Youth Trail Corps
WMBC has created a new and thriving youth trail building program: WMBC-Youth Trail Corps Established Winter 2017.
The conception of the YTC was focused towards 100 Acre Woods or Fairhaven Forest. Historically, many decades of trail and jump building exist in these lovely woods. The recent purchase of this land by the City of Bellingham has changed the focus of the forest from imminent development into a natural forest preserve. CCFPD (Chuckanut Community Forest Park District) commissioners are managing this forest until the city takes it over, and it is in thanks to their efforts over many years that this forest was saved from development. The CCFPD is upset with youth building jumps and trails in this forest over the years resulting in momentum to press charges against many of the youth involved in building jumps.
One of the main goals in launching the Youth Trail Corps was to teach our youth how to take this negative friction and create conflict resolution,. We took many measures over this last year to create a connection between these two user groups as well as propose a strategy to create a sanctioned area within the boundaries of 100 Acre Woods for the youth to build jumps. The WMBC-YTC spent over 200 hours breaking down old jumps, narrowing trails, working on the new bike park design, removing many invasive blackberry plants, creating a powerpoint presentation to the board and replanting degraded areas with ferns and native plants. The presentation, along with many other overtures between WMBC, CCFPD and City of Bellingham, created a strong working relationship that the youth were able to see and take part in. CCFPD Commissioners were convinced that the steps we took, and our designated bike park proposal moving forward would be a good solution to the problem. Intolerance has turned into cooperation.The board is willing to move forward with the proposed bike park area and we are waiting for this approval to come to fruition. It will likely take some time for any more forward progress of this bike park.
Rather than lose momentum with this fantastic group of kids, we currently have shifted our energies to Galbraith Mountain…
WMBC-YTC has officially adopted Cheech and Chongs trail and we have a thriving pre-teen/teen program that meets regularly to learn all about the many different aspects of trail building. We have over 30 kids actively participating in this program. WMBC has contracted Javon Smith, one of our local trail builders, to develop and lead these youth in a trail building program that encompasses teamwork, leadership and all aspects Trail Science: soils, hydrology, native and invasive plant species, building features, culverts, trail flow etc. Javon is doing a fantastic job with these kids! Check out Cheech and Chongs trail, it is running fine and new features are evolving. Heads up that one feature is under construction this Spring. We are stoked to foster the next generation of trail builders in our unique mountain bike culture in Whatcom County.
Huge thanks to all our volunteer trail builders that have been involved with this project. They have spent many hours with the kids teaching their particular specialty. Jesse Griffen, Jon Hansen, Jeff Jaap, Chris Luna, Bill Hawk, Byron Cleary and Bobby Terry.
Grants from: Whatcom Community Foundation, Phillips 66, New Belgium Brewery and our generous donors to WMBC have made this program possible. If you know of a middle or high schooler interested in getting involved, contact WMBC for more information.
Bike Rodeos: Did you know that WMBC sponsors all the Bike Rodeos in Bellingham Public Elementary Schools and many throughout Whatcom County? We provide funding, insurance and support to contract Chris Mellick/RRAD to host Bike rodeos which gives every elementary aged youth in our community the opportunity to get out and ride a bike, some for the first time ever. Every year this program alone reaches over 7,000 youth throughout Whatcom County.
Thanks to Northwest Recycling for offering to match any metal recycled! This is an ongoing offer. Just mention you are donating your metal recycling to WMBC and it will be matched!
Thanks to Superfeet for welcoming us at your “Giving Fair” this year! Employee owned Superfeet were given the choice on where their donation funds to go this year. As a way for WMBC to show our appreciation to Superfeet employee donations to us; and recognizing that Superfeet is based in Ferndale, we immediately funded all 3 Ferndale Elementary Schools for Bike Rodeos ..giving back to the Ferndale community.
After School Ride Program: 11 Bellingham Elementary schools in Bellingham School District host after school rides, including 2 girl specific ride groups this Spring for an average of 1x/week for 6 weeks. WMBC sponsors Ride Leader Certification through BICP every year, and also offer insurance, apparel and logistical support. This Spring we have 16 new ride leaders certified.
From what I’ve seen so far, the kids rides are going great!
Service Learning: We provide funding for Service Learning Days ranging from Middle School 6 week program to 1-day trail maintenance class. Schools like Windward and Options High School, Fairhaven and Shuksan Middle Schools participating and learning how to build and maintain trails. For some of these youth, it is their first time on a trail!
