Letters to the Editor – May

The Editor:

If you have driven down APA Road between Pauls Road and Boundary Bay Road since the huge windstorm that occurred on December 20, you know the about the massive damage to our beautiful APA tree canopy. At the ferry terminal, 76 mph hurricane-force wind gusts were recorded and they created this destruction.

Ed Park’s iconic pictures of this area were often captioned “The Maple Cathedral.” You can view one of his pictures on the Point Roberts Conservation Society page of the excellent Point Roberts Resource Directory (P.13). This green tunnel was my favorite spot on the Point.

The west end of this two-block-long stretch of APA Road was somewhat protected by wind-break trees so a few of the large maples still stand.

Whatcom County Public Works (WCPW) removed all the fallen trees from the roadway and hopefully some of the trees will slowly regenerate along the right-of-way from stumps and seeds. In the meantime, the Point Roberts Conservation Society is sponsoring a project to replant maples in the most devastated areas. We are suggesting sugar maples because they are so colorful in the fall and they are approved by WCPW for right-of-way plantings. Big leaf maples are not approved due to their propensity to have upper limb breakage during windstorms. Right. We noticed! With natural forest regeneration and about 20 well-placed new sugar maple plantings, it will once again be a beautiful area … in time.

Once we have a firm price and tree approval by the county and evidence of wide community support, we will ask PRCAC to formally present our request to Whatcom County Council for final approval. The best time to plant trees is in the fall.

The county has been helpful and encouraging and even pleased to help with this project. County officials say is very likely that transportation benefit district funds, the one cent per gallon gas tax which now has over $1,100,000 accumulated, will pay for this relatively small project. The Point collects over $9,000 per month to add to this fund. The APA tree restoration project would only cost a fraction of one month’s gain.

So far, this project has been met with enthusiasm and wide approval when we have presented our plans at community meetings but we want and need more citizen comments. Petitions will be circulated all summer starting in mid-May but meanwhile please send an email to apatreerestoration@gmail.com and leave a comment.

Sometimes people find it easier to say “no” than “yes.” So, if you want to vote “yes” please be sure to chime in, too. We need your help to show there is community-wide support for this project. Thank you!

Armene Belless

Point Roberts Conservation Society

The Editor:

The Lighthouse Park dock system. So it happened. What everyone with a high school education and the ability to put hammer to nail knew all along.

The articulating dock was not the right fit for the environment the Lighthouse Park shoreline offers. Designers, engineers, installers and the parks organization couldn’t forecast a dock that merely went up and down with the tide and rolled with the waves wouldn’t get beat to death? There is no breakwater! (See my letter and others regarding this issue.)

I overheard an elderly woman on a wavy day in the summer of 2017 exclaim, “Oh my, I don’t think the dock is going to do well with all those waves.” Somebody’s grandmother made that observation. Clearly this issue has been beaten to death. Ha ha! Now, what to do with it? The county says they may sell it off for lake dwellers or some like use.

In the last few weeks I have been hearing appeals on KISM 92.9 for money to build a swimming dock for kids in Bellingham. I’m not familiar with that water environment but could these docks be used there? Repurpose is the catch phrase these days so maybe it’s a cause worth exploring. The money has been spent so maybe the purchase can serve a meaningful purpose. And the county can claim a tax exemption for the gift.

Walter Venderrijst

Point Roberts

(Ed. Note: The county owns the dock and has indicated it will be re-purposed somewhere else in the county park system.)

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