Living by the Nooksack

The City of Ferndale is always looking for new and inventive ways to reach out to our community beyond the limitations of social media and this website. To bolster these efforts, the City Council approved a pilot program for a citywide newsletter to be distributed quarterly through utility bills.

This newsletter is used to inform the public about city programs, upcoming projects and local history.

All the material in each issue is available here as they come out for those who wish to access it.

If you’ve got feedback on this pilot program or ideas for future articles, please contact Communication Officer Riley Sweeney by clicking here or calling (360) 685-2353.

April 30th, 2019 Issue

Work Scheduled to Begin This Year on Thornton Street Overpass

After years of planning, the City will be breaking ground on the Thornton Street Overpass late summer/early fall of 2019. Currently, the City is finalizing the design, securing permits and will go out to bid this summer. Once hired, crews will begin constructing a water line from the Portal Way roundabout and adding earthen material on both sides of the railroad tracks. This material will then settle and form the basis for the approach to the bridge.

“This is the largest project in the City of Ferndale since we built a bridge across the river,” said Project Manager Katy Radder. “Once completed, this will have a dramatic impact on how people move through our city.”

This project will improve and connect Thornton Street, from Malloy Avenue to the roundabout at Portal Way/Second Avenue, via an elevated bridge over the railroad.

The new bridge will provide access between Malloy Avenue and the Portal Way roundabout which is anticipated to become a principal route for the majority of Ferndale residents living on the west side of the City.

In addition to the elevated crossing, Thornton Street will be upgraded to full city standards, including curb, gutter, shoulder, sidewalk and new street lighting within the project limits. Plans also include construction of a new stormwater treatment and detention facility, along with various utility upgrades to the water and stormwater systems.

Construction timing will be more precise once the City selects a contractor, but a project of this magnitude is anticipated to take 2-3 years.

For more information about this project, click here.

Five Ways to Save Water This Summer

All reports point towards it being a scorching hot summer this year which can have a drastic impact on the local water supply. To help ensure that everyone has the water they need throughout the dry season, the City is implementing a water conservation schedule based on street address. Drip irrigation systems, flower and vegetable gardens, potted plants, hanging baskets and newly installed landscaping are all exempt from the restrictions.

Following this schedule will help you save money on your water bill, reduce the impact on our environment and help ensure our water system runs strong throughout the season. But that’s not the only way to save water this summer. Here are some other ideas to get you thinking:

1) Install a rain barrel. Rain barrels are great ways to capture water for use on plants and lawns and they are easy to use. For more information on rain barrels, check out www.cityofferndale.org/rainbarrels

2) Become a leak detective. Swing by city hall and pick up your free leaky toilet detection kit. A leaky toilet can add up to an expensive utility bill— a little bit of searching can save you a bundle of money.

3) Consider a new nozzle or faucet. A more efficient faucet, showerhead or garden hose nozzle can give you the same pressure with a fraction of the water use. Swing by your favorite Ferndale hardware store and for a few bucks, you can pick up just what you need.

4) Plant native plants. As tempting as those exotic flowers can be, a native plant garden uses less water and is more resistant to those sudden Pacific Northwest weather weirdness. Check out the WA Native Plant Society (www.wnps.org) for more details.

5) Gold is the new green for lawns. This summer, consider letting your lawn fade to gold. It will return come Spring and in the meantime, experience the cycle of the seasons as your lawn showcases its golden hues during the summer.

WWU Students Study Ferndale Downtown, Propose Solutions

Western Washington University (in collaboration with the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ferndale) held a visioning workshop for the downtown area in January. WWU has devoted the time and energies of several classes to study the challenges of our community in hopes of bringing some fresh and unique ideas on how to reinvigorate downtown.

The students held a series of listening sessions to receive input from the community related to downtown uses, building design, environmental considerations, transportation options, trails, and more. They will be bringing a final report with all their suggestions to the City in July.

For more information on this project, contact the Community Development Department at (360) 685-2359.

Only Rain Down the Drain

Stormwater runoff in the City of Ferndale does not go to a treatment plant; some of the runoff goes into the ground or into stormwater ponds, but much of the runoff goes directly into our local creeks and rivers. You can help prevent pollution from entering our waters.

  • Pick up trash and pet waste to prevent stormwater pollution
  • Collect water from car washing or pressure washing and route to lawns or landscaping
  • Fix vehicle leaks and clean up spills in the driveway and road
  • Never put anything down the storm drain but rain or snowmelt

For more information visit the Stormwater page by clicking here.

If you have questions or comments, or to report spills and discharges, call 360-685-2357 or email stormwater@cityofferndale.org

SCOPE officers 2016

Senior Citizens on Patrol Enhancement (SCOPE)

It’s been nearly 20 years since the inception of the Ferndale Police Department’s Senior Citizens on Patrol Enhancement (SCOPE) program, and we still have one of the dedicated, original volunteers working with us! These men and women are valuable members of the Department, patrolling parking lots for disabled parking violators, performing security checks on vacant homes, operating the radar reader board, and assisting with traffic control and community outreach during special events.

SCOPE volunteers must be between the ages of 55 to 70 and able to volunteer for one shift per week for at least nine months of the year. They must have a valid driver’s license, be willing to be involved in training (initially 12 to 16 hours), have the abilities to perform assigned duties, and pass a fingerprint background check. They are supplied with uniforms, badges and ID cards, but must supply their own black belt and shoes.

If you’re interested in becoming a SCOPE officer, contact Lieutenant Matt Huffman at 360-384-3390 extension 5724 or email mhuffman@ferndalepd.org.

Origins of Griffintown Park

Have you ever wondered how Griffintown Park, the long, skinny park on Second Avenue, got its name?

It once belonged to a Civil War veteran named Augustus Griffin (1826-1909) who sailed up the Nooksack with his wife Harriet and ten year old daughter Jennie to purchase a 400 acre plot.

His plan was to own the land when the railroad came through— one of many get rich quick schemes throughout his colorful life. The area quickly gained the name, “Griffintown”, however he was unable to hold it.

With his health failing, he gave away much of his land holdings to needy families and the railroad. He moved to Bellingham in 1902 where Harriet taught school. For more information about Ferndale’s  unique and colorful history, visit Pioneer Park starting May 15th and take a tour with the Ferndale Heritage Society.

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