Want to support these programs? Here are some things you can do to be involved:
- Become a WMBC member: Individual, Family, Business. December Membership Drive! | WMBC
- Volunteer: we can use help in many ways: trail work, office work, media, outreach: we can find a spot if you would like to get involved.
- TAP: your business can adopt a trail and be a part of our trail adoption program.
- Fund specific programs you want to support.
- Donate to our general fund and we can apply it to what we need help with the most.
CDC Race – 4/21 – Volunteers needed!
I’m officially putting the call out for volunteers for the Cascadia Dirt Cup. If you’ve volunteered in the past and know what you want to do, let me know. As always, we’ll take good care of you with tacos, beer, a jersey and our undying gratitude. As always, we’ll need course timers, course marshals, EMS folks, parking attendants, beer garden (including setup and takedown) and course sweepers.
“Be Considerate” Springtime PSA:
It’s that time of year again and the trails and parking will be busier than ever soon enough. So, we have to remind everyone to be extra considerate when using our various the trail networks. That includes:
- Be Considerate and friendly to our fellow trail users whether on bike, foot or hoove. It’s not too hard to slow down and say “hi” as you pass someone or ask someone if they know where they are going if they look lost.
- If you’re riding up Birch St. or Galbraith Lane and a car is approaching, ride single file so the neighbors can safely pass you. If you are riding on Galbraith Lane and can move over for a neighbor, please do so as soon as possible. I recently heard about some bikers being really rude to a neighbor who was simply trying to drive down the street to their house.
- Being considerate to neighbors also includes not leaving your car doors open as you get ready, leaving your bike in the road, letting your dog run all over the place, blasting music, changing clothes, etc. Pretend that you live on their street and treat it as such.
- Leashing your dog to and from the trailheads and picking up your dog crap….AND not leaving the bag on the side of the road/trail. We all know that everyone’s dog is perfect and would never take a dump in the neighbors yards, but do us all a favor and use your leash while on the roads to/from the trails.
Upcoming build days and projects on the schedule:
- This Sunday April 8th – Cedar Dust Trail day – sponsored by Boundary Bay Brewing: This is being led by Javon Smith with the plan to get it dialed in before spring and summer hits. They will be meeting at the Samish lot at 9 or on the trail at 9:30 near the Rock n Roll intersection. Lots of goodies from our friends at Boundary Bay Brewing. More info. here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1693384207374156/
- Saturday, April 21 and May 5th – Mullet trail days – Sponsored by Brownlie, Wolf and Lee and being led by Bill Hawk. As is tradition, we’ll be meeting at the Samish lot at 9 AM for these and carpooling up from there. More info. here: https://www.facebook.com/events/181124175858276
- Saturday, Aprils 28th –Chuckanut Trail Day – This day will focus on getting any repairs done on the trail tread from the CDC enduro race.
- June 2nd – National Trails Day – This is a split day where we’ll be working on TWO projects with the folks from Washington Trails Association, Backcountry Horsemen, Whatcom Land Trust and other groups.
o The first is a cool project with the DNR on Blanchard where we’ll be working on a short re-route to a user-built trail that goes into Lily and Lizard Lake from the North side of the mountain.
o On Lookout Mountain, we’ll be kicking off a full 4 months of work planned with Whatcom County Parks and the City of Bellingham. There will be more of a game-plan for those projects soon, but mark your calendars and we hope to see a big turnout at both events!
April 28th WMBC Joyriders Spring Kickoff:
The ladies are meeting at the Southside lot at 10 and riding ‘til 1. Then, they will head to Kulshan on James for a post-ride party. More info. here:
Bears and Goldilocks Logging update:
The loggers were still pulling logs off the Papa, Baby Bear and Goldilocks area as of last Friday. As soon as I hear that we can get in there to assess the state of those trails, I’ll let you know. If you want to help get them opened back up, please reach out to me asap. The tree planters are going to be in this zone almost immediately, so it will be extra important to try to get it reopened ASAP.
House for Sale on Galbraith lane:
If any mountain bikers are looking for a place near Galby with lots of land, Joan just put her place on the market and is moving to Lynden.
As many know, there were two public DNR meetings last week (one in Kendall and one in Fairhaven) and it was great to see many of our community there to express your desire to recreate on our state forests in Whatcom County. This is the culmination of 2+ years of work by the DNR and a diverse Recreation Planning Committee. At last week’s meetings, the DNR showed two concepts for areas that could have authorized recreation in the future. Concept D and Concept E
Important: Neither of the two concepts is mutually exclusive and are rather designed to get input on what you like or don’t like from each concept.
