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Metro Parks Today: January 2018

January 11, 2018

January’s headlines: A roundabout, a Point Defiance Park open house, and an invitation to weigh in on the waterfront


Point Defiance Park: We’re OPEN

Point Defiance Park and all of its attractions will remain OPEN once construction on a roundabout begins at the Pearl Street entrance.

The work might start as early as January. After it does, detour signs will help drivers and pedestrians navigate into and out of the park and make sure ferry riders and boaters can safely get down to the terminal and boat launches.

The project should last about four months. One of the biggest tips we can offer is to use the Mildred Street entrance if you don’t need to get down to the boat launches or ferry terminal by way of Pearl Street. To get to Mildred Street from Pearl Street, turn west onto North 51st Street and follow the curve at the end.

We’ve posted more tips and information here.

People on Owen Beach in 2002

If you love Point Defiance Park, visit our open house on Feb. 10

Besides the roundabout, we’re making improvements throughout the park:

  • Building the Pacific Seas Aquarium
  • Improving driver and pedestrian circulation
  • Connecting the park’s trails to Ruston Way
  • Building a new recreation area on top of the breakwater peninsula
  • Creating a multiuse parking area close to the boat launches
  • Planning improvements to Owen Beach

You can learn about all of these improvements, ask questions, and also learn how to get involved through camps, volunteer opportunities and more at our open house Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Owen Beach improvements will be one of the highlights. We’ll present some ideas and ask for input; (an online survey will be posted to for those who can’t attend.) Additionally, public comment will be received on the final Point Defiance Park Parking and Circulation Plan before this plan moves forward for adoption and a final design phase.

We’ll post details and a schedule on our Facebook and pages closer to the event.


How would YOU improve Tacoma’s waterfront?

Head over to Portland Avenue Community Center, pick up a marker and jot down your ideas on the big, three-panel photo display of Tacoma’s Ruston Way waterfront. What should you say? Tell us how YOU would improve our waterfront.

We’re asking because Metro Parks and the City of Tacoma are taking a deep look at Ruston Way in particular and Tacoma’s waterfront in general. The aim is to work with the community to create a vision for the waterfront well into the future – what it looks like, what it offers, and how it can be improved.

So keep an eye out for the traveling photo display. You may already have written on it at Downtown to Defiance in September. It will be at Portland Avenue Community Center for a couple of weeks and then ... who knows? The waterfront belongs to everyone no matter where they live in Tacoma, so look for it in community centers and other public locations. We’ll post locations and other ways you can get involved on the project website,  

Write away.


The topics above are only a small sample of what’s happening in the park district. The new docks at Wapato Park are almost finished, and public restrooms at the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory are under construction. Check out the Eastside Community Center website for updates on construction progress, and be sure to check this newsletter’s calendar of events for fun things to do.


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

Contact him at (253) 305-1092 or