New Puppy Leads to Greenways Passion

Sarah Gardner became aware of the Greenways Program after adopting an Australian Shepherd puppy.

I thought he was going to kill me because his energy level was off the charts,” said Gardner. “So I ended up using all of these fantastic Bellingham trails, a lot of them funded by Greenways, and I thought that would be an amazing thing to be a part of.”

So she joined the Greenways Advisory Committee comprised of Bellingham citizens tasked with proposing project expenditures to the city and the parks department. The program began in 1990 when a group of citizens became interested in turning abandoned rail lines into public trails. Since then, $102 million in funds has opened up over 3,000 acres of land to the public.

The city council approved a strategic plan (4) to allocate funding through 2026 in December. In a committee meeting on Feb. 1, members announced development and renovation plans at Hundred Acre Wood, Boulevard Park, Salish Landing and East Bear Creek.

One of the committee’s overarching goals is to bring more awareness to the program. Gardner encourages Bellingham citizens to attend their meetings at city hall on the first Thursday of every month. She also suggests collaborating with local neighborhood associations to identify needed greenspaces, such as community gardens.

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