Featured post

Join Our Trips for College-age Students in Winter and Spring 2022!

Winter Marine Life at Boulevard Park, Jan. 29th

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is c-goldeneye-520x289-mkalbac-1.jpg

Boulevard Park, on the edge of Bellingham Bay, is a great place to see the large numbers of migratory waterfowl–from small goldeneye ducks to large loons–that flock to this area every winter. We’ll follow the path through the park, using binoculars and a spotting scope to see birds and other animals up close. If we’re lucky, we might spy a harbor seal or otter swimming among the waves! If you’re looking for an easy experience with potential for great wildlife sightings, this trip is a great choice.

Location: Meet at the shelter near the now-defunct restrooms on the north end of Boulevard Park (a 20-minute walk or 10-minute bike ride from WWU)

When: Saturday, January 29th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm*

What to bring: A water bottle and suitable clothes for rain or cold.

Difficulty level: Easy. Wheelchair accessible.

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.

Hike Around Lake Padden, Feb. 20th

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_20200101_135525578.jpg

Lake Padden is one of the Bellingham area’s major landscape features, and an important habitat for countless plants, birds, and wildlife. After meeting by the dog park, we’ll follow the forested trail that encircles the lake while admiring huge trees, spotting spring migratory ducks and other birds on the water, and more. We’ll also take time for a group discussion or two, and talk about local environmental issues and how to make our voices heard.

When: Sunday, February 20th, 11:00am – 3:00pm*

Location: Meet at the Lake Padden Dog Park (a 10-minute drive or 30-minute bike ride from WWU; also accessible via the 533 or 540 bus).

What to bring: Lunch, a full water bottle, and clothes for possible rain or cold. Sturdy shoes recommended.

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.

Hike Lookout Mountain, April 23rd

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is p1110906.jpg

Join us for a hike along the trail system that loops up and over Lookout Mountain, with a panoramic view of Lake Whatcom at the top! This trip will be during the height of spring wildflower season, and we’ll take lots of breaks to admire and identify the beautiful flowers and other organisms we find along our way. While immersed in the forest we’ll have a chance to talk about ecosystem succession, our place in the natural world, and ways to take positive local action.

When: Sunday, April 23rd, 11:00am – 4:00pm*

Location: Meet at the Lookout Mountain Preserve Trailhead (a 20 minute drive from WWU, also accessible via the 512 bus).

What to bring: Lunch, a full water bottle, and a rain jacket just in case. Sturdy shoes recommended.

Difficulty level: Moderately challenging.

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.

Exploring Clayton Beach, May 14th

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is p1120999.jpg

Clayton Beach in Larrabee State Park is one of the best places in Whatcom County to see tide pool life and other small marine creatures that live along the shoreline. After meeting at the South Lost Lake Trailhead parking area, we’ll follow the trail that descends through the woods to the beach, then make our way along the sandy shore, following the water’s edge. Whether it’s colorful anemones clinging to a rock or sand dollars burrowing in the mud, we’re sure to find some remarkable sea creatures. We’ll also pause for a discussion about issues facing marine life and how we can help.

When: Saturday, May 14th, 11:00am – 3:00pm*

Location: Meet at the South Lost Lake Parking Lot (a 15-minute drive from WWU, also accessible by bike via the Interurban Trail).

What to bring: Lunch and a full water bottle. Sturdy shoes recommended.

Difficulty level: Moderately challenging.

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.

*All end times are approximate. We will do our best to finish up by the time listed on this page, but there is always the possibility of things taking longer than expected and we recommend not making plans that depend on being back by exactly then. Some trips may also finish early.

COVID note: Reconnect Earth strives to follow health authority recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19. To help keep all participants on our trips safe, please keep in mind the following:

  • By choosing to come on the trip you are attesting that you have not recently experienced signs or symptoms of COVID-19 not attributable to other causes. Signs and symptoms include dry cough, chills, congestion/runny nose, unusual fatigue, sore throat, muscle/body aches, nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath not caused by exercise, persistent new diarrhea, and new loss of taste or smell. Please stay home if you’ve had any of these in the last 48 hours.
  • We’ll be working to follow the latest recommendations and mandates around social distancing and mask wearing outside. Please bring a face mask in case it is necessary to use one.

A Fall Hike to Lost Lake

On Sunday, October 10th, Reconnect Earth set out for Lost Lake on Chuckanut Mountain, our first Fall 2021 day hike for students. After meeting at the North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead just south of Bellingham, we followed the Hemlock and North Lost Lake Trails through forests of Douglas-firs, western red cedars, big leaf maples, and other Northwest trees. Along the way we stopped frequently to identify plants, look at fall mushrooms, and admire the Chuckanut sandstone cliff formations that towered above the trail as we drew near to the lake.

On arriving at Lost Like itself, our group took some time to enjoy the sunshine by the lake’s edge as we listened to Douglas squirrels and a barred owl calling from in the trees. Before leaving, we came together for an activity that involved making a large map of the area around Bellingham with lengths of rope and sticks from the forest floor. We moved ourselves to different points on the map in response to a series of prompts, including “Go to the place where you spend most of your time,” “Go to a place that you associate with nature,” and “Go to the place your water comes from,” learning in the process about our local landscape and how we each interact with it as individuals.

