Barred Owls

For Parents and Explorers:

Congratulations, BARRED OWLS, on a fall season of notable accomplishments. Thank you, Explorers, for building earth shelters, serving the land at Connelly Creek and mastering the traverse, whether planned or not! If you think back to or final 2015 spring outing, we’ve now traversed three times in our last five outings. Two of those three were actually planned! You have answered the call to Stretch Your Edge and grow into the wider world of exploration with us. We're excited to continue the journey with you! Before we look ahead to Spring, let's look behind and see where we've been. Take a moment to revisit the Barred Owls blog posts to refresh your memory.

We'll begin our Spring 2016 season with the Barred Owls first ever exploration of the Rock Trail. Climbing the steep trail the group will explore the Sandstone formations and caves as well as its spectacular vistas. Our second meeting will take us down I-5 a bit to Squires Lake where we can hope to observe beavers busily repairing their dams after winter storms. In 1995, Whatcom Land Trust helped Whatcom County purchase the 80-acre parcel that has become public land for all to enjoy. So, let’s enjoy!

For our third outing, we'll join with the larger EC community by continuing service at our adopted Connelly Creek Service Site. This is a great opportunity to connect to the land and to our community by putting our energy into restoring balance to the plant-life in the area and creating suitable salmon habitat. Please take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site. Last up on the slate is a hike up to Lizard Lake. Perhaps we can learn what all the fuss is about the “Lizard Lake Legend”!

The Barred Owls skill for spring will be Shelter Building II. Don't forget to check out our newly developed Boys EC Skills Progression. This progression will lead the Explorers on an Earth Skills Journey that will lay a firm foundation of craftsmanship, wilderness living, and deep naturalist connection. To read more about our new Boys EC Skills Progression please click here. Being Prepared is also a vital skill. Click here for a link to the EC Equipment List.

Barred Owls Spring 2016 Schedule

Lead Mentors: Brian & Conor

Sunday, February  28th, 10:00-3:00pm
Exploration: Rock Trail via Cleator Road

The Rock Trail is carved out of the steep, rugged hillside connecting the top of Cleator Road to the South Lost Lake Trail. This is one of the Chuckanut's newest trails offering steep climbs, gorgeous views, and a peek at our area's fascinating geology. 100-foot high sandstone cliffs pocked by little holes and large caves, enormous mossy boulders, and handmade staircases and bridges are just a few of the exciting wonders that await us. If we have time we might even make it to Lost Lake!

Driving Directions: Take exit #250 and turn right onto Fairhaven Pkwy for . Go to second stoplight. Turn left on SR 11/Chuckanut Dr for 1.3 miles. Turn left onto 12th st. for .1 of a mile. 12th st. becomes Chuckanut Dr. follow for 3.6 miles. Turn left onto Hi Line Road then follow the gravel road 3.5 miles as it turns into Cleator Road at .6 of a mile. Click here for the Google Map Destination

Sunday, March 20th, 10:00am-4:00pm
Exploration: Alternate Incline to Lizard Lake

Lily and Lizard lakes sit on Blanchard mountain and offer pleasures both very real and “under review”. The steep hike up is an aerobic workout and the reward is worth the exertion (and that doesn’t even take into account the legend!). There’s no telling weather the legend is real, but even if we don’t see it, the boulder field where it was first sighted will be great to scramble over. If you see the legend, please alert your fellow explorers and mentors so we can check it out for ourselves! We'll be taking Moose, our venerable bus, to this adventure, so the directions below will bring you to our storage location in Happy Valley. 

Driving Directions: Heading South on I-5 take exit 250 for State 11 S/Old Fairhaven Pkwy toward Chuckanut Dr. Turn right onto Old Fairhaven Pkwy for .5 of a mile. Turn right onto 24th St for .3 of a mile. Turn right onto McKenzie Ave for .2 of a mile. Destination will be on your right. Click here for the Google Map Destination. 

Sunday, May 1st, 10:30-2:30pm 
Service: Boys E.C. Connelly Creek Restoration Site, Happy Valley Park

Our Official Explorers Club Restoration Site has changed dramatically in the last two and a half years. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing, and many of their persistent roots have been dug out; hundreds of pounds of trash has been removed (including large car parts and a jungle gym); a 6-foot cedar fence was “discovered” and liberated from the blackberries; the Reed Canary Grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the Alder are growing markedly faster than our Explorers. The most exciting news is that, for the first time in about 80 years, the salmon have returned. Now those returning salmon are really going to need our help if they are going to lay eggs. We'll focus on providing just the right environment for a vibrant and happy northwest stream. With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, we are making a real positive impact on our land.

New this Season! Drop-off and Pick-up will now be at the Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside as per the request for the residents on Wilson Street. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Driving Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th Street and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for .1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for .2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Click here for the Google Map Destination.

Saturday, June 4th, 10:00-3:00pm
Exploration: Squires Lake

Just when the explorers start to ask “are we there yet?” we’ll crest the 1/3 mile trail and will be rewarded with beautiful Squires Lake. We’ll decide which way to explore around the lake and then whether to connect with another trail that goes up to an active beaver pond. The dam at the north end of the pond drains into a stream that has provided hours of play for explorers. If we’ve timed it right, the park will be showing touches of spring: robins and wrens flitting about, frogs singing, mosquitoes hatching, Indian plum leafing out and the shocking-pink blossoms of salmonberry brightening the shore.

Driving Directions: 
 Take I-5 south (13 miles from Meridian Street on ramp) to WA-99/Nulle Rd (exit 242). Turn left onto WA-99/Nulle Rd. The trailhead will be on your left (.7 mi.) Click here for the Google map destination.