Each year, the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) recognizes extraordinary accomplishments by member ports in the categories of environmental stewardship, community engagement, job creator of the year, and creative partnerships.
WPPA is excited to announce the Port of Bellingham as the winner of the 2022 Creative Partnership award for their out-of-the-box thinking of what to do with vacant, underutilized property on Bellingham's downtown waterfront, partnering with community groups to bring a large bike park and Container Village to the residents of Whatcom County.
The Port is redeveloping Georgia Pacific's former Pulp and Paper Mill on Bellingham's downtown waterfront in what is one of the largest contaminated property redevelopment projects in the nation. The overall goals for the project are to restore the health of land and water, improve public access to the water, rebuild the waterfront economy, and create a vibrant, mixed-use waterfront.
The Port has completed the required environmental cleanup work on most of the downtown waterfront, but development of this large amount of waterfront property is expected to take decades. To improve public access and activate the site in the short-term, the Port partnered with the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition to build a large bike park through the middle of the downtown waterfront in an area reserved for future development into a large public park.
The Port is also developing a Container Village with a seasonal pop-up, 25,000 square foot beer garden from Kulshan Trackside anchoring the festivities. Other containers include the Selkie Scoop offering handmade organic ice-cream, Sun-E-Land bikes offering bike park rentals and electric bike sales and rentals, and the Container Shop offering local arts and crafts from rotating vendors. More containers will be opening soon.
Community members have been enjoying new public access to the waterfront and the bike park will soon generate a significant amount of economic activity as it is slated to host the Northwest Tune-Up, a bike, beer and music festival on July 8-10 in celebration of PNW culture. Thousands of people are expected to show up to enjoy bike events, 20+ artists on waterfront stages and beverages from 24 local breweries. To purchase tickets to the Northwest Tune-Up, visit https://nwtuneup.com/