News from Sunset Park
April 23, 2022 - FOSF has a booth at the Whatcom Farm Expo!
April 15, 2022 - Field mowing was started! Field is still very soft, so not yet open to horses.
November 8, 2021 - Cross Country field is closed to horses for the wet season!
Water Jump was drained.
Portable cross country jumps were put up on blocks
May 16, 2021 - Cross Country field is opened to horses for the summer.
November 15, 2019 - Cross country field is closed to horses for the wet season
November 8, 2019 - Portable cross country jumps were put up on blocks to keep them out of the "wet" for the winter.
November 3, 2019 - Ditch around the west and south edges of the arena was cleaned out. A culvert was installed where the ditch turns south so there will be a more all weather access to the field for EMS during events.
September 28, 2019 - Fifth cross country schooling day
September 1, 2019 - Fourth cross country schooling day
August 25, 2019 - Third cross country schooling day
August 18, 2019 - The very first Working Equitation competition held at Sunset Farm Park, sponsored by the
Whatcom County Dressage & Eventing Association.
August 3, 2019 - Event Derby Competition
July 27, 2019 - Second cross country schooling day and the first Dressage and Event Derby Open House
Demo dressage rides were provided by members of the Whatcom County Dressage & Eventing Association
June 30, 2019 - First cross country schooling day
May 18, 2019 - The cross country field is opened to horses.
May 11, 2019 - The center block of the cross country field was mowed for the fourth time, and some weed whacking was accomplished. The field was *nearly* dry enough to open to horses, but the decision was made to wait another week as there were several days of rain in the forecast. Planning at this point to open on Saturday May 18th. Thank you to volunteers Linda Cain, Shanna Leeland, Erin Recke and Robbie Harris for making this work party happen.
Mar 17, 2019 - First work party of 2019! We cleaned up the trail system in the forest from winter storm damage and were even able to clear the fallen trees off of the bridge on the upper trail. The bridge is a total loss and will be replaced with a culvert later in the summer when it is dry. Thank you to volunteers Adam Kartman, Patricia Spencer & Ray Coye, Pete Amell, Linda Cain, Viki & Diz Schimke and Robbie Harris.
Nov 18, 2018 - Portable cross country jumps were put up on blocks to keep them out of the "wet" for the winter.
Oct 13, 2018 - Third cross country schooling day
Sept 30, 2018 - Second cross country schooling day
Sept 15, 2018 - First cross country schooling day of 2018
July/ August, 2018 - (Multiple dates) Cross country jumps were set out in stages, cabling them off and padlocking them as per our new insurance arrangement. Final work party was on Thursday evening, August 16. Thank you to volunteers Viki Schimke, Pete and Denise Amell, Shanna Leeland, Erin Recke, Maya and Jorja Henderson, Robbie Harris. Many of the jumps also got pressure washed and some even got a fresh coat of stain. Thanks everyone!
Jun 15, 2018 - Fifth field mowing by one volunteer (thanks Shanna Leeland!)
Jun 3, 2018 - Third mowing work party
May 29, 2018 - Mowed areas of field are opened to horses
May 19, 2018 - Second mowing work party
May 5, 2018 - First mowing work party
Apr 23, 2018 - First field mowing by one volunteer (thanks Robbie Harris!)
Nov 12, 2017 - Cross country field is closed to horses for the wet season (people and dogs are permitted).
Oct 22, 2017 - Portable jumps are put away for the wet season.
June 4, 2017 - Portable jumps are put out!
May 29, 2017 - Field is open to horses!
April 8, 2017 - First work party of 2017. We mowed the center block of the cross country field (from the ditch line to the private road on the north edge, from the arena to just beyond the western-most permanent jumps, including the water jump and bank jump), weed whacked and replaced one of seven broken paddock posts. Next work party in two weeks.
November 13, 2016 - Field is closed to horses. (new "field closure" signage is put up)
October 30, 2016 - The cross country jumps are put away for the season.
October 2, 2016 - The Event Derby is held.
August 5-7, 2016 - The All Ages Event Camp is held, Meg Finn is our clinician.
August 2, 2016 - The renovation of the water jump is complete!
July 17, 2016 - Renovation of the water jump base is started!
May 7, 2016 - Field opened to horses.
April 30, 2016 - Trail clean up work party. Only two board members showed for this work party, so not all that was planned was accomplished. (Where was everyone? )
April 16, 2016 - Second mowing work party of the spring.
March 19, 2016 - First mowing work party of the spring!
May 31, 2015 - Cross country jumps are out!