Finally, it was time to begin hiking back to the trailhead–though we stopped along the way for an action opportunity, writing letters to U.S. Representative Rick Larsen about the importance of federal action on climate change. By the time we neared the trailhead, dusk was beginning to fall and we heard the sound of a great horned owl hooting as it wakened from its daytime slumber. It was a fitting reminder that we share Bellingham’s landscape with many wild creatures whose lives may touch our own.

Want to join Reconnect Earth’s hike? Check out upcoming events here!

Get Outside With Reconnect Earth This Fall!

Reconnect Earth is once again leading day hikes–geared especially for college students or folks of college age–to natural areas in and around Bellingham in Fall 2021. Learn more and sign up to join a trip below!

Fall Hike to Lost Lake

Experience autumn and the changing of the seasons on a hike to Lost Lake on Chuckanut Mountain. A secluded body of water surrounded by dense forest, Lost Lake is only several miles from central Bellingham but feels like it could be in a remote wild area. After meeting at North Chuckanut Trailhead, we’ll follow the Hemlock and Lost Lake trails to the lake itself, pausing to enjoy the colorful leaves, fall mushrooms, and whatever other plants and animals we find along the way. We’ll also stop for a discussion or two about the landscape through which we’re traveling and our role as humans in the ecosystem.

When: Sunday, October 10, 11:00am – 5:00pm*

Location: Meet at the North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead (a 10 minute drive or 15 minute bike ride from WWU).

What to bring: A full water bottle, lunch, sturdy shoes, and a rain jacket in case of wet weather.

Difficulty level: Moderately challenging (includes a long, gradual climb uphill on the hike in to the lake).

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.

Search for Migrating Salmon

Witness one of the most iconic wildlife spectacles in our region: the return of migrating salmon to their ancestral spawning grounds. We’ll follow Chuckanut Creek through Arroyo Park–and if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see these big, powerful fish up close. We will also take a break for a conversation about the Indigenous history of what is now Northwest Washington, and Indigenous uses of the salmon that have provided food for people since time immemorial.

When: Saturday, November 13th, 1:00pm – 4:00pm*

Location: Meet at the Arroyo Park parking area off Old Samish Road (a 10 minute drive or 15 minute bike ride from WWU).

What to bring: A full water bottle and clothing that will keep you warm and dry. Sturdy shoes recommended.

Difficulty level: Easy (slight uphills and downhills; potentially wheelchair accessible, though not ADA-approved).

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.

Hike Around Lake Padden

The forest and lake edges of Bellingham’s Lake Padden are home to giant trees, scenic views, and some of the best bird watching sites in the area. We will follow the trail that circles the lake, taking time to admire mushrooms growing on fallen logs, ducks and other water birds foraging in the shallows, and perhaps a salamander or two on the trail. We’ll also have time to pause and discuss how our interactions with nature shape our day-to-day lives and the ways in which we experience the world around us.

When: Saturday, December 4th, 11:00am – 3:00pm*

Location: Meet at the Lake Padden Park East Entrance off of Samish Way (a 10 minute drive or 25 minute bike ride from WWU; also accessible via the 533 bus).

What to bring: A full water bottle, lunch, sturdy shoes, and clothing that will keep you warm and dry.

Difficulty level: Moderate (trail is relatively level with some short uphill stretches).

Suggested donation: $10. Register

.
COVID note:
Reconnect Earth strives to follow health authority recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19. To help keep all participants on our trips safe, please keep in mind the following:

-By choosing to come on the trip you are attesting that you have not recently experienced signs or symptoms of COVID-19 not attributable to other causes. Signs and symptoms include dry cough, chills, congestion/runny nose, unusual fatigue, sore throat, muscle/body aches, nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath not caused by exercise, persistent new diarrhea, and new loss of taste or smell. Please stay home if you’ve had any of these in the last 48 hours.

-We’ll be working to follow the latest recommendations and mandates around social distancing and mask wearing outside. Please bring a face mask in case it is necessary to use one.

Summer 2021: Reconnect Earth Returns to the Field!

Reconnect Earth recently wrapped up a busy summer, our first in the field since COVID-19 put a temporary stop to our activities in 2020. This year, with new COVID safety precautions in place, we were able to return to the field and run two nine-day backpacking trips in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, as planned.

College students and recent college graduates from throughout the Greater Northwest region–and beyond–joined our trips in July and August, during which we hiked through subalpine meadows, climbed to the base of a huge alpine glacier, experienced ancient old-growth forests, and much more. Along the way we had many discussions about environmental issues, social justice, and grassroots activism skills, exploring how to activate our potential as agents of positive change in our communities.

To learn more about our successful Summer 2021 trips, check out our season impact report here. Also stay tuned for more opportunities with Reconnect Earth as we head into the school year–and in the meantime, check out the photos below from the summer!

Photo by Jo Butenhoff
Photo by Ryann Burton
Photo by Nicole Weeks
Photo by Ryann Burton
Photo by Reconnect Earth
Photo by Reconnect Earth
Photo by Reconnect Earth
Photo by Ryann Burton