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Metro Parks Today: November 2017

November 10, 2017


News and Notes

November may be chilly, but it’s a busy month for Metro Parks. Take a Tacoma Giants tour of tall trees, enjoy a concert at the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, join the Norpoint Turkey Trot fun run/walk or walk around Zoolights.

You also can attend a Park Board meeting, ask to join Point Defiance Park’s Park Watch or take part in one of several volunteer work parties to help take care of our beautiful parks.

And you can walk or drive by construction of some of the district’s capital improvement projects: a new community center for Tacoma’s Eastside, a new aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and major improvements at Point Defiance Park’s Pearl Street entrance.

Metro Parks has a lot going on – and here are just a few ways you can not only stay on top of what’s happening but take part.

Getting information

Metro Parks Today. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already signed up for our monthly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay on top of what is happening in the park district. If you know people who might want to get it, you can point them to this link to sign up. The main Metro Parks website is a great source of information. We post regular construction project updates, events and background about the park district, including entries for all of the parks and other facilities available to you. We recently published an Annual Community Impact graphic full of numbers about the park district’s service to the community.

Event calendar. We publish three event calendars each year, each one full of things you can go and do, plus fun facts about the district. Staff are finishing the winter/spring calendar right now – look for it soon in the district’s community centers and in The News Tribune. It’s also online.

Go Guide. This printed guide features class schedules and more from our recreation programs. You also can see it online.

Talking with Metro Parks

Speakers. Metro Parks is full of experts in park management, horticulture, recreation and the district itself. If you’d like a staff member to speak with your civic, school or other group, contact Chief Public Affairs Officer Hunter George.

Safety concerns. We operate a Citizen Action Request system through the website. The online form can be used to report maintenance problems such as broken playground equipment and other non-urgent safety issues (call 911 if you are witnessing an emergency).

Talking with staff. If you have questions about park operations or programs, staff are generally accessible. You also can email with general questions or call my number at (253) 305-1092.


Volunteer. Thousands of people donate their time to help Metro Parks carry out its mission of creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow. You can look for opportunities online.

Park Board meetings. Metro Parks is not part of the City of Tacoma's governance. Instead, it’s an independent park district governed by five elected commissioners. They generally meet twice a month. The meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to give input during citizen comment time.

Advisory councils. One way to volunteer is by joining one of our four citizen advisory councils. They focus on our mission-led areas – active lifestyles, arts and heritage, nature and environment – as well as business operations. Citizen council members lend their expertise to the district on policies, budgets, programming, operations and other topics.

Public meetings and other input. With a $198 million capital improvement bond funding projects throughout the district, we have numerous public meetings and open houses to discuss project plans before ground is ever broken. We list them online, and we also use postcards, news stories, social media posts and other announcements about meetings. And if you can’t go … we often conduct surveys and use other means to get your opinion registered.

Whether you want to stay informed, ask questions, take on a more active role or simply participate, it’s your park district. Make the most of it.

Read the rest of the Metro Parks Today newsletter >

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

Contact him at (253) 305-1092 or