Field Trips

Koma Kulshan chapter Washington Native Plant Society field trips are generally free and open to the public. Exceptions are noted in the trip descriptions.

Winter 2018 Field Trips

January 20, Saturday, 9:15 AM to 3:00 PM

Birch Bay and Semiahmoo: Plants and Birds in Winter

We will take a short walk starting along the shore in Birch Bay State Park to see plants and birds, then see what is happening in the wetlands by Terrell creek (if you attended the Plant Stewards walk with Jim Evans this is the same + birds). Then we will drive up to Semiahmoo County Park and alternately identify plants by their twigs and buds and the marine birds that should be abundant at this time of year. There will be handouts for identifying plants and several scopes and handouts for the common birds seen at this time of year. You may want to bring binoculars for the closer in water birds and terrestrial birds. Bring a lunch and dress for winter weather. Meet at 9:15 AM at the southeast corner of Sunset Square parking lot out from the Safeway, or meet at 10 AM at the BP Heron Center in Birch Bay State Park (Discover Pass required). For questions, contact Lyle Anderson at 360-739-9249 or

February 10, Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Winter Twigs and Buds

Short days and drab winter colors need not keep the keen botanist indoors. All of our deciduous trees and shrubs leave little clues that reveal their identity. This field trip will explore the twigs and buds along one of Whatcom County’s newest trails: the Chanterelle Trail, in the Lake Whatcom Park reconveyance land. Dress for the weather. We will eat lunch in a place with potential views of Lake Whatcom, the San Juan Islands, and Skagit County. Total elevation gain will be about 1500’. Meet at the main, upper Lake Whatcom Park trailhead just before the end of Northshore Road at 9:00 AM. Contact Abe at 360-303-1339 or if you have questions.

February 24, Saturday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Lake Whatcom Watershed Work Party

Since 2002 the City of Bellingham has purchased 1,988 acres of land in the Lake Whatcom watershed to be kept in or restored to its natural state to protect water quality. Four members of our chapter serve on the Watershed Advisory Board and we have offered to assist in these stewardship efforts. This work party will also provide an opportunity for the participants of this fall’s Native Plant Stewardship Course to volunteer some hours. More about the course is at We will be working in the Agate Bay Preserve identifying and flagging native plants to protect them from mowing; other tasks may be determined before the work party. Meet in the parking lot at Bloedel Donovan Park by Lake Whatcom at 9:00 AM. We will carpool to the work sites from there. For further information contact Alice Shilhanek at 360-739-3441 or

March 10, Saturday, 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Annual Cryptogamic Ramble

Admire ferns, mosses, fungi, lichens, a slime mold or two and even some “higher” vascular plants.
Fred Rhoades will lead this hike, hopefully (again) to the Maple Creek Park loop trail. Trailhead on east side of Silver Lake Road 1/10 mi north of Mt. Baker Highway in Maple Falls. Mixed forest with a (defunct bridge but if the water is low, manageable) creek crossing, waterfalls and other wet spots. Carpool from Sunset Square Safeway parking lot (SE corner) at 9:30, or meet at trailhead at 10:00 AM. Bring a hand lens and lunch. We will return by about 4 PM. Please contact Fred Rhoades at 360-733-9149 or during the week before for last minute details of location, condition, and carpooling.

March 31, Saturday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Washington Park

Washington Park, an Anacortes city park, contains some fairly open areas that provide a habitat for early spring wildflowers. Its forested areas, especially its colony of Rocky Mountain Junipers, are impressive. We will make a circuit of the park trails, walking somewhat more than two miles, and see what we can find. Meet at the Fairhaven west side park and ride at the south end of 32nd St. at 8:30 AM. If you have questions contact Jim Duemmel, or 360-733-3448.

Previous field trips are listed on their own page in case you’re curious about where the Koma Kulshan chapter has explored in previous seasons.