A ceremonial groundbreaking for the BP Heron Center for Environmental Education in Birch Bay State Park will take place in honor of Earth Day on Saturday, April 20.
Open to the public, the event will feature a musical piece from “Wingin It,” a welcome from park manager Ted Morris and a description of the benefits the center will provide to Birch Bay and the surrounding areas from Kathy Berg, who has been involved with the Friends of Birch Bay State Park (FOBBSP) since 2001.
The log cabin-style building will serve as an interpretive center, with space for use as an environmental classroom and meeting space, and an outdoor roofed section for picnicking. The building, while primarily intended as a classroom for environmental and ecological interpretation, will also be available for rent for group events.
“It will be a great place for class field trips,” Berg said. “It’s a multi-purpose building, and it will be useful for whatever we need it for.”
Scott Walker, FOBBSP president, first envisioned an environmental education center at Birch Bay State Park, and the idea has been in the works for several years.
Berg said construction of the center will start mid-September to avoid interfering with the park’s busiest season. The April 20 groundbreaking will conclude with a ceremonial digging of the first symbolic spades of the project.
“It should be a neat way to celebrate Earth Day,” Berg said.
While much of the funding for the project came from the BP Cherry Point Refinery and other local donors such as
Alcoa, Jerry Larson and Birch Bay State Park, Berg said the FOBBSP is still accepting donations to complete the interior of the building.
Checks should be sent to Birch Bay State Park, 5501 Helweg Road, Birch Bay, WA 98230, with a note for “BP Heron Center.”