By Zoe Deal
The community will have their first chance to work on the long-awaited Bay to Bay trail at a work party on Sunday, June 2. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers and commissioners from Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) will clean up garbage and cut trails on the forested easement property amid Lincoln Road, Harborview Road and Drayton Harbor Road.
The group is meeting at 4656 Drayton Harbor Road rain or shine, where a bus will be available to drive people to the property. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves and boots. Tools will be provided, though volunteers are free to bring their own.
Since 2007, BBBPRD2 has been negotiating and purchasing easements and land parcels to create a nine-mile trail system connecting Birch Bay State Park to Semiahmoo Bay via backroads, off-trails and improved shoulders. The project is inspired by community safety and connection, to make it possible for adults and children to traverse the area with peace of mind, according to BBBPRD2 commissioner Billy Brown.
Right now, kids can’t get on their bikes and ride to school, Brown said. He has fond memories of growing up in Southern California, riding seven miles one-way to school through the desert. Unfortunately, biking to school isn’t possible for many Birch Bay kids.
“Drayton Harbor Road is a very dangerous road, you’re basically blocked from using it,” Brown said. “I’m most excited about getting a trail for the kids.”
BBBPRD2 is also partnering with Whatcom Land Trust on a parcel of land on California Creek and Drayton Harbor Road that will soon be a trailhead. The trail the work party will create leads to this spot, where there will be a small kayak park and bathrooms.
Though BBBPRD2 has made a lot of headway recently, there’s still much more to be done. Brown said it could take many years to get even the north part of the trail done. And there are more easements to secure in what Brown called the hardest part – convincing landowners to allow a trail to run through their own backyards.
“Everyone wants a trail, they just don’t want it on their property,” Brown said.
For the time being, BBBPRD2 will keep working piece by piece on the trail, building community connection as they go.
For more information or to inquire about the work party, call Brown at 360/220-7175 or BBBPRD2 commissioner Sheli Moore at 360/223-7922.