The portable cross country jumps were put out, the water jump cleaned and filled, and the permanent jumps were all weed whacked today! Thank you to volunteers Rachel Akins, Jen Johnson, Rikki Smeltzer and Robbie Harris
May 16, 2015 - Field is opened to horses!
One of the earliest openings of the cross country field in recent memory... The field was mowed and much weed whacking was done. Thank you to volunteers Michele Cameron, Ricky K., Brenda Ruff, Rachel Akins, Rikki Smeltzer, Dan Larson, Robbie Harris. Extra thanks to Dan Larson whose mechanical skills keep our fancy mower running, even when it decides to shred its belts...
Mar 29, 2015 - Trail Cleanup Work Party
In less than two hours we had all the downed trees that were blocking the trails in 6 different places, cut up and removed off the trail! Amazing! And the paddocks even got weed whacked! More amazingness! Thank you to Roger Edmonds, Rikki Smeltzer, Rachel Akins, Derek & Nicol Hinde, Joey T. , Jen & Sam Johnson, and Robbie & Annika Harris
Nov. 2, 2014 - Jump Moving!
Three volunteers + one tractor + one and a half hours = All the portable jumps put away and up on blocks for the winter! Thank you to Rikki Smeltzer, Jen Johnson, Robbie Harris (and Annika Harris for "kid wrangling" so the grown ups could move jumps!)
Jun 10, 2014 - Jump Moving!
Four volunteers + one tractor + two hours = All the portable jumps moved out into place and water in the water jump!
Thank you to Rikki Smeltzer, Jen Johnson, Allison Carie, Robbie Harris and the little blue Harris Farm Ford 1320!
Jun 8, 2014 - Work party!
We mowed the field, cleaned the water jump, weed whacked and weed sprayed... whew! The field was opened to horses, but the jumps were NOT put out... hopefully that will happen later in the week.
April 12, 2014 - First work party of 2014
Six hours of field mowing, paddock repairs, weed whacking, arena dragging, gutter cleaning, blackberry abatement and trail cleanup (whew!) was accomplished by a group of volunteers on Saturday morning. Big THANK YOU to Rikki Smeltzer for organizing the work party. Thanks to volunteers Dan Larson, Todd Smeltzer, Heather Cruise, Rachel Akins, Viki Schimke, Kelsey Ullsmith, Roger Edmonds and Robbie Harris. That was a LOT of work done in a very short time... Click HERE for photos
November 18 & 19, 2013 - Round Corrall Renovations
The sod was removed, road fabric laid down, 6" of 5/8" minus crushed gravel laid down and compacted, then a few inches of coarse sand was spread. And VOILA', an all weather round corral! Thank you to volunteers Roger Edmonds and Ray Henken who made this fantastic project happen! Thank you also to Westside Building Supply for the very good rental deal on a Kubota Mini Excavator and and 1.5 ton vibratory compactor/roller... we couldn't have done it without them!
Click HERE for some photos!
November 10, 2013 - Cross Country Field Closing
The portable cross country jumps were put away for the wet season, stored up on blocks (to keep them out of any standing water) around the permanent jumps and around the water complex. The field closure signs will go up in the next few days. Thank you to volunteers Rikki Smeltzer, Rachel Akins and Robbie Harris for completing the semi-annual chore of putting the jumps away!
October 21, 2013 - New footing for the arena!
Two truck and transfer loads of sand were delivered by Windwood Landscaping, and spread by a dedicated group of volunteers! This made an addition of about an inch of additional footing on the arena surface. We will let it settle over the winter and decide in the spring if more will be added.
July 7, 2013 - Event Derby Schooling Day
We had about 60 rides over a mixed course of cross country jumps and stadium jumps out in the big field. The weather was gorgeous and a lovely day was had by all. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this fun day happen!
June 28-30, 2013 - All Ages Event Camp
Two and half days of lessons in dressage, stadium and cross country jumping, along with lectures on eventing protocol and ettiquette; a lecture on the Akhal-Teke horse, old and new friends and great food... (whew! How much more fun can you have in one weekend?!) A big thank you to our camp clinician, Viki Schimke of Bow, WA!
June 23, 2013 - Jumper Schooling Day
Whatcom County Dressage and Eventing Association (WCDEA) hosted a very successful clear round jumper schooling day. Riders chose between two preset courses or a round of ten jumps of their choice. The rain held off until the very end of the day. This was a great low-stress opportunity for everyone to get out and school some show jumping courses. Thank you to all our volunteers who made this day possible!
June 19, 2013 - Volunteers Robbie Harris and Rikki Smeltzer spent the evening after work putting out the portable cross country jumps and weedwhacking the areas where they were stored for the winter.
