Go out and find it.

I drive down the entrance and look toward my destination, I see a row of neatly parked cars, only a couple spots left but honestly that’s the norm around here. The breeze rolls through my open car windows and as I come to a stop, I look around and see a plethora of amazement. I hear the normal sounds of laughing, music, and the water brushing onto the rocks. The sun beats overhead and the smiles are out today, a typical day at Boulevard Park.

Boulevard Park, located just out of Fairhaven between Fairhaven and Bellingham is home to a boardwalk, coffee house, playground, stage, trees, smiles, and grassy areas to hang out by the bay. People come here for a variety of reasons but what I commonly see are people here to relax. When the sun is out, there are an abundance of people, the park is full, but somehow it still doesn’t feel too crowded. Well if Bellingham isn’t just around the corner, why should you care?

I’m from a small town called Winthrop right over the cascade mountain range east of Bellingham, and I’m not saying that I’m a hard please when it comes to nature, but I’ve grown up all my life in probably what is one of the most beautiful places on earth. With high mountain peaks, hundreds of miles of mountain biking and hiking, and gorgeous lakes, I live in a pretty cool place.

Washington Pass — Liberty Bell Peaks — Just out of Winthrop, WA

With that said, nature has always been a way for me to focus and relax so finding a place that can feed my addiction was absolutely necessary. To have a place like this to go or at least something that felt similar was something that I needed, and what I ended up finding was actually a park on the water in Bellingham that made me feel the same way. Boulevard Park.

This place is unlike any “park” that I’ve been before. When you think of a park, you might think of somewhere with some pine trees and some grass, maybe a swingset or playground and a place to put a towel down or throw a frisbee. This is not that kind of park. Sure, you could get a tan under the sun on the soft grass, or see children running around playing on the playground, but what’s different about this area is the feel of it. Boulevard park doesn’t feel like your average park, it’s weird and unique. It feels almost however you want it to feel, and I know that sounds like it doesn’t make sense but hear me out. If I was to go to Boulevard Park, in one day I could feel so many different ways there. I could start by going to the Woods Coffee in the morning, ordering a chai latte and a scone, and writing a paper while enjoying the calming nature of this location. But after I finished my paper, I could head outside, lay in the grass with some friends, slackline, hammock, or read under a tree. And if I got sick of that I could throw a frisbee, kick a soccer ball, or go jump in the water. My point here is that no matter what you’re at Boulevard Park to do, you can pretty much always find somewhere that fits your needs whether you need it to be calm, quiet, loud, or full of energy, you can experience all of those things in the same moment in the same park.

Being able to get away from the other distractions in life can be important to accomplishing a goal or to feeling a sense of peace, but as a freshman student at Western Washington University, this is even more important to me. Whenever I need to study hard for tests, complete assignments, relax in my hammock, or play some soccer, Boulevard Park provides any or all these atmospheres, whenever you need them. Regardless of where you are, a place like this is important. Students from across the globe are constantly getting more and more work piled on them while attending universities and having a place like this to go is getting harder and harder to find due to the increasing amount of people attending college and living in cities worldwide. Finding a place like this might also sound hard, and it well may be, but if you can do one thing, look for somewhere like this that offers many different atmospheres when you require them, hopefully fulfilling your needs at any given moment. A place like this doesn’t have to have great views or be surrounded by nature, it just needs to give you that feeling, and you’ll know it when you find it. The reason why I say this is because when you find a place like this, you’ll be able to feel excited or calm at whichever time you desire. If you can do this I can almost assure you that you will feel more relaxed, less stressed, and have a better day. So go out, find a place that is as unique and special to you as Boulevard Park is to me, and I think that you’ll be able to feel a positive difference in your daily life.