Fledgling Great Blue Herons Need Our Help

With this year’s crop about to fly the coop, it’s time to contact Mayor Fleetwood to seal the deal and create a permanent, protected wildlife reserve — the first of its kind in Bellingham.

With this year’s crop about to fly the coop, it’s time to contact Mayor Fleetwood to seal the deal and create a permanent, protected wildlife reserve — the first of its kind in Bellingham.

Hurry down to the Post Point Great Blue Heron colony in the next few days to catch sight of a wondrous event: the giant baby herons are preparing to leave their nests and venture out into the world. They need our help. Contact Mayor Fleetwood NOW and urge him to acquire the adjacent undeveloped lots to create a permanent, protected reserve so the herons can thrive: mayorsoffice@cob.org or call (360) 778-8100.

The birds, a Washington State Priority Species, are “branching” out onto limbs of nearby conifer trees, practicing flight by flapping their huge wings and making a loud ruckus. Others continue to hang out in their nests, perhaps waiting for a sign. Speaking of signs, we have Bellingham Public Works Department to thank for heightening the fence in front of the colony and adding signage that advises people to keep their dogs on leash, avoid loud noises, and refrain from bothering the herons while they’re trying to forage for food on exposed tidelands. Thank you, Public Works!

As readers of NWCitizen know, the city has been putzing around with heron protection for 20 years without sealing the deal to create a protected reserve. I ask you: Where else in the city of Bellingham is there a wildlife reserve? To my knowledge, the Post Point Great Blue Heron Reserve would be the first of its kind, and what a tremendous asset for all of us to enjoy. The Greenways Fund, which Seth Fleetwood helped create, stipulates that its monies can be used to protect wildlife habitat. Have we ever done so? In 2016, the Greenways Advisory Committee unanimously recommended that the city acquire the privately-held land next to the herons’ nesting trees to further protect the birds. Nothing changed, and meanwhile, there is still an application pending in the planning department to subdivide the larger lot in question with the presumed intent to build at least one house too close to the nests. Part of this plat is within the 300-foot non-disturbance, safety zone for the birds recommended by the wildlife biologist hired by the city, and adopted by the city as per the signage.

Clearly there are many pressing issues on people’s minds these days, but finishing the job of protecting the Great Blue Herons NOW as the Class of 2020 leaves their nests, is a feel-good act that we can all get behind. There are willing sellers of the two remaining undeveloped lots, the political will to purchase as demonstrated by unanimous consent of City Council last year, funds available through Greenways, and the desire of many bird watchers and nature lovers to see the creation of the Post Point Great Blue Heron Reserve. Please contact the mayor now.

About Jamie K. Donaldson

Citizen Journalist • Member since Apr 03, 2019

Jamie K. Donaldson is a long-time activist for peace, social justice, and the environment. She was the founder of the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center in downtown Bellingham, and is retired [...]

Comments by Readers

James Loucky

Jul 02, 2020

The Greenways Advisory Committee, which Seth Fleetwood was so instrumental in forming, has wisely and unanimously recommended using Greenways funds to purchase two lots that, if left undeveloped, would prevent disruption and likely destruction of what is truly unique: a heron rookery within our city limits.

Anyone who has seen these magnificent birds in flight or foraging for food can attest to their beauty. Establishing a Great Blue Heron Reserve would ensure that herons and humans continue to share a sacred habitat for generations to come.

Difficult times call for hope, but what we truly need is active hope. Please do your part by contacting the Mayor ( .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ), along with members of CIty Council and anyone you know in the reality community, Protecting what is precious can be a legacy that we share and celebrate together. 

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