Local library fundraisers got a big holiday gift this season, with $100,000 from BP Cherry Point to launch a major capital campaign to build a public library in Birch Bay. Representatives from Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) and the Friends of the Birch Bay Library met with Pam Brady, BP Associate Director of Northwest Government and Public Affairs, Tom Wolf, BP Director of Communications and External Affairs, and BP Cherry Point Refinery Manager Robert Allendorfer on December 17 on the site of the future library to celebrate BP’s lead gift. WCLS purchased property at 7968 Birch Bay Drive in 2017 and is working closely with library supporters tasked with raising the funds necessary to build the community library.
With BP’s donation, the Friends of the Library now have $120,000 towards their ultimate goal of approximately $3.7 million to complete the project. Fundraising committee chair Pat Jerns says, “This certainly is a wonderful donation that BP has made…every step forward is a positive step.”
WCLS Executive Director Christine Perkins commends Pam Brady for connecting BP’s corporate office with the library building project. “Pam and her colleagues at BP understand how important libraries are in creating community: providing welcoming spaces for people of all ages to read, learn, gather, and grow. The future Birch Bay Library will literally be “right down the road” from the BP Cherry Point Refinery and will serve the families of refinery employees as well as the thousands of other people who have established homes in this growing part of Whatcom County.”
BP’s gift is being held by the Whatcom County Library Foundation until the project reaches “shovel ready” stage. Fundraising is expected to take around five years. A schematic design and exterior rendering by Zervas Architects was recently revealed at a public presentation at the BP Heron Center in Birch Bay State Park. Both can be viewed online at https://www.wcls.org/birchbay/ , as can a brief video showing fly-though animation of the proposed library. Donations for the project can be made by clicking on the yellow Donate button at the bottom of the page.
“BP has a history of working with Birch Bay leaders on successful projects,” explains Perkins. “They know that these people are dedicated and capable of getting things done. BP’s backing is testament to other funders that the Birch Bay Library project is worthy and achievable, provided everyone pitches in to make it happen.”
# # #
Photo courtesy Pam Brady.
About the Whatcom County Library System
For 75 years, Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) has been sharing stories with everyone in Whatcom County; connecting residents with information, ideas, and community. WCLS circulates more than 2 million items annually through 10 branches, the bookmobile, and a Library Express location on Northwest Drive. Residents have access to WCLS’s rich and curated collection of books in print and digital formats, music and movies, online digital services, fun events for every age, and public meeting spaces. Visit in person or online at WCLS.org.