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We Dig Community Engagement: Bringing the Excitement of Excavators to Library Storytimes

November 6, 2023

Levi reading Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site to a group of children at the Ferndale library.


Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a lot of fun partnering with our local libraries to make the excitement of excavation accessible to children in our communities. Though we make financial or in-kind contributions to more than a dozen local organizations each year, our engagement is usually in a behind-the-scenes capacity. With this project, we got to engage directly with the kids who participate in library Storytime programming. It was really special.

We visited the Bellingham Public Library and the Ferndale branch of the Whatcom County Library System where Levi read a construction-themed picture book, answered questions about working in construction, and gave kids the chance to climb aboard one of our favorite excavators: our John Deere 85G with an Engcon tilt rotator.

Equipment Operator In-Training enjoying our John Deere 85G.


It’s not surprising Levi had the kids’ full-attention during each Storytime session. He is the guy who has a bunch of small collectible [ahem….toy…ahem] excavators on display in his office and the guy who said, “I love civil construction because I get to be a big kid playing in a giant sandbox with real Tonka trucks.” Levi was the perfect person to let kids see having a career doesn’t mean they have to grow up entirely. Construction work can be challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding and even fun.

The Ferndale visit was part of a multi-week “Community Helpers” Storytime series hosted by the Whatcom County Library System. This series also featured guests from Whatcom Humane Society and Whatcom County Fire District, giving our youngest residents the opportunity to learn more about various professions and understand how the uniformed adults they see in the community contribute to helping make our county a safe place to live. It was also cool for us to do this with the Whatcom Humane Society, as they are an organization we donated to earlier in the year.

“Community Helpers Storytime is an excellent opportunity to promote Whatcom County Library System’s mission to connect information, ideas, and community,” said WCLS Childrens Services Coordinator Theresa Morrison. “When our community partners share stories about their work with young people, we cultivate connection, understanding, and empathy. It’s also an opportunity to have an exciting, new hands-on experience that’s fun and memorable.”

Of course, we had to leave a little something to keep the great memories made that day alive, so we also made a donation of more than a dozen children’s books, including titles like: Diggersaurs by Michael Whaite; Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney; Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker; and more.

Tera of the Highline team with Bethany of the Bellingham Public Library showcasing the books we donated.


Giving back is a priority for us. A lot of our employees have young children, and we strive to be a family-friendly workplace. When we can combine our commitment to giving and our appreciation for kids and families with our love for construction, it’s a win-win. This partnership checked all of those boxes.

Though we do get a significant amount of requests for financial and in-kind donations and can’t possibly honor them all, we do love hearing from our community. If you know of a great organization you think we should consider for a future donation, we’d be happy to hear from you. You can always email those suggestions to [email protected] or message us on social media. For more warm fuzzies, search #HighlineGives on Facebook and Instagram to get a greater understanding of our efforts to make an impact in helping Whatcom County residents thrive.

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“Communication was constant, honest and clear. Trevor and his crew were all friendly and professional.  They listened to our requests and delivered.

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– Matt Whitten, Bellingham, WA

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