Small upgrades now, then big changes down the road are being discussed for the redesign of the wharf entryway along Coupeville’s historic waterfront.
More seating spaces to devour ice cream on sunny summer days, no more bumpy, loose gravel that currently gums up wheelchairs and baby strollers, as well as some other facelifts are part of project plans to update the entryway.
The Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association (CHWA) is putting together the to-do list that may eventually include an art installation on the walkway, step seating and an overhaul of the entryway appearance.
At the port public meeting on Wednesday, several design ideas for the new wharf look were presented and discussed. CHWA Executive Director Vickie Chambers said that ensuring the overall look of the redesign fits in with Coupeville’s aesthetic is important.
The space as it currently sits features a handful of picnic tables, narrow paved walkway and kiosks.
The association is having a survey done to assess drainage and critical information about the area. If approved, Chambers said estimated starting date of the first project phase is October. CHWA will work to replace the loose gravel with pressed gravel, trim existing foliage of St. John’s Wart shrubs and trees, add in “as many benches as will fit,” and work with the Port and partners to update the signs around the entry.
“The goal is to make it a placemaking area people are drawn to visit, rest by the water and enjoy nature,” Chambers said of envisioned changes stretching from the land around the Island County Historical Museum to the building currently leased to Collections Boutique.
Due to construction scheduled by Port of Coupeville for the wharf and pier, larger upgrades will be held off so wharf projects won’t interfere with the entryway project, meaning the timeline to execute the entire vision could take between 3 to 5 years to complete, Chambers said.
Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association will not be requesting funds from the port for the entryway upgrades, Chambers said.
The association has funds to implement the smaller changes and will consider fundraising campaigns and seek cooperation with partners to fund the more extensive design ideas, she said, such as the installation of a concrete compass rose and ampitheather step seating.