Swan Creek Park
Features You'll Find:Hover over an icon for more details
- Bike Trail
- Parking Stalls
- Trail / Hard
- Trail / Soft
- Community Garden
- Natural Areas
- Stream / River
Open ½ hour before sunrise
Close ½ hour after sunset
2820 Pioneer Way E.
Tacoma, WA 98404
|It is illegal to operate all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and other motorized recreational vehicles on park properties. All users must enter and leave park property through established entrances and exits. Penalties up to $250 per violation apply. (Section 8.27.200 of the Tacoma Municipal Code)|
|ABOUT THIS PARK|
Total acreage is 373 acres - 290 owned by Metro Parks Tacoma and 83 owned by Pierce County. Municipal Ownership Map
This park has two major sections - Swan Creek and its associated wooded canyon, and an upland area with a second growth Douglas fir forest and an old housing project site complete with roads and utilities. The park is popular for bird watchers, hikers/walkers, picnickers and other recreational users, and is also used for driver training by public safety and utility departments. Trail Map Brochure / Trail Map Sign
FRIENDS OF SWAN CREEK WATERSHED
CURRENT PARK IMPROVEMENTS
The Parks Improvement Bond Measure, approved by the citizens of Tacoma in November of 2005, provides $1,000,000 for improvements to Swan Creek. Improvements will be prioritized to address the most immediate and practical needs identified in the bond program as well as the longer term objectives identified in the master planning process.
• Schematic Site Plan (May 24, 2012)
• Schematic Design: Gathering Area (May 24, 2012)
• Street Level Drawing: Orchard & Walk, Picnic Shelter, Gathering Circle, Orchards/Berries, Garden (May 24, 2012)
• Street Level Drawing: Meadow, Parking, Walk, Garden Gathering Shed, Garden (May 24, 2012)
Design Project Manager: Doug Fraser, 253-305-1019 (prev. Dick Ramsey)
Ongoing Management: Joe Brady, (253) 305-1014
Protecting the Torrey peavine (Lathyrus torreyl) habitat - Members of our Natural Resources trail crews are trained to recognize the plant and report back with each new sighting. By this method we have established a known population range in the park and it helps us identify other locations where we might expect to find more. Precautions are taken to conserve and protect this rare treasure.
Completed 2012 - Community Garden
Reactivation of the irrigation water service at this site; re-construction of irrigation hydrants to provide hose watering access to all garden plots; relocation leveling and painting and modifications to the existing garden shed; installation of a chain link perimeter garden fence; and other incidental purchases and improvements associated with the Community Garden. The garden was completed and more than half occupied during its first year (2012).
Current/2012-2013 - Trail Improvements
The focus will be on the Swan Creek canyon and adjacent uplands - improving and building a network of soft surfaced pedestrian trails to expand the recreational use of the park.
• Trails damaged by illegal motorized vehicle use will be narrowed and volunteer paths will be widened.
• Steep sections of trail in the canyon may be rerouted or upgraded with steps and handrails.
• Washed out sections of trail may be stabilized and widened and boardwalks may be rebuilt or improved.
• Unsuitable, ghost, and dead end trails will be blocked and re-vegetated.
• Trailheads will be improved and marked and way finding signage will be added to select main trails.
Status 01/10/13: Trail construction work by WCC has been completed for the year. Some planned trail work is yet to be done. Trail signage has been installed.
Project Manager: Mary Anderson, (253) 591-2038
Current/2012-2013 - Evergreen Mountain Bike Trails - Volunteer built & maintained!
We are working with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to develop and maintain mountain bike trails in the Douglas Fir Forest part of Swan Creek Park. They are offering 200 hours of work.
Status 01/25/13: The contract with Evergreen is complete and Notice to Proceed has been issued. Evergreen is already working on their design. They have walked the site and tagged a proposed layout. Their project has three focus areas - a 1-1/2 mile outer loop, an internal side-loop off the main trail with skill building options and a center zone for technical skills. The outer loop trail will be constructed in a first phase beginning immediately with a target of opening to the public this summer. A second phase of trail development is proposed to begin next Fall. That phase will repair and modify the initial trails based on experience during the summer as well as add skills and challenge elements inthe center of the site.
