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Metro Parks Today: February 2018

February 8, 2018


February’s news: Point Defiance Park open house on Feb. 10, a roundabout, and Charlotte’s Blueberry Park

If you love Point Defiance Park, join us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 10, at an open house that we’re informally calling “All Things Point Defiance.”

We need your help with one segment in particular – improvements planned for Owen Beach. We’ll have a presentationshortly after the doors open at 10 a.m. Please attend, listen, ask questions and let us know if we’re on track.

You also can meet our friends from Pierce Transit, who will give a presentation about the High Capacity Transit Study and be available to answer questions about most anything transit-related. And we’ll have a Metro Parks presentation about upcoming improvements for parking and traffic circulation within the park that we’d like you to review.

We took the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach for the rest of the open house:

  • Point Defiance Visitors Center and programs (meet our park ranger)
  • Point Defiance Marina (look for the kayak)
  • Rental facilities
  • CHIP-In volunteer opportunities
  • Ruston Way / Waterfront (including a large photo map onto which you can write how YOU would improve the waterfront
  • Pacific Seas Aquarium
  • Waterfront projects, including the peninsula, the roundabout, the multiuse parking lot under construction near the boat launches, the Wilson Way bridge and the trail connecting Point Defiance Park to Point Ruston

Each station will have knowledgeable staff. In case the topics above aren’t enough, we’ll have plenty of staff available to talk about whatever else you’d like to talk about. Look for the name tags, introduce yourself, and let’s talk. We won’t have a kitchen sink, exactly, but we will have light refreshments available.

We’re hoping the Saturday timing will make it easy for people to attend. The location is also worth checking out, since it’s the brand-new Environmental Learning Center built by Tacoma Public Schools. Plus, you can get out and enjoy the park afterward. At the moment, the weather forecast calls for a sunny day.

How to get there? Take a look at the map on the website. The Environmental Learning Center is immediately to the left of the Zoo’s front gate.

If you can’t attend the open house, look for a survey about Owen Beach online at, or contact the project manager directly. We also may livestream the Owen Beach presentation to Facebook in case that’s more convenient to you.

In other news:


Concrete barriers are up at Point Defiance Park’s Pearl Street entrance, and preliminary work has begun on the roundabout. Right now, that means utility work. Expect the project to get into full swing in a few weeks. Remember, the park and all of its attractions will remain OPEN throughout construction. The project should be done in about four months.

Charlotte’s Blueberry Park

This park also remains open for all, and Metro Parks has quite a few improvements planned. You can keep up to date on those online. You also can take advantage of the fact that the name is literal: You’re welcome to pick the blueberries that grow here, though the season usually runs from July through September. You also can sign up to volunteer at the park.

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

Contact him at (253) 305-1092 or