Katy H. and Caitie K., the two newest members of the WWRC were able to get outside and experience first-hand what the Coalition’s advocacy provides to the Washington community. In typical PNW fashion the rain and wind appeared on this midweek August morning but that did not stop Whidbey Camano Land Trust, Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office, and community members from celebrating and touring the opening of Barnum Point Park on Camano Island. Here is a brief introduction to the Katy/Caitie’s, why they joined the Coalition, and their experience at Barnum Point.
CK: Growing up in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii I was fortunate enough to have acres of hilly pasture, streams, dirt roads, and of course the beach as an endless playground. It wasn’t until I went to college on the Mainland that I realized not everyone had access to outdoor spaces to play and recharge. I love the mountain ranges of Washington and backpacking and hiking through them transports me back to my childhood and the freeing feeling of playing in the hills. I joined the WWRC because I wanted to help provide the Washington community with access to parks and wild places. Barnum Point is an amazing little retreat, filled with 2.5 miles of nicely graded walking trails throughout the 170 acre park, access to a 1 mile beach, beautiful bluffs, Rainier views, and a cute apple orchard. The new 19-stall parking lot and gravel entrance makes the park accessible to more of the community and it excites me that families with members of all ages will be able to enjoy the wheel friendly trails of the park.
KH: I’ve always felt that spending time outside has helped me to feel relaxed and refreshed, and I love doing work that helps others to experience that same sense of peace. Early on, I realized that access to outdoor spaces was a privilege, and I’ve spent most of my career working to get others outside to enjoy their communities, recreate, and spend time in nature. I joined the Coalition to help make outdoor spaces more accessible for people of all abilities and resource levels. Barnum Point is a really special place that has the feeling of being on a remote coastline, but is also very accessible. You could spend an entire day exploring the trails, beachcombing, birdwatching, or just listening to the waves, and still make it home for dinner. But what struck me even more than the scenery was the sense of community I felt on that cool, rainy day. Despite the weather, so many people came out to celebrate the work that had created this new open space. The energy was warm and welcoming. This was a great reminder that the outdoors are about so much more than the land we stand on. I’m happy to work with the Coalition to bring that sense of belonging to people in communities all across the state.