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waterfront proposals

Through the 2022 series, Paper Whale supported the Port of Bellingham in cultivating over 35 community driven ideas around the type of future we want to create on the Bellingham Waterfront.  From that overwhelming list of creative ideas, 8 project proposals were selected for consideration.  Renderings for this proposal series were created by Paul Kearsley.

Fire & Story Festival

A gallery of large and uniquely designed sculptural fire pits provide a stage  for local story-tellers, poets and musicians.  Dispersed  across the Bellingham Waterfront like tiny lighthouses, families can walk between each and engage in the monthly rhythm of these events during the  fall and winter seasons. More information here.

-proposed by Paper Whale


Noisy Waters Mural Festival 

Widely acclaimed muralists gather in Bellingham, WA for a weekend of live painting, demos, music, parties and inspiration.  Artists will have three days to paint 8’x’8’ portable walls which will be auctioned off at the end of the event. The community votes for their favorite artists who will receive large murals to paint downtown! Taking place for a second year, August 16-18, 2024.  More details here.

-proposed by Kaplan Bunce & Paper Whale

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Sauna Hub

A collection of well-designed pop-up mobile saunas on the Waterfront to offer the community an  opportunity to warm up during the winter months. The structures are elegant, artistic and temporary.  With secure and safe changing rooms and adjacent to a natural, oceanfront cold plunge, this mobile installation will set the stage for a relaxed and healthy waterfront community.  

-proposed by Paper Whale


Pickleball Murals

Combining sports court and artist installations, these planar murals provide a unique  multi-generational destination within the Waterfront experience. Game on. 

-proposed by Gretchen Leggitt and Jenny Westbury



Moonwalk is an interactive play structure and public art piece focusing on the relationship between the tides and the moon. Its sculptural design provides both visual interest while bringing movement and enjoyment to the waterfront. Users have the opportunity to climb and rest among the phases of the moon and the changing, sinusoidal  tidal waves. A passerby can see the represented phases and corresponding tidal patterns at different angles while moving around the piece. The design will play into a whimsical connection to natural systems, reminding us of the interconnected nature of humans to their local and planetary systems. 

-proposed by graduate team from UW Landscape Design & Urban Planning



A monument to the legacy of old growth trees as well as the decommissioned, industrial hardware that made quick work of industrial steel, this sculpture, nurse-stump, is a poignant reminder that all things are following a path of natural transformation. 

-proposed by Aaron Loveitt, Canopy Art & Iron


Confluent Ecologies

This immersive landscape installation reveals the ecological and estuarine past of the waterfront site, while providing habitat and soil remediation throughout the development process. As a large land-art installation, it provides opportunities for phytoremediation and helps to clean/absorb stormwater runoff. 

-proposed by Kristi Park, BioDesign Studio

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Layers of netting and rope create a 3-dimensional environment that is perfect for dynamic play, quiet complication and everything in between.  In partnership with Samson Rope, Bellinghammock pays homage to our marine trades and fishing fleets. 

-proposed by Nick Kelly

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