By Bennett Blaustein
This past year has been an exciting time for the Point Roberts Park and Recreation District. Through the generosity of our local voters passing an increased levy, we were able to hire Ben Van Buskirk as our new programs and facilities coordinator in March.
We started a trail maintenance program for Baker Field, and we hope to keep the trails open for year-round use. There are plans to add signage to the trails and create a trail map during the upcoming year. In October we started work on a new Enchanted Forest Trail for kids and anyone who is a kid at heart.
The park district restarted the summer kayak program after a 3-year hiatus with the support of the Point Roberts Marina and we hope to expand this program in the upcoming year. We also held our kids summer camp for 6–12 year-olds. This free camp was very successful and is always a fun event for those who attend.
The largest event for the park district this past year was in August when we hosted the grand opening of the new Point Roberts Library.
This joint project between the park district, Friends of the Library, and the Whatcom County Library System took years of community fundraising and eight months of construction to convert the old firehall to our new library space. The park district and historical society are converting the old library space into a local historical museum and meeting room, which we hope to open early next year.
The changes at the community center have given us an opportunity to begin a much needed refresh of the building to help keep the community center as a local gathering spot for the future.
Our goal for 2019 is to develop, implement and maintain a long-term strategic plan so the park district can be better stewards of the community center and Baker Field as well as providing increased recreational programs to our residents.
We plan to continue our support for all the organizations and residents of Point Roberts that use our facilities, and we wish everyone a happy new year.