New name sought for Bellingham waterfront park

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 24, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - Could it be Maury Schwartz Beach Park, Jerry Flora Waterfront Park, 12th Man Park, Heron's Landing or Hooligan Beach Park?

Or some other name among the nearly 330 submitted to the city of Bellingham for a proposed waterfront park south of the intersection of Pine Street and Cornwall Avenue near Wharf Street.

A park plan for the former city garbage dump site is in the early stages.

The area has been referred to as Cornwall Beach Park during the waterfront planning process, but it has no official name - yet.

When the city put out a public call for ideas, plenty of people responded. (The deadline to offer names has passed.)

Suggested names will be forwarded to the City Parks & Recreation Advisory Board for consideration. The board, which next meets April 9, will then forward its choice to the Bellingham City Council for a final decision.

The late Maurice "Maury" Schwartz and Charles J. "Jerry" Flora, and different versions of their names for the park, received the most submissions.

Schwartz, a former coastal geologist and professor at Western Washington University, got 146 submissions, with the most popular being Maury Beach Park followed by Maury Beach.

Flora, a former marine biologist, WWU president and professor, received 43 submissions. The most popular entry was Charles J. Flora Waterfront Park, followed by Flora Park.

People also had ideas for a new name: "Something appropriately Coast Salish, or if that fails, after a minority or female person of significance."

Another wrote: "I suggest we identify what the beach area was called by the native peoples before European settlement."

Other name suggestions showed:

-- regional pride for the Super Bowl champs and their fans, as in 12th Man Park and Seahawk Park (unless the person making the Seahawk recommendation really was referring to an osprey or skua, both of which have fish-based diets and are known as sea hawks.)

-- a nod to what was, as in Garbage Dump Park, and what will be, as in Treasure Beach.

-- a reference to environmental problems, as in Mercury Heights, Dioxin View and Toxic Park.

-- a straightforward approach, as in Bellingham Waterfront Park, By-the-Bay Park, and the Park at Wharf.

-- an appreciation of the area's ecology, as in Chinook Landing and Coho Park for salmon, and Hooligan Beach Park for the "little fish that inhabit the near shore that feed the salmon," according to those who sent in the hooligan name.

-- a nod to the history of the working waterfront, including Chinook Landing, Old Mill Park, Cannery Park, and Georgia Pacific Park.

-- acknowledgement of tribal heritage, as in Kulshan and Lummi Fish Camp Park.

-- appreciation for the view, via Sunset Beach and Sunset View, and for well-being, as in Serenity Park. "Everything about Bellingham is serene and comfortable," wrote the person who sent in the latter name.

-- practical consideration, via the eight submissions for Cornwall Beach Park. As one person wrote: "It's a good name. Why change it?"

Someone else suggested that name might create confusion with the existing Cornwall Park in Bellingham that has entrances off Cornwall Avenue and Meridian Street.

HAVE A SUGGESTION

What's your pick for the park's name? Put your suggestion as a comment below.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com .

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