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.

Spring 2019 Field Trips

Saturday, March 23, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Kukutali Reserve and Breazeale Interpretive Center

Location: Meet at 9:00 AM at the Fairhaven Parkway Park & Ride off 32nd street on the west side of I-5.

We will be exploring trails on 84-acre Kliket Island, where we can find both remnants of old-growth cedar and madrone as well as driftwood-covered beaches. Kliket, an island in Lang Bay, is accessed by a sand spit or tombolo. This Reserve is jointly managed by Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Washington State Parks Department, and its historical significance is as interesting as its plant communities. Then we will go on to the Breazeale Interpretive Center, where we can explore the lookout over Padilla Bay, the Center itself, and an upland trail that forms a loop through a cedar forest, an upland wetland, and native plants the Center is installing on its property. Total walking distance could be as much as 6 miles with little elevation gain. Bring your lunch; we will eat at Kukutali before heading to Padilla Bay. We plan to return to our cars by 3:00. If you have any questions, call Penny McGinty at (502) 724-8765 (email pennymcginty44@gmail.com)

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

Pine and Cedar Lakes Trail

Location: Meet at 9am at the Fairhaven Parkway Park & Ride off 32nd street on the west side of I-5.

This is a local trail that, to my memory, the the chapter has not held a field trip on, so this will involve a bit of exploration. Our goal will be to examine the dense forset and the two lakes. The trail is steep, about two miles long with an elevation gain of 1300 feet. The plant list available on the state WNPS website needs much work — the trail was surveyed only during the winter months. If you have questions contact Jim Duemmel at (360) 733-3448 or jimduemmel@q.com.

April 20, Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Deception Pass State Park

Location: Meet at the Fairhaven Parkway Park & Ride off 32nd street on the west side of I-5 to carpool, leaving at 9:00 am and returning around 5:00 pm.

Explore one of the best sites for early season wildflowers on the shore of the Salish Sea at Deception Pass State Park. We’ll ramble across the meadows on Pass Island where the grass widows (Olysynium douglasii) and camas (Camassia quamash) may still be blooming. Examine Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) male and female cones, see red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) clinging to the cliffs just above the splash zone, and see if the first blossoms of harsh paintbrush (Castilleja hispida) are showing. Maybe even a checker lily (Fritillaria affinis) under the trees. Then we’ll head over to West Beach where we should see diminutive Claytonia exigua ssp. exigua in the sand. What else might we find? Mark Turner (mark@turnerphotographics.com, 360-671-6851) is leading.

May 4, Saturday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Peat Bogs of Richmond and Delta

Location: Meet at the southeast corner of the Bellingham Sunset Square Safeway parking lot at 9:00 AM or at the Richmond Nature Park at 10:00 AM.

Within the vast developments of metropolitan Vancouver, BC are preserved two exemplary raised peat bogs; we will visit both. First the Richmond Nature Park — where we will also pause for lunch — then the nearby Delta Nature Reserve of Burns Bog. These bogs feature sphagnum moss and other native plants rarely found in our lowlands, such as labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum), bog laurel (Kalmia microphylla), and cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus). Both feature short flat loop trails totaling about four mile altogether. We will be crossing the border so please remember your passports. Our travel route will be rather circuitous and since your phone may have no service (or very expensive service) in the area, consider bringing paper maps. Eric Worden is leading: eric@ericworden.seattle.wa.us, (360) 778-3542.

May 8, Wednesday, 8:00 AM

Marine Algae and Invertebrates of Washington Park

Location: Bellingham carpoolers leave 8:00 AM from Fairhaven Parkway Park & Ride off 32nd street on the west side of I-5.

