth at outside events.