Titlow Park is Tacoma’s only beach park on the west side and has a rich cultural and environmental history.
Titlow Lagoon Design and Phase 1The BNSF Railway Foundation has donated $25,000 to the nonprofit group that plans to restore Metro Parks’ Titlow Park lagoon as a potential refuge for juvenile salmon. Read more.
- Status: Geotechnical investigation was completed in June 2018. Borings up to 80 feet deep on either side of the existing lagoon culvert were drilled and ground penetrating radar was completed along the BNSF right-of-way. Metro Parks Tacoma continues coordination with South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group on the planning of future lagoon restoration project.
Titlow/Hidden Beach ImprovementsHidden Beach and natural area trail/path/beach access upgrades. Landscaping enhancements, natural area restoration, demolition of shelter and old restroom at Hidden Beach. Utility modifications at former TOA facility. Remove or perform bridge retrofits to TOA Railroad bridge.
- Status: Scope of phase 1 demolition work is being finalized. A 3rd public meeting was held in early 2019 to explore future improvement opportunities.
Titlow GarageRenovation of existing shed building adjacent to Titlow Lodge to better serve the needs of parks operations and maintenance team.
- Status: Project was publicly bid through the Small Works Roster. Construction is occurring this spring.
Tacoma City Council declares Titlow Lodge a historic landmark
BNSF Railway Foundation gives $25,000 to help restore Titlow Park lagoon
CityLine: Titlow Park Vision
2010 Master Plan
Metro Parks staff, together with a Steering Committee worked with the landscape architects from Siteworkshop to develop a master plan for Titlow Park.
The Master Plan has been, and will continue to be, used to guide Metro Parks Tacoma efforts at implementing improvements throughout the park.Titlow Park Master Plan
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Kay’s house removal and shoreline restoration
A $597,000 project to restore the shoreline, improve fish and wildlife habitat and expand the public recreation area at Titlow Park allows more room to explore via the adjacent Hidden Beach trail.
The nonprofit South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group spearheaded the project, which entailed demolition of a vacant beach house and removal of contaminated soils so the area can be returned to a natural state.
What was informally known as Kay’s house was located near the south end of the trail, north of Steamers Seafood Café. The single-story house was once the home of a Titlow Park caretaker and his wife.
In 2016, a contractor razed the house, its garage, an attached boathouse, a bulkhead, and took out an underground septic system and storage tanks.
Additionally, soil contaminated by airborne pollutants from the former Asarco copper smelter in Ruston was removed from the site. The house also contained harmful asbestos components.
The embankment where the house stood has been reshaped to a more natural slope which was stabilized with native plants.
In 1969, Metro Parks Tacoma acquired the house, which has been vacant since 2004. One of the conditions of the acquisition was that its occupants, James and Kay Irwin, be allowed to reside there as long as they lived.
The house removal project is part of Metro Parks’ 2010 Titlow Park master plan. Besides demolition, the plan calls for eventual creation of a picnic meadow and viewing deck on the site. This project did not include funds for those future improvements, but additional positive changes regarding Titlow Park will be announced by Metro Parks soon.
The South Sound Salmon Enhancement Group received money for the project from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, by way of the Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program, administered by the state Recreation and Conservation Office. Metro Parks contributed $75,000 derived from capital improvement bonds approved by voters in 2014.
Trail & Way Finding Signage
Trailheads were improved. Way finding signage was added to select main trails. The trailhead and way finding sign package is based on the design for trail signage that has been developed for Metro Parks Tacoma’s Natural Areas.
Trail improvements, interpretive signage and other site furniture may be included in this project. Work was funded by the Parks Improvement Bond Measure, approved by the citizens of Tacoma in November of 2005.
Ecology Soil Remediation Program
Completed through an inter-agency agreement with the Department of Ecology. Most of the work at Titlow was directly behind the Lodge. Cleanup also includes a small area near Kay’s house.
Project Status 12/13/13: DOE soil remediation is complete.
Project Manager: Department of Ecology (also paying for all of the work)
Metro Parks Project Administrator: Roger Stanton; (253) 305-1082
Removal of Titlow Pool
On September 24, 2012, Board members passed a resolution authorizing a project budget to move forward with the demolition of Titlow Pool. The demolition project leaves the site with basic accessible pathways, irrigated turf and code-required surface water improvements.
Demolition: STETZ Construction
Design was done by Site Workshop. Construction was done by Nordic Construction.