Winter’s delight: Ice sculpture…

Our intrepid water quality sampling wizard was out on his usual rounds last week – in very unusual conditions. With temperatures in the teens and wind chill near zero, early morning on the creek was a bit intimidating. So what does he do? He pauses long enough to appreciate a bit of art offered up by the conditions – and cold fingers snapped some photos so we can join in admiration.

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So, while you are enjoying these, how about a little quiet appreciation for the many volunteer efforts that keep contributing in so many ways to the health of our waterways! It’s what we do….

p.s. If you would like to join in the fun, our next water sampling is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 26th. Just get in touch here and we’ll get you all set up!

Bellewood Acres – thank the owners!

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The meeting facility at Bellewood Acres farm has been home for Tenmile group membership meetings ever since farm owner Dorie Belisle helped start this effort more than a decade ago. Now the new owners, the Abel family, are continuing that hospitality – and we sure do appreciate it!

CountryCafeHeaderSeveral of our members recently enjoyed lunch at the farm’s Bellewood Country Cafe, and fully enjoyed meeting three generations now in residence – Julie & Eric, with their son Blake, his wife Jenelle and their two daughters. Next chance you get, why not stop in for lunch, delicious treats from the bakery, or just your apple-a-day – and welcome the Abels to the neighborhood. They are excited to be joining this community, and we are happy they are continuing Bellewood support for the Tenmile Clean Water Project.

Postponed to March: Lynden HS FFA Ag Issues Team

Due to weather-related school closure, this program will not be presented until our March 13th meeting. Please join us then!

Lynden High School has an active FFA chapter that participates in the annual Issues competition at the FFA state convention. We have hosted their team before as they practice in preparation for the late spring contest.

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They will return this year to present at our March 13 membership meeting at Bellewood Acres. The topic this year is “Will Traditional Farming Survive?” – which should be of particular interest in our area. You should join us to hear how they frame the question and pose their answers – visitors are welcome. These students always appreciate questions and critique afterwards so come prepared for a stimulating conversation!
Our meeting begins at 6:30pm, with the FFA program beginning about 7pm.

 

Act now! WCD ballot request deadline: Feb 8th

WCD Election LogoThere is one Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) Board position open for election in March. These elections follow many typical rules for WA State elections but are administered by WCD staff. So you must request a ballot in order to vote by mail. The request process is quick & easy from this online website

Summary information & links below are all from the complete WCD election website.

  • All information provided in your request must match your Whatcom County Voter Registration; view your Voter Registration here at the County Auditor’s Office.
  • Each Conservation District is governed by a board of five supervisors; see this page to meet current board members.
  • The two candidates in this election are: Theresa Sygitowicz and Valeri Wade (click on names for biographies.)
  • Further details about the rules & timeline – for ballot validations, receiving ballots & then returning them, or voting in person, etc – are on the election website.
  • If you have any questions regarding elections or serving on the Board, contact Dawn Bekenyi at wcd@whatcomcd.org or 360-526-2381 x 101.

New: County PIC Program e-news

PIC stands for ‘Pollution, Identification and Correction‘, a methodology used elsewhere that also defines the program in Whatcom County Public Works that is focused on fecal bacteria contamination in our waterways, specifically waters that drain to shellfish harvest areas in Drayton Harbor and Portage Bay. This work includes community outreach & education, technical & financial assistance for landowners, and coordination with County departments & other agencies.

This is also the program that coordinates water quality testing across the county, including our regular monthly ‘ambient‘ sampling in the Tenmile watershed, which drains to Portage Bay via the Nooksack River.


And now they have an e-newsletter. This month’s issue includes latest water quality data for the shellfish beds, a report from the Drayton Shellebration in December, upcoming events and more. Download a copy of the January newsletter here.

Sign up for future issues by sending an email to:
PICProgram@co.whatcom.wa.us

Guest speaker at our Nov. 14 Members Meeting: Dr. Sandra Matheson

Save the date! We are pleased to have Sandra coming to our next meeting to talk about her family’s local beef operation, Matheson Farms. We will have announcements in local media and hope to have a good turnout. Don’t miss it!
See location information here and contact us if you have any questions.sandra_event5 postcard
Sandra is a life-long farmer, educator, filmmaker, author, speaker, active grandmother and retired veterinarian. She is also an Accredited Consultant/Field Professional in Holistic Management and a certified consensus facilitator. She serves as the president of Roots of Resilience and Managing Change Northwest; has co-authored the book The Art and Science of Success; and is a co-founder and past president of the North Cascade Meat Producer’s Cooperative.

Did you know? – Tenmile on social media!

No, we’re not using Facebook; or Instagram; or Twitter (gosh, no). But from our friends we are getting help trying to reach Tenmile residents on NextDoor.com, where there are 653 residents in three NextDoor neighborhood groups that overlap our watershed. Here is an example, a post last week that promotes an upcoming WCD event highlighting assistance for farm operations preparing for ‘mud season’. Spread the word!

Septic System reminder in the mail.

In July, Whatcom County is mailing a reminder post card to septic system owners in the Tenmile creek watershed, as part of a focused outreach program in some areas. The card reminds owners of the inspection requirement, the reasons for that attention, and the available inspection rebate program. There is a homeowner workshop July 19th (attendance is required for rebate eligibility.) Our Tenmile Clean Water Project is listed on the card as a sponsor, thanks to our involvement with other partners in this effort!

Septic Reminder Mailer FINAL 6.28.18 compressed

Meeting with County Public Works

We had a meeting today with County Public Works and WCD staff to talk about septic systems – or in tech-speak, On Site Sewage (OSS) systems. We shared ideas and data that we all had, and how to coordinate our strategy for summer sampling efforts, and outreach that will be increasing through the rest of this year. Summer is a key focus of our own group’s sampling, since stormwater runoff is minimal, which increases the possibility that fecal sources may be coming from septic systems.