Welcome to the fall issue of Wild Connections!
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Help us get kids outside!

Wild Connections

Fall 2017

Sunrise on Glacier Peak, Glacier Peak Trek, August 2017.
Photo Credit: Aimee Frazier

Hello Wild Whatcom families,

A huge thanks to all of you for envisioning a world where kids get outside, sleep amongst the stars, gain new skills, and share grand adventures. What a wonderful summer we've had! More than 300 youth participated in a total of 18 nature exploration camps and 11 wilderness backpack trips. Each outing brought skilled mentors and a wonderful group of kids into wondrous natural areas, filled with learning and discovery.
We remain committed to increasing access and equity, so that all kids get to explore outside in meaningful ways. This summer - thanks to you - we provided 42 scholarships (including 7 from the Assistance League)! Thank you for your continuing engagement with Wild Whatcom, helping grow collaborative leaders and environmental stewards inspired to make positive change for our planet and its inhabitants.

We couldn’t do it without you :)

Emily Barnett Highleyman
Executive Director

Eat a Potato Burrito - Support Wild Whatcom!

Casa Que Pasa, a well-loved downtown Bellingham landmark and home to the famous Potato Burrito, is hosting a Potato Burrito Fundraiser to support Wild Whatcom! 

For every jumbo Potato Burrito sold on Tuesday, September 26, Casa Que Pasa will donate $1 to Wild Whatcom. In addition, they will match any in-house donations up to $200!

If you need an excuse to eat a potato burrito once (or more) that day, join us! Dine in or take out. Open 11AM-11PM. The potato burritos really are outstanding (and big)! 

Anyone welcome so help us spread the word!

Binyon Vision Center - Non-Profit of the Month

Need an eye exam or new glasses?
September is the month to visit Binyon Vision Center.  Binyon Vision will donate 10% of their September profits to Wild Whatcom! Make an appointment today!

Out and About in Schools

Exploring during Neighborhood Nature.
Photo Credit: Jeff Lewis

Did you know that Wild Whatcom provides nature-based outings to classrooms throughout the Bellingham school district and beyond? Thanks to you and our incredible sponsors we've been able to bring the wonders of nature to more youth, decrease access barriers, and help all kids experience time outdoors.

In partnership with local schools, the very same Wild Whatcom mentors that are leading our Explorers Club outings and Neighborhood Nature groups are providing hands-on learning opportunities that integrate classroom curriculum with positive youth development. From seasonal field outings for one class, to weekly outings for a specific group of students, to school-wide implementation of a series of outings for each and every student in a school, outdoor classrooms are inspiring youth to become thoughtful leaders and stewards of our community. Find us this fall at these schools:

Alderwood  l  Birchwood  l  Carl Cozier  l  Cordata  l  Fairhaven  l  Geneva  l  Happy Valley  l  Lowell  l  Roosevelt  l  Sehome  l  Silver Beach  l  Squalicum  l  Sunnyland  l  Wade King

Want to bring the classroom outside at your school?

Contact Meredith Hayes, for more information.

Nature Notes - Holly Roger

Banana slug amid moss and mushrooms. Photo credit: Holly Roger

Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus) - Did you know that our Banana slugs sliming around in local forests are the second largest known species of slug in the world? At full stretch, they can be over 10 inches long, from tentacle to tip of tail.

What's their job in nature? To eat. Eat a lot. This gastropod (basically a stomach on top of a foot) is the composting powerhouse of the forest! In their role as a major detritivore, Banana slugs use their rasp-like tongue of a radula to munch fallen forest leaves and fungus, spreading spores and making nutrients accessible to all plant life.

All slugs secrete different kinds of slime, which allows them to glide along impossible surfaces, sends mates messages, protects them from drying out and predators. It's also expensive for a slug to produce, which is why you'll see far more slugs on moist mornings than out sunbathing in the afternoon. Here's a tip to remove slug slime from your hands: Rub your hands together until the slime looks like rubber cement and flick it off. Washing with water makes the water-soluble slime just keep spreading. Here's a link to slug anatomy, if you're interested in all the parts.
Want an easy way to remove slug slime from your hands? Rub your hands together until the slime looks like rubber cement and flick it off. Washing with water makes the water-soluble slime just keep spreading.
Redosier dogwood in a wetland. Photo credit: One World Conservation Center

Redosier dogwood (Cornus Stolonifera) -This distinctive shrub, also known as red-twig dogwood, loves to grow in wet places, and you'll find it growing profusely along trails next to streams and creeks. It also grows well in damp spots in your yard, providing good habitat for songbirds and browsing material for deer, and visual interest all year round with its striking fall color.

Redosier dogwood is a pretty shrub, but mostly inedible with white berry clusters and upright and opposite branching red stems. Surprisingly, Redosier dogwood shrubs are cousins to the tall Pacific dogwood tree and the delicate Bunchberry groundcover creeping along the forest floor. As a family, they all have white "flowers", but their individual fruits vary differently in shape and color. Look for the leaves to explain the botanical relationship, as the bottom 5-7 veins run into the tip on all three species. Leave the berries for the birds, though!

Mark your calendar - join us this fall! 

Sept. 1-30 - Binyon Vision Center Non-Profit of the Month
Every Friday 9:30-11:00AM - Wild Things at Whatcom Falls Park (Scudder Pond)
Tues., Sept. 5, 6:30-8:30PM - Ladies Night Out - Moon of the Harvest
Sat., Sept. 9 - Explorers Club season opens. First groups meet!
Mon., Sept. 12 - Neighborhood Nature season begins!
Tues., Sept. 26 - Potato Burrito fundraiser at Casa Que Pasa

Every Friday 9:30-11:00AM - Wild Things at Stimpson Family Nature Reserve
Wed., Oct. 4, 6:00-8:00PM - Ladies Night Out - Moon of the Falling Leaves
Sun., Oct. 29, 10:00-12:00PM - Nature Outings - Fungus Among Us

Every Friday 9:30-11:00AM - Wild Things at Cornwall Park
Fri., Nov. 3, 5:30-7:30PM - Ladies Night Out - Moon of Frost's Return
Copyright © 2017 Wild Whatcom. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 4457
Bellingham, WA  98227-4457  l

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