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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.

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

Wintery Weather Fun

in and near

Columbia Valley

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.