Public Parks vs. Nature Preserves
What’s the difference?
When someone mentions they spent the day at the park what do you imagine? Manicured lawns, playgrounds, and walking trails probably come to mind. Perhaps you see a gazebo with picnic tables, or ball fields and a dog play area. Maybe there is a boat ramp and restrooms, or even a snackbar.
Now picture your favorite nature preserve. How does the imagery change? Does it look more wild? Are there less people and structures?
Both preserves and parks provide an excellent way to engage with the natural world. However, their purpose and functions are really quite different. Parkland is purchased and developed for recreational purposes, whereas nature preserves are usually undeveloped lands set aside to protect the ecological value.
Nature preserves are often more diverse than their public park counterparts, with a wide assortment of native plants, wildlife, and fungi while parks often have planned garden paths and feature ornamental grasses, trees, and shrubs. Public parks provide a variety of active recreational opportunities like playgrounds, swimming pools or biking trails and preserves offer more passive recreational activities like birdwatching or hiking. Preserves function to protect sensitive ecological areas, conserve watersheds and provide habitat for local flora and fauna.
Which one of our nature preserves is your favorite? What draws you to this place? How do you interact with the land around you? Learn more about the Heritage Trust's Nature Preserves here.
We Are All Scientists
Yep, Even You!
Newsflash friends – We all are Scientists! Or at least we all have the opportunity to get outside, get dirty, and contribute to scientific research. Across the country, and right here on Lummi Island, everyday folks are participating in citizen science projects, helping compile data and add to a growing body of research. The great news is anyone can participate. Whether you are a child or a senior, whether you have an academic background or not, with the right guidance, you can help out.
Are you interested in amphibians? There’s a citizen science project for that!
Do you love chasing after butterflies? There’s a project for that too!
How about birding? Citizen scientists are making a difference one bird sighting at a time!
The Heritage Trust has ongoing citizen science projects that monitor amphibians, identify birds, count trees, collate marine debris and inventory plants, mushrooms, lichens and other species that call Lummi Island home.
Scientific research can take a lot of time and energy, sometimes more than one scientist is able to give. Here is where you come in. Everyday folks are helping to bridge the gap between hypothesis and conclusion. It doesn’t take a ton of experience or tools. It just requires a willingness to participate and ability to follow instructions. Technology has made it even easier for people to record their everyday observations in a meaningful way - through apps like iNaturalist, eBird and Marine Debris Tracker.
Would you like to get involved ? Are you ready to become a citizen scientist? Call Katie at the Heritage Trust office 360-758-7997.
Here are a number of awesome organizations who actively hold citizen science projects:
Whatfrogs - https://whatfrogs.wordpress.com/home/
North Sound Stewards - http://www.re-sources.org/north-sound-stewards/citizen-sciencebird-count
NW Pollinators - https://nwpollinators.org/citizen-science-2/
Whatcom Conservation District - https://www.whatcomcd.org/volunteer-opportunities
Christmas Bird Count - https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science /christmas-