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Metro Parks Today: October 2017

October 11, 2017


News and Notes

Our large-scale construction projects – such as the Eastside’s new community center and the peninsula at Point Defiance Park – get lots of attention because of their scale. However, parks all over the city are getting updates. Below are just a few updates on capital projects at parks that don’t have “Point Defiance” in the name. (And remember, you can read about all of Metro Parks’ capital projects on the district website.)

Temporary ribbons on Titlow Beach trees

If you have visited Titlow Beach recently, you may have noticed ribbons on some of the park’s trees. Rest assured, they are NOT to mark trees for cutting. Actually, they’re part of a survey that will help Metro Parks update information about trees, utilities, buildings and other features as the district prepares for a public visioning process. The process will focus on the park’s natural areas and shoreline. One outcome will be a “master plan update” for portions of the park.

You should start to see announcements about public meetings early next year. In the meantime, you can read about Titlow Park’s planning history and improvements, and sign up for email updates, at

Wapato dock replacement

Replacement of Wapato Park’s docks continues. The new ones should be finished early next year. They’ll have benches and a fish cleaning station for your enjoyment.


Conservatory restrooms

Restrooms + Conservatory = Good! for a lot of visitors. Construction started Aug. 7, and should be finished early next year. Excavation for footings and demolition of an outdoor shed was finished last month, with plumbing and electrical being roughed in afterward. The structure's footings should be poured in the coming weeks.

The restrooms are part of a much bigger vision for the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory that began back in 2005. Ten years later, Metro Parks stared a public process to turn the broad vision into schematic design options, which were unveiled in July 2016.

Future funding will be required to bring all of the designs into reality, but it was agreed that system and structural upgrades should be made now—along with the construction of public restrooms. You can read more about planned Conservatory improvements at


And in other news …

Congratulations to the Grand Prairie (Texas) Parks, Arts & Recreation Department for winning the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Metro Parks Tacoma was one of three other finalists in our population class (150,001 to 400,000).

As a Gold Medal finalist and with accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Metro Parks is recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding park districts.

Metro Parks staff are available to speak to organizations about a variety of topics. If you’d like your civic club, school, business or other group to hear more about district capital projects, horticulture, park management or other topics, please contact Chief Public Affairs Officer Hunter George, and he’ll get you set up.


Thompson profile
Michael Thompson is public information manager
of Metro Parks Tacoma.

Contact him at (253) 305-1092 or