If you couldn’t attend and want to express your support for mountain biking on these landscapes, please email the DNR at: BakertoBellingham@dnr.wa.gov
Key points you may want to let them know:
- Let them know you enjoy riding your bike (and other activities) out on trails in the forests.
- Areas you’d like to see mountain bike access to include: The North Fork of the Nooksack, Middle Fork of the Nooksack and the Mirror Lake and Stewart Mountain areas (connecting into Lake Whatcom Park).
- If you ride with your family/kids, let them know that’s important to your family as well.
- Wherever possible, the DNR should assess pre-existing trails (aka, non-designated) to determine if they can be brought to appropriate trail standards. Not only would this help jump start the trail construction, but it also could save a lot of money in the process.
- If you’d like to have a legal shuttle area, please let them know that.
- Do you own a business that benefits from people recreating in Whatcom County? If so, let them know that as well.
Marbled Murrelet and our Recreation Plan:
Many folks are unaware that the DNR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have concurrently been working on a Conservation Planning Process for a seabird called the Marbled Murrelet. You can read more about the Murrelet here.
In the Marbled Murrelet Conservation plan, it has primarily been looking at the logging of larger trees and the impact on nesting habitat for the birds. However, there was very little voice for recreation in this process which could make the construction of new trails in some parts of Whatcom County very difficult. As an example, large swaths of the North Fork and the Middle Fork have been removed from consideration. In areas around the state that already have authorized recreation and trails, those are being grandfathered into this plan. However, we have no authorized recreation in Whatcom County on DNR lands and so this may have a significant impact. As a result, the DNR has identified some large potential areas as “conditional” during the recreation planning process. That means that the “conditional” areas could only be considered for future recreation if they are NOT in final Murrelet approved areas.
What can you do? Please emphasize to the DNR that they and the US Fish and Wildlife Service need to look at how non-motorized trails are compatible with the Murrelet Conservation Strategy. For instance, we can create appropriate buffers from nesting sites, perform trail maintenance/construction during non-nesting season and can strategically locate trailheads and other infrastructure away from nesting areas to not attract predators. You can read the letter that the Baker to Bellingham Recreation Committee sent to the DNR about the Murrelet Conservation Strategy last March here.
Here is a link to the Baker to Bellingham Recreation Planning Page for future reference. Make your voice heard and ensure that the DNR knows the types of recreation you are looking for on DNR lands and where you’d like to recreate…your opinion matters!
Bellingham Screening Presented by: WMBC and Freehub Magazine
Saturday, February 17 at 6 PM – 9 PM
There will be a Q&A session with Chris Lawrence who was a part of the Freeride movement in Rossland during this era and co-stars in the movie.WMBC Members who donated $100+ can pick up their tech T’s at this event. Shirts will be shipped out after the event. (Thank you Adam from Treelines!)
Tickets are $15 (kids under 11 free) and currently available at Fairhaven Bicycles, The Kona Bike Shop, Fanatik Bike Co., Jack’s Bicycle Center, Earl’s Bike Shop, Alleycat Bike Shop, and Mister Lost Bike Shop
This film is the origin story of a small movement of mountain bikers who rose up, challenged the status quo, and changed the sport in ways that can be seen in every aspect of mountain biking today.
From technology, to media, to fashion, to the creation of a multi-billion dollar industry, this small, dedicated crew of adventure seekers from the backwoods of British Columbia, Canada, were
quietly and unknowingly carving their path in history. The momentum they created from pushing themselves and their bicycles harder, steeper, and faster sent a wave into the action sports world that still has not slowed to this day.
This film is about the tipping point when freeride mountain biking became a global sports phenomenon, and the people who were
passionate enough to make it happen in the face of industry adversity, injury, and heartache. This is a story that has never been told, told by the people who lived it firsthand. This is the story of the moment that changed everything.
When: January 10th
Where: Birchwood Presbyterian Church, #3 Chapel, 400 Meadowbrook Ct, Bellingham.
If you’d like to learn more about the future Cordata Community Park along with the proposed pump track (among many items), here’s more info.
Bellingham Parks and Recreation invites the public to the first of three public meetings to review and comment on plans for the first phase of the new community park in the Cordata neighborhood. The meeting will be held January 10, 2018, from 6-8 PM at Birchwood Presbyterian Church, #3 Chapel, 400 Meadowbrook Ct, Bellingham.
