WSU Whatcom County Extension

Stewardship is Where You Are

Park Patrol

The Big Picture

“Our long term prosperity depends on the faithful stewardship of the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the land that we sow. That’s a sacred trust.”
- Barack Obama, 2009

As a community member, it is important to understand the environmental and societal benefits that parks provide. Parks can preserve historical, cultural, and natural areas of significance for future generations, while also offering recreational opportunities for communities today. The following series of activities are meant to encourage stewardship through appreciation, observation, and outreach associated with parks within the community.

Explorer - Skill Level: One Engager - Skill Level: Two Citizen Scientist - Skill Level: Three


Conducting a survey.

Activity: Park Survey

Objective: Recognition and experience of different types of parks

Science Skills: Observe, Collect, Measure, and Evaluate Data

Life Skills: Teamwork, Cooperation

Preparation Activities:

It is a good idea to have a discussion about the park before you visit. Where is it? What is it called? Who takes care of the park: city, county, state? What do they expect from just hearing the name of the park or looking at the park location on a map? Who do they expect to be there? What activities, both human and natural, can occur there? Are there any features that are promoted as unique to this park? This will allow them to compare their expectations before their visit to what they experienced during their visit.

Contact the Extension Office to get “Park Passport Stickers”

What You Will Need:
- Junior Park Passport Booklet  or  Intermediate Park Passport Booklet
- Clipboards (or something to write on)
- Pencils (or something to write with)
- GPS Receivers (optional)

Ask the youth to go out and take a survey of the park. The survey includes questions about the natural habitat, the parks function for social uses, and if the park is being properly maintained.

parks, recreation, preserve, resource, jurisdiction, maintenance, habitat, ecology, social benefit

Asking the Right Questions:
You might want to ask younger members :
          What they notice about the size of the park: big, little, medium...
          What sounds they hear: birds, waterfalls, cars...
          What they see: streams, playgrounds, picnic areas, places to play sports...
          What they feel: is the ground wet or dry? Grassy or mossy?
          What they smell: saltwater, hay...

After they have had time to fill out the survey ask them “so what”, so what does that means, so why is it important. Use these questions to start a small discussion.




Natural Resource Stewards


Finished this Activity?

Complete this survey.


Explore More

Using GPS


Washington State Parks

North Cascade National Park

National Park Designations and Types


It's All Connected

- Birch Bay State Park
- Deming Homestead Eagle Park
- Lake Terrell Wildlife Area
- Hovander Homestead Park
- Jensen Family Forest Park
- Larrabee State Park
- Ostrom Conservation Site
- Stimpson Family Preserve
- Silver Lake Park
- Whatcom Falls Park

4-H Geo-caches may be in these parks. Contact your Extension office for coordinates!


Junior Park Passport Booklet

Intermediate Park Passport Booklet

Whatcom Parks with 4-H Geocaches
For a list of locations, please call: (360) 778-5813

Whatcom County Park Map

Bellingham Park Facilities

Bellingham Parks Map

Whatcom County Park Facilities

Heading using the h3 tag

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WSU Whatcom County Extension, 1000 North Forest Street, Suite 201, Bellingham, WA 98225, (360) 778-5800, Contact Us