Whatcom County Gets Neighborly
Whatcom County residents got creative in response to the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly. Thirty local organizations received grants ranging from $360 to $5,000 for projects designed to increase connections and build trust among area residents. As a new grant opportunity launched in early November 2016, Project Neighborly funding supports inspiring projects and activities that develop a sense of community and promote neighborliness among people who might not otherwise connect throughout the rural and urban areas of Whatcom County.
“We’re thrilled with the response,” said Community Foundation CEO Mauri Ingram. “We asked for people’s best ideas for building connections and working together and we got more than 60 of them!”
Ideas within neighborhoods and other local communities include a pen pal program between children and elders on Lummi Island, a city-wide treasure hunt in Ferndale, “YIMBY” (“Yes, in my backyard”) dialogues devoted to affordable housing choices in Bellingham’s Happy Valley neighborhood, the creation of a community quilt in Deming and portable block parties in Bellingham.
Countywide projects range from The Bellingham Herald’s “Outside the Bubble” dinners pairing people with different experiences for a shared meal and conversation (the Herald will share their commonalities publicly), rural-urban salmon recovery conversations, a Lummi Peacemaking Circle and a collaborative weaving project called Indra’s net, based on Buddhist principles symbolizing interconnections of people and place.