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On a sunny day in February of 1994 I was sitting by a small stream in Whatcom County reminiscing about my brother Ryan, who had passed away in 1992 at the age of 20; I was reflecting on how simple life seemed when we were kids. We always wondered why grown-ups didn't just live and play in the woods all of the time. We would plot our escape to run away from home to live in the woods, and we had plans drawn for a cabin over a little stream.
It was around this time that I had met an 'old timer' named Charlie while driving out in the county, and I'd asked Charlie if I could dig up some of the native plants on his property. "Sure, but behind me is 20,000 acres," he said. Long story short, the property was owned by a timber company and access was prohibited by a large metal gate. After some investigating and drafting a proposal to the timber company, I was given keys to the gate and access to the mountain!
With a contract in hand, I started a native plant salvage nursery where I would extract plants and small trees on land that was about to be logged, reclaiming native plants that would otherwise be lost to the effects of logging. One day at my nursery my cousin Jon saw me carrying an old cedar stump and exclaimed "Hey look, there goes Forrest Stump!" A few months later I built a little stream in Bellingham, WA (for a cat, true story) and a business plan followed. The combination of the two events became my business: Forrest Stumps & Aqueous Endeavors. I was living my brother's and my dream! Creating natural sanctuaries for kids to play and birds to splash in, and people to relax by, was unforeseen. It really was the ultimate reward for a guy who just wanted to be in the woods.
A lot has happened between the ages of 25 and 52. As Forrest Stumps & Aqueous Endeavors I did several installations around the Puget Sound in the mid-1990s for a range of clients and installed waterfalls for Ronald McDonald House at two Pacific Northwest locations. My cousin Jon and I built a waterfall for the City of Long Beach, WA (where we grew up) in the year 2000 that is still flowing strong. I also got a chance to go commercial crabbing again in my mid-40s; "the ocean is so hard to leave once you're here" couldn't be more true.
Jumping ahead to 2020, when we all needed a sanctuary and a lot of serenity, I felt compelled to share my passion of creating water features again. In 1994 I was settled in Bellingham and I have completed several projects from Bellingham to Portland, OR. I am currently based at the foothills of Mt. Baker and would like to focus on bringing my talents to homeowners in Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties.
Simple Streams is the compilation of my thousands of hours of research, a passion for the little mysteries and wonders of nature, and my wish to share how I felt that sunny day in February. I look forward to working with you to bring that natural serenity home.
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