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Enhancing the Experience that is Point Defiance

Destination Point Defiance LogoDestination Point Defiance is a long-term initiative by Metro Parks Tacoma to enhance the experience and honor the character of Point Defiance Park.

Planning for this initiative started in 2005 and included more than 100 community meetings.

The outcome is a comprehensive plan for Point Defiance Park that focuses on improving access, enhancing activities and stewarding resources.
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Point Defiance Aerial View What's currently going on at the Point?

Point Defiance Park is unique among urban parks because it contains miles of trails into old-growth forest; miles of beach; walking, running and biking areas; native and flower gardens; a zoo and aquarium; a living history museum; boat moorage and access; a restaurant and plays host to numerous community gatherings. Ensuring that visitors can access all of these activities, safely, is a paramount goal.

Interim trail downtown to defiance 9-22-13 Waterfront Walkway - Downtown to Defiance
The scenic Puget Sound shoreline will soon become more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

On Sept. 22, 2013 the community took a sneak peak opportunity to travel on the new interim connection linking Point Defiance Park with Ruston Way at Downtown to Defiance: Sunday Parkways. The path officially opened November 1, 2013.

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Runner on trail in Point Defiance Park Trailhead and Wayfinding Signage
The old-growth forest and native gardens at the Park offer hiking and walking for all skill levels and abilities. Recent trail signage throughout the forest makes exploring simple.

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A visit to the Park can include walking, running, hiking, biking, boating, learning, animal viewing, hands-on activities, dining, and so much more! Plans include new programming and attractions, as well as providing amenities at and access to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and preserving and enhancing Fort Nisqually Living History Museum.

Visitors Center in the historic Lodge in Point Defiance Park Seasonal Visitors Center
Here you can tour interpretive exhibits, pick up a park map, talk to knowledgeable Park Ambassadors and get information on special events and recreational opportunities in the park. Books, gifts and refreshments are available for purchase.
Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm through Labor Day.
Also open Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. 

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Science and Math Institute student with marine life in Point Defiance Park The Science and Math Institute (SAMI)
Located in Point Defiance Park, this Tacoma School District high school is dedicated to integrating science and math into everyday learning. Tacoma voters recently approved a bond that will support the construction of classrooms at the Park.

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The natural resources and distinct character of the Park will be preserved and honored through a number of projects within Destination Point Defiance. Special consideration has been given to environmental protection, innovative green infrastructure, and historic preservation.

Forested area in Point Defiance Park Forest Stewardship Plan
The 560-acre forest at the Park contains about 500-acres of old-growth forest. This rare urban forest is both a gem for visitors and a necessity for the continued health of the ecosystem. The recently updated Forest Stewardship Plan will ensure that the forest is maintained now and for the future.

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Historic Pagoda in Point Defiance Park Renovation of Historic Pagoda
The Pagoda has undergone significant restoration and structural improvements after an arson fire damaged it in 2011. The upper floor has been restored and updated, and the lower floor now accommodates meetings, classes, celebrations and events.

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