The design is based on the park master plan adopted by the City Council in September 2017. Phase one focuses on the north activity node including a spray park, playground, parkour area, bicycle pump track, adult exercise area, picnic shelter and restroom. Phase one also includes a trail loop through the park, an open playfield, pedestrian gateways, landscaping, art, and parking.
The Parks and Recreation Department welcomes all residents to attend the Jan. 10 meeting but will also accept written comments, which can be e-mailed to Jonathan Schilk or mailed to the Parks and Recreation Department at 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.
The City acquired the new 20-acre park in 2015 with voter approved Greenways 3 Levy funds. The park is located on the east side of Cordata Parkway between Stuart and Horton Roads, in the Cordata Neighborhood.
For more information or to sign up for future notices, please contact Jonathan Schilk at Parks and Recreation, or visit the Parks website athttps://www.cob.org/gov/projects/Pages/Parks/cordata-community-park.aspx
Today, the WMBC is launching our December membership drive to help support our many initiatives for this upcoming year. We are shooting for a modest goal of 1,000 members for this next year – which we feel is achievable considering how many folks ride, run and hike in areas that we help build and maintain. A HUGE thanks to Spencer and Kyle from Level Visuals for creating a video series involving some of our members. We’re launching today with a quick video from our very own Queen of Crankworx – Jill Kintner.
To make it easier than ever to support the WMBC, we have created 3 levels – Individual, Family and Business. As part of the December membership drive, anyone that donates more than $100 will get a limited edition SST Tech T-shirt from our good friends at Treelines Northwest (Tech T’s will ship in January!).
Annual Report and our Goals for next year:
To learn more about what the WMBC is working on for next year or download our annual report, click here:
To help with our December membership drive, you can donate here:
We truly appreciate everyone’s support and can’t do what we do without you – whether it be financial support, digging in the woods or helping out with our events. You are the WMBC!
Here are several updates about logging on Galbraith below. Please be sure to scroll through everything. Thanks!
Slash Pile Burning:
As of the afternoon of November 15th, the foresters on Galbraith are starting to burn some of the large slash piles that have accumulated in several areas. They are doing this prior to planting activity and are beginning with the piles near Cedar Dust and then heading over to the Lone Wolf area next. This was supposed to start on Monday, but the winds were way too high for permitted burns the past couple of days.
We’ll keep you updated on their locations over the next week, but attached is a map of the various pile locations. This won’t affect trails or access, but there could be smoke going through certain sections of trail corridors (wind direction will affect this) and we’ll put some warning signs up – just in case.
We will have our crew with them at certain points, so they will pull bigger chunks of Cedar from the piles and set them aside for our use.
Closed: Middle SST, Air Chair and Candy:
Middle SST, Air Chair, Orient Express and Candy are all being harvested as of November 13th. Those trails are all signed closed and flagged off and were walked with the loggers last week.
Please note that the 1200 road and the Tower roads have a lot of vehicle traffic during weekdays, so please stay off of them, if possible.
Closed: Here to There, Kung Fu Theater, El Pollo, Tough Love and Pick Up Sticks
The area at the top of the wall still has a TON of activity as they process and load the logs up in that zone. As such, the Tower Road will have a lot of logging truck activity during the weekdays and we’d encourage folks to go up the Pigs or another way – if possible.
We want to send a huge thank you to Michael Storm who just wrapped up his final work day as the Volunteer Coordinator of the Civic Dirt Jumps last Saturday. Michael has been working on the DJ’s since not long after his arrival to town in 2008. Mike also led the major overhaul/rebuild of the jumps during 2012 and has kept them running great ever since as the leader of the park. Beyond that, of course, he has been a tremendous ambassador for the WMBC and our greater mountain biking community.
Here’s how it works:
Register your bike here: https://project529.com/garage/organizations/bellinghampolicedepartment/landing
Provide the serial #, manufacture, model, frame color and accent color
If your bike gets stolen, you use the Project 529 app to notify local authority and others app holders to keep an eye out for the bike. Your description gives the police probable cause to question and seize your bike. It will also be easier to claim your bike if it is recovered by the police.
BRING YOUR BIKE INFO TO SHOOT THE TRAILS AND WE’LL DO IT FOR YOU!!
There are also free registrations Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm at the Bellingham Police Department (BPD) on 505 Grand Ave.
Statistics from the BPD
From 10/17/16 to 10/11/17 there were 282 reported bike thefts. 205 (73%) were reported without a serial number. 74 bikes (26%) were recovered after being stolen. There were 203 bikes found abandoned and impounded by the BPD. BPD was only able to return 30 of them based on looking up the serial number and finding the owners. The rest were donated or sent to auction.