From splash zone lichen Caloplaca sp., through mid-zone red algae Chondracanthus sp. (Turkish towel), to subtidal vascular Phyllospadix sp. (surfgrass) we will examine all that a minus 1.7-ft tide and time permits. Bring your intertidal ecology questions along with personal knowledge and experience to share. Algae get first billing, but ecology and invertebrates will not be ignored. Please dress for MUCH COOLER conditions than anywhere inland. The likely location is a rocky reef by Green Point in Washington Park, Anacortes, which is a half-mile, 15-minute, flat walk from free, but limited parking. Meet Salal chapter participants at 9:00 AM at the day use parking area near toilet and shower building of Anacortes Washington Park. Leaders, Bob Lemon and Glen “Alex” Alexander admit this is a practice run for the Study Weekend; stimulate us with your best questions! See Study Weekend offerings, trip #207 for more information or email Bob at lemprev@alphahunt.com. Bob cell only on day of trip (360)378-2657.

June 1, Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Edfro Creek Preserve and Yúmechiy

Location: Meet at the southeast corner of the Sunset Square Safeway parking lot at 9:00 AM.

Explore the natural and cultural world of the upper South Fork Nooksack River valley with Allan Richardson, chapter president and coauthor of Nooksack Place Names. The river bottom upstream from Skookum Creek is being restored through volunteer efforts and help from a colony of beavers. Upstream from Edfro Creek is the important Nooksack cultural site of Yúmechiy (spring salmon place), named for the now endangered South Fork spring Chinook salmon. We will observe and identify a range of native plants in a moss-draped rain forest environment. Bring a lunch and come prepared for the weather. Also, part of the route is a bit rough and the trail may be wet in the area of the beaver ponds, so wear sturdy boots. Contact Allan Richardson at asrichardson5@gmail.com or 360-733-5477 to confirm.

June 2nd, Sunday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

iNaturalist Training and BioBlitz of Connelly Creek Nature Area

Time:

  • 9am-12pm iNaturalist Training
  • 12pm-1pm lunch (people bring sack lunches)
  • 1pm-4pm BioBlitz of Connelly Creek Nature Area

Location: Meet at Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Ave, Bellingham.
What: Morning from 9am-12pm, we will meet inside the school to get for an interactive workshop is geared towards introducing you to iNaturalist and how to use it. iNaturalist is a crowd sourced species identification system and data base. You can use it to help you ID species and to maintain data on where and when you have seen different species. You can use it from an app on your smart phone or tablet or on your home PC. This is citizen science at its best and a great way to learn and track plants, fungi and animals! The goal of the training is to get your started and let you know the potential of this tool! You do not need to have a smart phone or tablet to take the class, but we’d recommend you download the iNaturalist app (www.inaturalist.org) and register yourself. It is all free and registration is super simple.

Bring a lunch (12-1pm) and stay to participate in the afternoon BioBlitz of the adjacent city park, Connelly Creek Nature Area.

Afternoon (1pm-4pm) BioBlitz of Connelly Creek Nature Area (CCNA)

  1. Start to make an accurate list of plants and animals located in CCNA, with the ultimate goal of having a comprehensive list of living organisms in CCNA.
  2. More deeply connect and engage neighborhood folks and local educators to have more knowledge about CCNA natural history.
  3. Train folks to use iNaturalist so they can each work to populate a project.

The training and BioBlitz will be led by Vikki Jackson and Wendy Scherrer. Any questions contact Wendy Scherrer at bluegreen.northwest@gmail.com or (360) 319-9518.

June 15, Saturday, 10:00 AM

Ravencrest Farm

We will welcome summer with a field trip to Ravencrest Farm from 10:00 AM to 1:00 pm. Ravencrest Farm, located on E. Hemmi Road in Whatcom County, is dedicated to habitat restoration and research on native plants. We’ll assess how the understory vegetation is recovering three years after cessation of cattle grazing, and how the unusually cold early spring weather has affected bud break and bloom phenology. Bring lunch, and feel free to supplement it with a garnish of any native edible that is abundant (miner’s lettuce, for example). Hot and cold drinks will be provided. Please call or write for directions. Contact Anu. Phone: (360) 647-8493. Email: anusinghcundy@comcast.net.


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.