Meeting to determine future of Bay Horizon Park

Published on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 by Tara Nelson

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Those wanting a say in the re-development of Bay Horizon Park in Birch Bay will want to attend a planning meeting next Tuesday hosted by The Lions Camp Horizon Foundation, Friends of Bay Horizon Park and Whatcom County Parks and Recreation District 2 (NWPRD2).

The meeting is the second in a series of planning sessions and will focus on an inventory of the site as well as opportunities and constraints. It is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 at 7467 Gemini Street in Birch Bay, just south of Alderson Road in the conference building.

Birch Bay steering committee chair Kathy Berg said the meeting is an opportunity for residents to let planners know what the needs of the community are.

“We want to know what the community wants in the way of a park,” she said. The meeting will help county officials determine what the future of the park will look like by seeking input from the community.
Berg added that the park does have a full gymnasium and full basketball court but the Lions Camp doesn’t use it all the time and has indicated they would like to rent out the facility to groups. “It very well could work out into a situation where the community could use it during the week and the foundation could raise some money that way,” she said.

The 68-acre site was used as a U.S. Air Force radar and communications station from 1952 to 1979 and was acquired by Whatcom County in 1988 through the Federal Lands for Parks program in 1988. Since then it has been used as a hostel and a summer camp for youth with disabilities.

The majority of the park is now owned by Whatcom County Park, which has a long-term lease with the Lions Camp Horizons Foundation. Of the 23 buildings on site, 12 are used for the summer camp and one is used for the Birch Bay Hostel. The other 10 buildings are subject to demolition as county officials found them to be beyond repair and containing asbestos.

Berg said community members who attended the previous planning meeting in May said they would like to see a children’s playground, an off-leash dog park, a place for after school programs and community events or classes.
The park currently has a full basketball court and a gymnasium that can be rented by the Lions Camp Foundation but Berg said she would like to see Birch Bay youth help plan a park for themselves. 

For more information, call 360/733-2900 or send an email to parks@co.whatcom.wa.us with the subject line: Bay Horizon Park.