Great article May 3, 2013 in The News Tribune about Swan Creek mountain bike trail: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/05/02/2582282/swan-creek-bike-path-may-open.html#storylink=cpy
Current/2012-2013 - E. 56th Street Improvements
The Lister School entry will have limited improvements including a directory sign, new swing gate, and park entry sign. At some future date it may be re-designed to become the primary vehicle entry into the park. The South 56th Street entry is being discontinued in favor of an alterntive location further west near the First Creek Middle School that can be combined with a future trail head feature for the Pipeline Trail.
• Drawing: S. 56th Entry (May 24, 2012)
• Drawing: Lister School Entry (May 24, 2012)
Status 04/18/13: Work is complete.
Current/2012-2014 - Greenspace Habitat Restoration & Forest Management
Work includes purchase of a Bobcat T590 Compact Track Loader (or similar type), various attachments and an associated trailer to implement the capital improvement and manage it through time. This project will result in approximately 71 acres being cleared of invasive plants. Improvements are expected to be made between April 2013 and October 2014. After the work is completed, the meadows and associated understory vegetation will need to be managed with periodic mowing and associated maintenance tasks (blowing/debris removal, etc.) several times per year.
Other Park Improvements
Gathering Place Improvements: Architectural and landscape modifications to create a useful space for events, minimize risk of vandalism, and facilitate maintenance. The emphasis will be on improvements in the community garden area. In addition, roadway safety and maintenance access will be a priority: parking will be included, the circle will stay, there will be a holding space for a new pavilion and plans will focus more on a unified signage package for the entryways at the garden, end of Lister and 56th Street. $500,000 of the funding is from an RCO Grant.
Project Manager: Doug Fraser, 253-305-1019
New Activity Shelter: A pre-engineered picnic shelter by the existing Gathering Place trellis structure to allow the two facilities to be used together for a wide variety of community, education, and group activities.
General Site Improvements: To the extent that funds will allow, pavement will be cleaned and improved for public use, blackberries will be cleared and replaced with turf or native plantings as appropriate, and irrigation will be extended. Existing trees will be selectively pruned and removed as necessary to create an open, inviting, and safe landscape.
Promenade: Clearing, paving, and other improvements that will enhance the public use of the existing older asphalt roadways in the general area of the Gathering Place, and extending from South 39th Street to South 44th Street making pedestrian connections to small pocket parks that have been created as part of the Salishan Hope 6 Project.
Public Parking: Site improvements including fencing, gates, bollards, paving, storm drainage, and signage to provide public parking for up to 20 vehicles on the park site in a secure manner than can be managed and maintained.
Public Restroom: There is a strong interest and demand for public restrooms at the Gathering Place to support general and day-to-day public use. At a minimum, a site for the public restrooms should be identified and provisions should be made for its future installation.
July 25, 2011 - Swan Creek Master Plan accepted by the Board of Park Commissioners.
Master Plan Project Manager: Lois Stark
• Recreation Area: A Proposal - 1979 / by Swan Creek Park Action Committee
• Report - 1982 / by Swan Creek Advisory Committee
• Management Plan - 1995 / by Lee & Associates (not adopted by Board)
• Salmon migration and the efforts of Bill & Mary Haire to save the stream article in Outdoor Magazine - 2005
• Cross County Commuter Connector (4-C) Trail Report - 2007 / by Parametrix
• Fish & Wildlife Habitat Assessment Report - 2008 / by Pierce County Public Works & Utilities
• SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Documents - 2011
• Opportunities & Constraints Analysis - 2011 / by MIG
• Planning Process - 2011 / internship paper by Kelly Wyman UPS Graduate
Local Native Americans used Swan Creek and the surrounding property for hunting and holding councils up until the mid-19th century. At one time the land was part of the Puyallup Reservation. The first 152 acres for this park were purchased in 1966.
Events Happening Here: