This week: Tenmile members meeting, and Run with the Chums

Most important this week:TenmileCleanWaterProject_V7
Sep 11: on Wednesday, don’t miss our Tenmile Clean Water Project meeting, 6:30-8pm, at Bellewood Acres Farmstead & Brewery.

At this meeting, our member Kirsten McDade, Pollution Prevention Specialist at RE Sources, will be describing the Water Reporter program; she says:
The Water Reporter program will empower & engage community members in keeping our waters free and clear of pollution.  The Water Reporter program teaches citizens how to recognize and report everyday pollution.  Becoming a Water Reporter is simple, easy, and fun.  Together we can find solutions to our pollution problems!
You can read her blog post about the program here.

Sep 14: Saturday opens Whatcom Water Week, featuring multiple events over 2 weekends, beginning with:
Run with the Chums at the ‘BP Highlands’ in the Terrell Creek watershed south of Birch Bay. Included are a kids run, event t-shirts & refreshments. For information and registration see the website here.


There are several other Water Week events on the same day, with more over the coming 10 days. Check it out!
For more September events, see this earlier blog post.
Finally, if you know of events that we missed, let us know so we can include them!



This week: Farm Tour includes Matheson Farms – and we’ll be there Sunday!

Events this week include:
Sep 7 & 8: The 13th Annual Whatcom Farm Tour –  includes stops at more than a dozen locations, some on each day: 10am-4pm. “Don’t miss a weekend full of farm adventures and culinary delights — one of the biggest events for September Eat Local Month! The Farm Tour highlights amazing family-owned farms, and is free, self-guided, and family-friendly. See, taste, feel, and learn hands-on what goes into local food production. The tour will have everything from baby cows to hayrides, and provides exciting educational activities at each tour stop.” bellewood photo
Find these in the Tenmile area: Appel Farms (Sat only); Growing Veterans (both days); and on both days our partners at Bellewood Farms will be open for refreshments and shopping.


Matheson-Farms-logoAnd especially important for us on both days, the tour includes Matheson Farms; on Sunday we will have our Tenmile Clean Water Project table display to help welcome visitors. We have enjoyed hearing Sandra Matheson speak at our meeting, and appreciate the family’s many efforts towards responsible stewardship of land & water in the area. Thanks to the Matheson family for hosting the tour – and us!

Matheson location: 228 E Smith Rd, just east of the Guide.
For more September events, see this earlier blog post.

Save the dates! For September…

save the dateHere is a preview of the many events relevant to our watershed that will be occurring in September. And on each Monday of the month, we will be offering details of those coming soon. Finally, if you know of others that we missed, let us know so we can include them!

Sep 5: WCD Speaker Series, Soil Health on the Dairy Farm , 10am-Noon; RSVP for location

Sep 7 & 8: Whatcom County Farm Tour, 10am-4pm each day, at more than a dozen locations, including these in the Tenmile area: Appel Farms; Growing Veterans; Bellewood Acres; and most important to us, Matheson-Farms-logoMatheson Farms, where we will have our Tenmile Clean Water Project table display to help welcome visitors. Thanks to the Matheson family for hosting the tour – and us!

Logo full - Oct 2018 - 50% for site iconSep 11: our Tenmile Clean Water Project meeting, 6:30-8pm, at Bellewood Acres Farmstead & Brewery. Member & guest speaker Kirsten McDade will describe the Water Reporter program to track pollution in our waterways.

Sep 12: WCD Speaker Series, Renewable Energy for the Farm, 6-8pm, Breckenridge Blueberries, Everson.

water week posterSep 14-22: Whatcom Water Weeks, multiple events over 2 weekends, including the Chum Run (9/14); salmon sightings; shoreline cleanups; two (!!) municipal water treatment tours; library storytimes; an important ‘ted-talk’-style program of “Short talks that just might change how you look at water” (9/19; details in pdf file here; register here); and Bellingham SeaFeast (9/21 & 22).

Sep 19: WCD Speaker Series, Equine Health: Are you winter ready?; 6-8pm; RSVP for location.

Looking ahead:
Oct 15: WCD Speaker Series, Farm Funding Opportunities, 6-8 pm Ferndale WECU
Oct 28: Tenmile Creek Workday, 9am-noon; we return to the site of our Earth Day event this year near Reither Elementary school, with partners WCD & NSEA.
Oct 29: Septic System Homeowner Training, 6-8pm, Ferndale WECU
Nov 13: our Tenmile Clean Water Project meeting , 6:30-8pm, at Bellewood Acres Farmstead & Brewery. Our guest speaker, WCD’s Aneka Sweeney, will explain how stream buffers can help improve water quality.

Report from Laurel Feed Customer Appreciation Day

OLauel Feed imagen May 11 some of our members set up our new information display at the Laurel Farm & Western Supply, on West Laurel road, for their annual customer appreciation day. This is one of the most popular spring events in the area, with many attractions for the family.

Laurel feed May 2019 -2



On a warm & sunny day, hundreds probably visited at one time or another – the kids may have outnumbered parents by 3 to 1. It’s hard to beat pony rides, farm animals and hundreds of trout to be caught!

Laurel feed May 2019 -3

Still, with our partners at the Whatcom Conservation District, we were able to talk with residents, and learned more about issues related to water availability and quality in both stream & ground water in the Deer Creek watershed (tributary to Ten Mile Creek.)

Laurel feed May 2019 -1

Photos: blockbuster Earth Day event!


Thanks to great planning, perfect spring weather and a superb site on Ten Mile Creek, the planting event on April 20th was a great success! We had almost 200 volunteers out to plant more than 500 trees & shrubs.

IMG_20190420_102902724With willing landowner support, our co-sponsors Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) and Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) had everything ready to go to plant out the north/east banks of the creek at this site just east of Reither Elementary School, where NSEA had planted the west bank years ago, now nicely maturing and shading the creek.


As a co-sponsor, we had our TCWP information display set up for the day, and greeted each arriving group of volunteers with a brief introduction about our organization and what we do. The display enabled further conversations throughout the morning.
It was a great day!IMG_20190420_111438128


County septic system homeowner training: April 24

This next opportunity to learn about your home septic system is Wednesday, April 24th, 6pm to 8pm, at the Ferndale WECU, 5659 Barrett Ave.

Evaluate image

With this training you will save money by being certified to evaluate your own system and have confidence knowing how your septic system works.

If your system is not eligible for homeowner evaluation or you simply don’t want to do it yourself, this class is still for you. The training covers the way septic systems work and provides tips for proper maintenance. You will leave feeling good about understanding how this expensive and important piece of your property works.

When you complete the training in person, you also qualify to apply for rebates on repairs or maintenance costs for your septic system. Learn more on the County’s septic system website here.




Neighborhood walk interrupted: why all the trash?


Aldrich trash #1

A member reports:

I was enjoying my morning walk recently, admiring the snow capped mountains of BC and our own Mt Baker – when I passed several ditches littered with trash and garbage bags, all in various stages of decomposing. What a bummer!

My first thought was “who would do this?!” It is hard to believe that some people don’t feel connected to the community. Don’t they realize that fouling the ditches has consequences? Do they not even live here, and drive from their neighborhoods to dump their trash?

The water in these ditches eventually flows to our creeks and to Bellingham Bay. These waterways are home to fish, and other wildlife depend on them for their water supply – as we all do. If you see trash, please clean it up if you can; or call Whatcom County Public Works at (360) 778-6400. These lovely people will come to the rescue if you call.

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Earth Day work party on Ten Mile Creek! – April 20th

On Saturday, April 20th, 9am-noon we are co-sponsoring this Earth Day volunteer work party on Ten Mile Creek, organized by Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) and also co-sponsored by Whatcom Conservation District (WCD.) EarthDayDesign FINAL-01 - compressed

Parking will be at Irene Reither Elementary School next to the site (954 E Hemmi Rd.) And, to celebrate the day, the first 200 attending will receive a free t-shirt with this special-edition design! Snacks & coffee are also provided. See the NSEA website here for more details.

We will be planting buffer trees and shrubs along Ten Mile Creek just north of E. Hemmi road, a section of the creek that will be site of a wider project by Whatcom County & WCD later this year.


Portage Bay harvest reopening! (for Spring)

This goal has been central to the mission of our work, and a very significant accomplishment for all those playing a part, large & small! Plenty of work remains, to ensure the Spring opening remains, and to remove the Fall closure next. Here is an excerpt from Whatcom County Public Works press release.

Portage Bay reopeningLummi shellfish