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.

Autumn 2018 Field Trips

October 20, Saturday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

Salmon Woods Open Space

This short hike will explore some natural gems hidden in the center of Bellingham. The Salmon Woods Open Space is fairly unique among the parks and open spaces of Bellingham and other cities: due its terrain and limited accessibility it has remained little disturbed for perhaps a hundred years, and harbors a remarkably mature, biologically diverse, and quite beautiful small forest. A city-maintained trail runs through the Salmon Woods and connects to adjacent public properties that also hold botanical interest, including the Red Tail Reach restoration area adjacent to Whatcom Creek — restored in 2008 with a diverse stand of native shrubs, trees, and wetland features. Together, the several segments of our hike offer access to diverse habitats and plants, and lessons on ecological succession and the urban pressures affecting open space ecosystems. The total walking distance is about 2.5 miles. Meet at 9:00 AM at the southeast corner of the Civic Center parking lot, on Puget Street one block north of Lakeway Drive. For questions contact Eric Worden or 360-778-3542

November 4, Sunday, 9:00 AM to Noon

Introductory Workshop on using iNaturalist

Location: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) campus, 3057 E. Bakerview Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. The 6-acre site is east of Hannegan Road, down the hill where E. Bakerview Rd. turns north.

This 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! We will begin in the classroom learning the basics and then we will go out and try it out on plants around the campus. You do not need to have a smart phone or tablet to take the class, but if you do I would recommend you download the iNaturalist app ( and register yourself. It is all free and registration is super simple. Any questions contact Vikki Jackson at or 360-319-6988.
*We expect to be done by noon, but bring a lunch and stay to help out in the NSEA Native Plant Habitat Garden planting and caring for native plants. (See details in the separate calendar item.)

November 4, Sunday, 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM

NSEA Native Plant Habitat Garden Work Party

Location: Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), 3057 E. Bakerview Road, Bellingham, WA 98226 The 6-acre site is east of Hannegan Road, down the hill where E. Bakerview Rd. turns north.

Join us for a work party to help plant native plants at the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s (NSEA) Native Plant Habitat Garden, which was created with WNPS support in 2016. WNPS Koma Kulshan Chapter has a partnership agreement to assist with the management and maintenance of the Native Plant Habitat Garden. We’ll be weeding the garden and planting more native plants. Warm drinks and snacks provided! Wear sturdy boots—the ground is wet and you will be digging–and weather appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry! If you have any questions, contact Wendy Scherrer at 360-319-9518 or

December 16, Sunday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Old Growth Ecology and Evergreen Ethnobotany

Location: Meet at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve trailhead on Lake Louise Road. Directions: From I-5 in Bellingham, drive 3.5 miles east on Lakeway Dr to the Geneva neighborhood, turn right on Austin St (which becomes Lake Louise Rd), trailhead will be on the left in 1.5 miles.

The Stimpson Family Nature Reserve has 5 miles of easy trails through mature forest and thriving forest wetland. In this beautiful forest setting, the conifers appear to be ascendant. The undisturbed woodland provides a stable environment for under-story plants, fungi, and animals to establish themselves at a climax of ecological succession. These forests of trees are sure to have been providing food and shelter to a multitude of species, including to human beings, for many generations. Jazmen Yoder and Jim Davis will walk us through the preserve identifying coniferous trees and other plants, and discussing traditional uses of bark, roots and leaves for things such as medicine, food and fiber for shelter, weaving, art, and more. Wear appropriate clothing for the December weather. We will stop for lunch on the trail around noon and we plan to return to our cars about 3. Questions should be sent to Jazmen at

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.