Squalicum Fields Acquisition

Category Overview

Local Parks grants help protect these symbols of vibrant communities, providing places for families to gather and play and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle in an era when people spend increasing amounts of their time inside. The WWRP is the largest source of local parks funding in Washington, helping communities fund the acquisition, development, and renovation of vital recreation areas and green spaces.

Project Highlights

The primary objective is to secure 42 acres of land for a major athletic field & park complex, a facility blending active sports with restored natural areas & passive recreation, serving to connect residential areas with trails, & functioning as an element of the Squalicum & Bay to Baker Trail greenways. With preexisting park tracts the project will expand an existing park & trail system, creating an assembly over 47 acres. A secondary objective is to protect, preserve & enhance the riparian lands on Squalicum Way, an important scenic drive, & on Squalicum Creek, the City’s most productive salmon stream. The site is centrally located in the urban area & can be well served by transit, trails & a major arterial street. The main 35-acre tract is a former sand & gravel pit mined to form a well-drained, amphitheater-like “bowl” with vertical separation from the surrounding neighborhoods. A significant water right & extensive springs can be used for water features, operations & fishery enhancements; the depth of the water table & the sandy soil make the site ideal for athletic fields. Athletic fields can be set in an envelope of restored wetlands, forested slopes, fishways, fish & wildlife habitat & trails. At this unique site provision of a busy park & very active recreation facilities & parking represents reclamation & enhancement, rather than consumption of biologically & aesthetically valuable shoreline, fields & forest.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Bellingham Parks & Rec Dept Category: Local Parks WWRP Grant: $500,000.00 Applicant Match: $3,531,988.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Whatcom Legislative District: 42 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 02-1339

Location Details

Exit I-5 at Exit #256. Turn left/South on Meridian Street. After c. 1/2 mile, turn right/West on Squalicum Way. Proceed c. 1 mile to site. 35 acre tact is on North side of Squalicum Way opposite West Street intersection. 7 acre tract begins on South side of Squalicum Way, extending Southwest from West Street.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.