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Wapato Hills Park

Features You'll Find:
Hover over an icon for more details
    • Baseball / Softball
    • Basketball
    • Natural Areas
    • Parking Stalls
    • Parking Stalls / ADA
    • Restrooms / Seasonal
    • Picnic / Drop in
    • Playground (5-12 yrs)
    • Spraygrounds

Open ½ hour before sunrise
Close ½ hour after sunset

Sprayground Hours
Restroom Schedule

6231 S. Wapato St.
Tacoma, WA 98409

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Wapato Hills Park in South Tacoma features the Skip & Laura Vaughn playground & sprayground next to a large undeveloped area.
Wapato Hills Walking Path:
  • It is approximately one-quarter mile around this park.
  • Limited public parking available. Visitors who park in "permit required" street parking are advised that they may be ticketed by the City of Tacoma. Citizens can continue to contact 253-591-5500 or to request a no-fee parking permit that is valid for parking along the east side of Wapato Street (abutting the park).

Come splash, play and cool off! Admission is free. Sprayground Hours

  • Current-2013-2014 - Vegetation Management, Habitat Management, Environment Management, Active Use/Recreation-Future Usage, Safety Planning - To preserve and improve this space for safe recreation and enjoyment of nature and natural habitat in South Tacoma. This is a City of Tacoma and Metro Parks Tacoma Partnership. MPT will coordinate and implement the public process and planning design to review and potentially amend the 1996 Conceptual Master Plan, while COT & MPT will carry out the implementation of that design. Public meetings took place in April (04/23/13) & June (06/05/13) 2013. Work is being funded by the Parks Improvement Bond Measure, approved by the citizens of Tacoma in November of 2005 ($190,000) and City of Tacoma ($8,840).
    Status 12/20/13: The master plan review with the community is complete so the scope of what MPT will do with the bond funds can now move forward. The master plan will not include bike trails. The procurement of the property had provisions against bike use. The revised design will add trails, new access points and cleanup of natural areas. Improvements will start with signage/wayfinding and upgrade of existing trails.
    Design: Bruce Dees & Associates
    Project Manager: Kristi Evans, 253-305-1054
  • 2013 Trail System Conceptual Master Plan
    07-26-2013-Wapato Hills Trails System Concept Masterplan-Final_Page_1   07-26-2013-Wapato Hills Trails System Concept Masterplan-Final_Page_2
  • 1996 Conceptual Master PlanElements (text) / Neighborhood Park (graphic) / Trail System (graphic) / Big 80 Acres 

Park Established: 1994
Park land acres: 14.22

The property was purchased in 1919 as a future reservoir site, however in 1968 it was declared as surplus property. Options for the area that were discussed after that included convention center, auto shopping mall, private school or sports center. In 1978 the Tahoma Audubon Society recommended the area be considered open space and preserved. In 1994 the Wapato Task Force was set up and suggested to the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Utility and Metro Parks Tacoma that the 80 acre area be divided into two sections with Metro Parks Tacoma developing 10 acres of the territory into a neighborhood park and the other 70 acres being preserved as open nature space.

A new playfield was dedicated September 15, 2002 to Skip and Laura Vaughn. Vaughn led a six-year fight to raise $5.6 million to purchase the land and worked tirelessly to help develop the four-acre playfield which features a combination soccer/softball field with backstop, restrooms, basketball court, spray plaza, walking trail and an extensive playground. The site is also home to the Tacoma Power Memorial to fallen linemen.

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