June 10, 2013 - The water jump base was compacted with a ride on roller and the water was turned on!
June 7, 2013 - The water jump was cleaned by a group of volunteers in about 1 hour after a pizza dinner.
April 16, 2013 - Mowing of the cross country field has started! The Friends have purchased a special mower so we can start mowing the field MUCH EARLIER than was possible in the past, but the field is STILL CLOSED to horses as it is too wet. Please preserve the footing and respect the field closure. Watch the home page for notice when the field is open.
November 4, 2012 - Cross Country Jumps put away for the season
Just in time before the field got too wet to get the tractor on it, two volunteers spent about three hours moving the jumps off the field and putting them up on blocks to keep them out of standing water. The old training level coop that was on the north edge of the field was also removed to be dismantled, and will be re-built on skids so that it may be moved easily with the tractor.
September 15 & 16, 2012 - Field Mowing
Seven volunteers donated a total of 18 HOURS of mowing over the weekend to get pretty much the entire park mowed one last time before Fall. Thank you to Tom & Linda Cain, Sarah Erickson, Dan Larson, Rikki Smeltzer, Val Watson and Robbie Harris for all the hours on the tractor. Thank you also to Westside Building Supply for a good rental deal on a very nice Bobcat tractor with a 5' mower!
September 15, 2012 - Paddock Painting
Six members of the Whatcom County Pony Club painted the rails on the paddocks during a 2-1/2 hour work party; that totals 15 HOURS of donated labor! The WCPC originally built the paddocks in 2006. Thank you to Lisa D. for organizing the work party!
Aug 5, 2012 - Arena Trail Class Schooling Day
We had perfect weather for a relaxed morning of schooling various trail obstacles, including our newest one, the "Hanging House of Horrors"! The one was a real test for a few horses. Mike the miniature donkey was back along with all the usual obstacles. (Photos coming soon)
July 15, 2012 - Event Derby Schooling Day
An amazing day all around! The weather threatened to turn ugly on us early, but we managed to keep it at bay and completed many jumping rounds. Everyone had a great time splashing through the water and schooling the wonderful cross country jumps Sunset Farm Park has to offer. Thanks so much to our volunteers for making this very important fundraiser possible.
June 22-24, 2012 - All Ages Event Camp
What an extraordinary weekend... 13 riders, 1 auditor, 1 clinician, ages 6 to 60. Crazy weather (even for Whatcom County in June!) kept us from utilizing the cross country field the way it had been planned, but we did lightly use the water, bank and ditches. But there was lots to be learned in the arena, both on the flat and over fences, and everyone came away armed with more knowledge and confidence... what could be better than that?
June 20, 2012 - Blackberry Vine Abatement!
Thank you so much to Boy Scout Troop 4014 and their advisors, Antonio Machado and Andrew Lippie for whacking, lopping and chopping down a huge tangle of blackberry vines that were covering the old fence just south of the paddocks. What looked like an impossible task, finished in an hour and a half. Amazing...Three Cheers for the Scouts!
June 3, 2012 - Arena Trail Schooling Day
Our second arena trail schooling day was held in the arena with several new obstacles...
May 30, 2012 - Water Jump Cleaning Work Party
Eleven enthusiastic users of Sunset Farm Park showed up for pizza and the annual cleaning of the water jump. We finished in about an hour and a half and just in time for the rain shower that followed.... thanks to all who participated!
May 22, 2012 - Letter of Agreement with Whatcom County Parks
A formal letter of agreement between the Friends of Sunset Farm and the Whatcom County Parks & Recreation Dept. was approved today by the Whatcom County Council. It formalizes the "handshake" agreement that we have been working under since our formation on May 17, 2010. Read the Northern Light article here.
From 1994, when the Park property was acquired, through 2009 (prior to the formation of the Friends), this maintenance of Sunset Farm was done by a dedicated group of Park users, under the auspices of the Whatcom County Dressage and Eventing Association. Visit the WCDEA website here.
May 20, 2012 - Trails-in-the-woods Work Party
A small group showed up and walked the trails in the woods, cleaning up winter storm debris and weed-whacking back the encroaching brush and nettles. The trails look much better although are still muddy in a few spots.
April 14, 2012 - Arena Trail Class Schooling Day
We had a fabulous sunny day for our first ever Arena Trail Class Schooling Day. Everyone had lots of fun and we are looking forward to the next one on June 3rd. Come and join us... it's a great way to "desensitize" your horse in a relaxed and casual setting, and we will have several different obstacles to add to the mix. As always, all proceeds from this event stay right here at the Park for maintenance and improvements.
