Some thoughts on the new Cornwall Beach Park.
First, let's create a new experience on the waterfront. Marine Park, Boulevard Park and Zuanich Point create a very monochromatic experience in Bellingham. So what sort of buildout might we see?
The initial construction should be minimal as it fits into the cleanup, restoration and sequestering of the landfill. Grading the site should provide a base to start from not a final product. I say this because I believe that designers work very diligently to create the experience on paper then build it in reality, sort of a Disney-esque approach. The problem with this approach is that unlike a theme park public spaces have to work all by themselves without artificial stimuli constantly injected from a guiding hand. Leaving the park in a minimal state for some years will allow the public uses to identify themselves and then budgets can be altered to provide a permanent solution for those uses.
There is a cleanup at the RG Haley property, now City owned, that may take advantage of a need for some parking or hard spaces. Through capping, sequestering and managing stormwater/groundwater we may see a lower cost cleanup there. If the land is capped we can use it for parking areas, boat storage and day use boat launching. The shoreline will be armored in areas but a groin built into the bay can provide protection for a softer beach and boat small boat launch.
I suggest that a small boat launch could provide a replacement for the launch in Fairhaven when the old one silts in. The Fairhaven launch is already compromised so we should get this going quickly.
Another idea is to add 7 sandy firepits. The emotional joy we get from enjoying a shoreside fire is almost a primal one yet in urban waterfronts it's nearly impossible to do. Cornwall Beach offers this opportunity. This type of activity also breaks up the monochrome Bellingham waterfront park experience.
My vision right now? A boaters area with some parking for trailered boats that can be launched there, an organization like the Community Boating Center managing a small boat activity or selling bundles of firewood, basic infrastructure that is affordable and doable right now e.g. regrade, cap, hydroseed, add firepits and a few gravel trails.