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.

Washington state COVID safety guidelines continue to affect our field trips. In general, face masks are required outdoors only for large outdoor gatherings.

Fall 2021 Field Trips

October 10, 2021, Sunday, 10:00 am

Introduction to Mosses and Lichens with Pam Borso

Location: Meet at 10:00 am at the Fenton Land Preserve, 8906 Valley View Rd, Custer, WA. Please park at the entrance where there is room for 2-3 cars as well as across the street at Haynie Cemetery.

This will be a basic introduction to lichens and mosses at the Fenton Land Preserve, which is a Whatcom Land Trust property. The trail circumnavigates a small pond through mixed conifer/deciduous forest. It is approximately 2 miles with no noticeable elevation gain. Please bring a hand lens if you have one. We will be exploring the woods for lichens and mosses and will get to see some interesting trees and tree formations as well. Email Pam at borsope [at] aol [dot] com to register or if you have questions. Phone 360-319-9004. Limit 8 people.

October 16, 2021, Saturday, 9:30 am – 3 pm

Finding Plants at Lost Lake (Sumas Mountain)

Location: Meet at the Whatcom County Parks building just before the round-about at the intersection of East Smith and Mt Baker Hwy to carpool or caravan. Vehicles with 4WD or AWD encouraged because of the steep forest road.

From trip leader Abe Lloyd: “I’ve been turning to Sumas Mt during the pandemic for quick escapes from the dismal challenges that face humanity. These trips have taught me that what is often scoffed as a foothill is actually full of interesting features to explore. Serpentine outcrops with dreamy ferns, precipitous cliffs with nesting Peregrine Falcons, rocky balds with amazing spring wildflowers, an abundance of Lodgepole pine, caves, and at least one sedgy fen, are just a few of the treasures to be found.” Abe will be taking us up a steep forest road on the north side of Sumas Mt to an unmarked trailhead. The short trail climbs 500′ (from 2300 – 2800′) in 0.6 miles and may get more use from motorbikes than people, but the lake at the top has a cozy feel to it. We’ll encounter a good diversity of conifers, and many mushrooms will likely be flushing. He’ll do his best to talk about some of the common mosses, and we may explore a wetland south of the lake. Bring a sack lunch. Contact Abe (arcadianabe [at] yahoo [dot] com) for details.

October 23, 2021, Saturday, 9 am – 12 pm

Make a Difference Day Community Work Party at Whatcom Falls Park

Location: Meet at the fish hatchery, access via the Silver Beach Rd entrance off of Lakeway Drive. 

The City of Bellingham Parks Department is having a work party and booths at Whatcom Falls Park. Wendy Scherrer will be there with kids’ activities about native trees. Celebrate Make a Difference Day and Arbor Day with the City of Bellingham and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association by helping to improve salmon habitat at Whatcom Falls Park! We will be planting trees and shrubs, removing invasive species, and maintain social trail closures. All ages and abilities welcome. Participants under age 14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Tools, gloves, and instructions are provided. Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes and your mask. This event will follow current health department guidelines and Covid-19 safety protocols. Additional information and reminders will be emailed to registered participants. If you sign up, please show up! Register here, and register early due to limited space!

October 30, 2021, Saturday, 9 am – 12 pm

Work Party: Happy Valley Right-of-Way

Location: Meet at Larrabee Ave right of way, between 21st St and 22nd St, Bellingham. Bring shovel, spading fork, trowel, pruners. 

This site is an undeveloped Right of Way (ROW). It is a forested wetland ecosystem with both native and nonnative plants, including invasive species. The section of ROW has a small stormwater infrastructure facility on it, which is managed by the City of Bellingham. This past year, the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association has been working collaboratively with COB and WNPS Koma Kulshan Chapter to fund and provide volunteers to implement a restoration plan for the site. We will tour the site and learn about restoration strategies, and examine how the project has progressed in the last year and results so far. We will plant seeds, potted native shrubs, and trees at the site in the pollinator hedgerow and pollinator mound, and build and install blue tubes with bamboo stakes to protect the young plants. We will also remove invasive plants and sheet mulch. For more information, contact Wendy Scherrer at: bluegreen.northwest [at] gmail [dot] com, or 360-319-9518.

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.