December 20, 2011 - Last Project for 2011
The final improvement to Sunset Farm Park for 2011 was completed today. In a project spearheaded by incoming President Roger Edmonds, a gravel path was made from the parking lot to the SE corner of the arena. (No more slogging through standing water to get to the arena in the winter. Thank you Roger!) The sign and black donation canister were also moved to make them more visible to Park users. More improvements planned for 2012... stay tuned! (photos here)
December 4, 2011 - Meeting of the Friends of Sunset Farm
The last meeting for 2011 at 2pm on Sunday, Dec. 4th...Held at the home of Robbie Harris, we were joined by Erik Axelson, the new Operations Manager at Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Dept. We went over the draft of our formal agreement between the Friends and the Parks Dept. and worked out a few details, it should be finalized early next year.
Elections were held, and the following positions were filled:
President - Roger Edmonds
Vice President - Rikki Smeltzer
Secretary - Sarah Erickson
Treasurer - Robbie Harris
The bylaws were ratifed and will be posted soon here on the website.
A new fundraising idea was brought to the table by Rikki and Robbie, we will try out a Trail Class schooling day in the spring. Open to everyone, but aimed in particular at 4-H kids trying to qualify for Fair, it will be a low key schooling opportunity scheduled a week or two before each qualifying show and the Fair itself. The all ages event camp will be repeated along with the event derby schooling day(s). Other ideas are still welcome, click here to send the board an email!
November 5, 2011 -
The portable cross country jumps have been "put away" for the upcoming wet season. They will back out on the field next year in late May or early June.
September 18, 2011 - Event Derby Jump Round Fun Day
A "last minute" replacement fund raiser for the September 10th Event Derby that was cancelled, we had a good turnout and lots of smiling faces.
August 31, 2011 - Final coat of paint on the arena posts
Six young men from Boy Scout Troop 4014 and their advisors, Antonio Machado and Andrew Lippie came out and put the final coat of white semi-gloss paint on the arena posts. Thanks guys! It's finally finished and looks spectacular...
August 27, 2011 - Painting the arena fence started!
Posts were all coated with primer and all the rails were coated with lovely white semi-gloss paint! Thank you to Lisa from Blaine and her two kids; Carol and Stash from Bellingham; Lynn, Rikki and Robbie from Ferndale; and Sally all worked from 9am to 1:30pm to get the job done! Debb M. from the Whatcom County Pony Club was also out at the Park pressure washing the paddock fences. Well done everyone!
August 14, 2011 - Water line extension is complete!
Two new freezeless hydrants have been installed at the Park, one at the arena and one at the paddocks. They will be available for scheduled activities so that the arena may be watered and paddock users will have a nearby source of water. At all other times, the freezeless hydrant at the parking area is always available to casual park users. Thank you to volunteers Dan Larson, Ferndale; Rikki, Todd, Taylor and Colt Smeltzer, Ferndale; and Robbie & Annika Harris, Ferndale. (photos here)
July 27, 2011
We were very fortunate to have six young men from Boy Scout Troop 4014 and their advisors, Antonio Machado and Andrew Lippie come to the Park on Wednesday evening and give us a helping hand sorting and re-stacking some of our building materials. It was a huge job and we are very grateful for their assistance. Scouts rock! (photos here)
July 12, 2011
The first of two compost bins near the paddock area is now complete! Second bin coming soon... (photos here)
June 21, 2011 - All Ages Event Camp
Preparations are almost complete for the event camp, which starts on Friday, June 24 at noon and goes until Sunday June 26 at 5pm. The paddocks and the picnic area are reserved for campers all weekend, the arena is reserved Friday noon to 5pm, Saturday 8am to noon and Sunday 8am to noon. The cross country field will be used at other times during the weekend, and may be used by other users, but event camp activities take precedence. The event camp is one of two major fund raisers for the Friends of Sunset Farm (the other being the event derby in September) , and all of the money raised stays at the Park for maintenance and improvements.
June 20, 2011 - Hay Mowing Starts
Doug Wiebe of D& T Farms, Blaine, mowed the main field at the Park to make round bale haylage. It should be off the field by the end of the week. Thank you Doug and Twila Wiebe!
June 19, 2011 - Water Jump Work Party
The annual cleaning of the water jump was accomplished in the record time of one hour and fifteen minutes. Ten volunteers and one tractor made it very easy! Thanks to volunteers Kim and Grace Sauter,Lynden; Roger and Riley Edmonds, Blaine; Linda Cain,Ferndale; Sarah Erickson, Ferndale; Viki Schimke,Bow; Janet Kurtz , Bow; Robbie Harris, Ferndale; and last (but not least!) the little blue Harris Farm Ford 1320 tractor.