This family-oriented neighborhood boasts large, deep lots – many of which were once small farms on the edge of the city – with a mix of well-kept, established single-family homes and newer apartment complexes.
The neighborhood is on the northwest side of town and has large streets, many tree-covered lots and ready access to Bellingham Bay. Squalicum Creek borders the neighborhood, giving kids a place to ride bike trails without leaving the neighborhood. Adults enjoy Bellingham Golf & Country Club, which has an 18-hole course and an outdoor swimming pool.
While there are no major city parks within the neighborhood, Cornwall Park is nearby, just across Meridian Street to the east. Cornwall Park is populated mainly by large firs, hemlocks, and cedars. There are tennis courts, jogging and fitness trails, bike routes, park benches, childrens’ playgrounds, and public bathrooms. Horseshoe pits line the center of the park. Jogging trails can be found through the woods. At both edges of the park are areas for volleyball and baseball. The newer part of the park now offers a wading pool and covered picnic area. Here you will also find a bridge and an area to walk along Squalicum Creek where it flows through the park.
Birchwood Park, on Cedarwood Avenue, was built in 1998 after neighbors petitioned the city to built it. Little Squalicum Park, which includes a beach and natural area, is on the southwestern edge of Birchwood.
Shuksan Meadows Park is a smaller park near Shuksan Middle School.
Park Manor Center on Northwest Avenue anchors the retail district with an Albertson’s supermarket and Big Lots store. Yeager’s Sporting Good and Rite Aid pharmacy are nearby. Smaller shops, restaurants, and offices are also clustered around the commercial-retail area.
This neighborhood is also close to Bellis Fair Mall, the region’s major shopping center, located just across Interstate 5 to the northeast.
Schools are convenient for many families: Birchwood Elementary School and Shuksan Middle School are within the neighborhood’s boundaries, as is Bellingham Technical College. Some students on the northwest end of the neighborhood attend Alderwood Elementary. Teens from the Birchwood neighborhood attend Squalicum High School.