The mission of Columbia Valley Parks and Recreation District is to improve the quality of life in Columbia Valley by providing the community with access to
diverse parks and recreational opportunities.

Columbia Valley Parks and Recreation District is a local government entity within Whatcom County. Our commissioners are elected from our community by our community and volunteer for this service. Learn more about our commissioners and the work CVPRD is doing on our About page.

Spring Activities in and Around Columbia Valley

With cabin fever setting in, it’s good to turn our thoughts to spring and getting back outside again, even if it is still a bit damp.

The first wildflowers will be popping out pretty soon and it’s always fun to take a walk with the kids, or by yourself, and learn to identify local flora. Here are links to tree and flower identification in our area.

We have a wide variety of animal life also looking forward to spring. Kids love spotting animal tracks in the mud and trying to figure out what animal they belong to. Here’s a great guide to animal tracks you and your kids can have fun with.

Another great guide is this one to identify animal poo. This one is a big hit with most kids!

Be careful out there!

We share our environment with a number of predators including bears, cougar and coyotes and must always be alert to the possibility of their presence.

It won’t be long now before the bears begin waking up and stretching their legs in search of a good meal after the long winter. It is advisable to always carry bear spray and to make plenty of noise when you’re out walking, even in areas you think you don’t need to. Keep your dog on a good leash to prevent harm to both the dog and bear, and possibly you. Don’t let children run ahead or wander away from you.

Here’s a good article on how to practice bear safety.

Recent bear sitings in our neighborhoods and on Kendall Highway are testament to how we are impacting bear territories around us, and it means we can never be sure one isn’t napping under that next bush.

Upcoming Activities from Columbia Valley Parks District

Coming Soon! Park improvement work days.

As soon as the weather stops sending winter weather we will be scheduling workdays in the Santa Fe Trail park to build fences, do some landscaping and begin adding benches and tables, play equipment and more.

Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook account.

If you’re interested in helping out, email us at cvparksandrec@gmail.com.

We’d love to have you join us in making this park beautiful and welcoming!

Free Self-Defense Classes

The self-defense classes were a big hit; everyone learned a lot of useful safety skills and had tremendous fun doing it. We will be bringing the instructors back for more trainings in home invasion, self-defense for Elders and disabled, an 8-hr intensive self-defense class, and more!

Join our mailing list here ~ Like us on Facebook!

We hope you will spend some time exploring our website and learning more about the Columbia Valley Park and Recreation District (CVPRD) in Whatcom County, Washington.

Outdoor fun

in and near Columbia Valley

(even if it is raining!)

Now that the rains are finally here it probably seems like everyone is stuck inside. Beat the rainy day blues by donning your best rain gear (even if it isn’t raining yet) and head to the river or up a trail. Along the Nooksack River fall is a great time to spot eagles congregating as they await the fall salmon runs. You can get some great photos of them feeding along the river banks or waiting in the trees.

If you sit quietly on a log, one may even come sit on the other end for a cameo shot.


Or, take your kids puddle jumping! Every parent knows puddles are serious kid magnets, so why not make it a fun activity? Check out this article about why puddle-jumping helps with physical development, sparks the imagination and is a natural educational tool.

One of my grandchldren’s favorite wet activities is building dams in puddles and rivulets. This activity stretches their engineering imaginations as well as creates lots of messy fun! Check out these 50 ways to have more messy, rainy fun with kids.

And remember, it’s always way more fun for everyone if mom and dad join in!

For those grownups who cherish time away from the kids, rainy day walks and hikes are a wonderful way to see the environment in a new light. The greens are greener, light sparks from rain drops clinging to the tips of leaves and branches, and all the subtle colors of lichens, mosses and fungi come alive. It’s a great time to get beautiful photos of plants growing along trails and stream banks.

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 © Sue Wetjen | Dreamstime.com

And, if you’ve got a special partner, romantic walks in the rain are just the thing to warm you both up and bring you closer.

Another good rainy day pasttime is mushroom foraging. This time of year mushrooms are popping out all over. Chantarelles are a very popular fungi that can be found locally, but keep your eyes open for the great-tasting Lion’s Main, and Hedgehog, too.

Chantarelle Mushrooms. For more info on foraging wild mushrooms, click here.

Always make certain you know what type of mushroom you’re picking. If you are unsure, don’t eat it! There are lots of useful books and websites to learn more about edible fungi. Click on this link to explore some of the highest rated mushroom field guides.

Grab your binoculars and life list because Columbia Valley is an international flyway for a huge variety of migrating birds and fall is a perfect time to add to your life list, or just see who’s passing through today.

Western Nuthatch. These tiny birds are barely bigger than a hummingbird. They especially love berries to eat in the winter.

So, get creative this fall and winter with your outdoor activities. There’s lots to do even if it’s wet and cold!

Columbia Valley Parks Future

With the purchase of our first park property earlier this year, we began fulfilling our goal of developing several parks throughout Columbia Valley. Our intent is to provide a park within walking distance of every home in our district (see map below).

There have been many studies that demonstrate how easy access to parks helps people stay mentally and physically healthy, increases awareness of the environment and its care, and helps develop a deeper connection with the natural world, just to name a few benefits.

Part of Columbia Valley Parks and Recreation District’s objectives are to improve health and wellbeing within our community, but also to provide places where people can gather for activities, events, or to just sit on a bench visiting with a neighbor.

1st park property: 7916 Santa Fe Trail, Maple Falls WA

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of having local parks, click on the following link: Parks page.

Join Us! We’d love to have your input in the planning and development of our park system!

Please join us at one of our monthly public meetings. To learn more, visit our Public Meetings page.

To get in touch with us, visit our Contact page, call us at 360.656.6771 or email us at cvparksandrec@gmail.com.

We welcome your ideas and comments!

Below is a map showing the boundaries of the Columbia Valley Parks and Recreation District.