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Point Defiance Master Plan

DPTD_logo_bw JPGPoint Defiance Park Master Plan

After years of community input, the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners unanimously voted in 2015 to approve a long-range master plan “update” for Point Defiance Park.

The master plan looks 20 years into the future and provides a framework for enhancements.

Highlights include:

  • A new aquarium.
  • A new Environmental Learning Center at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
  • A new 11-acre park on the peninsula adjacent to the ferry terminal.
  • A roundabout entry at Pearl Street that will improve safety and efficiency.
  • Separation of bicycle/pedestrian and car traffic from the entries to major destinations
  • A nature adventure play area.
  • Relocated dog park.
  • Infrastructure upgrades, including utility and signage improvements and upgrades to the park’s viewpoints.
  • 7 focus areas. Each of the seven focus areas will be programmed in more detail and will have ongoing public outreach as plans are refined prior to final implementation.  
    • Forest Area
    • Fort Nisqually
    • Former Camp 6/Baker Tract
    • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
    • Owen Beach and Promenade
    • Waterfront
    • Entrance and Bowl

The complete plan is online below. More than 70 potential projects are listed, though implementation will depend on funding and additional planning. Some, such as the new aquarium, Environmental Learning Center and park at the Point Defiance peninsula, already are underway.

DPD final master plan cover image 11-1-15
Meeting Presentations:
Public Comments
In addition to face-to-face conversations, Metro Parks planners have received a variety of comments about the master plan process.
Read the public comments.

Point Defiance Program Plan serves as the driver for the level and type of programming possible to enhance visitor experiences at Point Defiance Park. Read more

Development Regulation Agreement
Metro Parks and its design firm BCRA have been working with City of Tacoma staff since June 2013 to lay the groundwork for this formal, long-term agreement about Point Defiance Park. Read more

PointDefianceMap-Hare and Hare
The firm of Hare and Hare was hired in 1911 to create the first master plan for Point Defiance Park. This plan guided park development through the 1930s.