Summer classes at Birch Bay

Published on Thu, May 30, 2002 by Jack Kintner

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Summer classes at Birch Bay

By Jack Kintner

Ever wonder if that gooey slime that dries on your beach sandals is edible? Or what kind of birds you’re seeing in the surf?

A good place to find the answer to this and much more can be found this summer at Birch Bay State Park, whose interpretive program is one of the largest in the state.

“Only Deception Pass has more,” said park manager Ted Morris, who said attendance by local residents at the summer programs is increasing. Morris spoke at last week’s meeting of the year-old volunteer support group Friends of Birch Bay State Park.

“We’ll have wildlife biologist Ann Eisinger of Nahkeeta Northwest back for six programs this July and August, plus programs from Northwest Salmon Enhancement,” Morris said.

Friends vice-president Ravyn Whitewolf said that the volunteer group is also a place where people can donate items and cash to help support the park as state budgets dwindle. “We’ve received our non-profit status, and welcome all the support we can get.” The group recently was given a pick-up truck, and is looking for a 12-foot “jon-boat” to tend its nesting areas in Terrell Creek.

Gerry Larson of Birch Bay spoke of future projects where donations could play a part, naming bike racks, wood duck nest boxes, signage and interpretive kiosks as some ideas.

Crina Hoyer of the Bellingham environmental education agency Re Sources said that grants have been received for a second summer of the popular “Beach Watch” program, in which volunteer naturalists are trained and deployed at the park to answer questions and serve as a general resource to visitors.

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