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Metro Parks Today: December 2015

December 3, 2015

News & Notes

Happy Thursday. The year might be winding down, but a lot is happening in your park district, including Zoolights, Polar Plaza and other fun winter events.

Here are some highlights; check the rest of this newsletter for still more.

Please take our community survey

Do you want to have a say in Metro Parks programs and plans? You can do that right now by clicking on this link and taking an online survey. Every six years, Metro Parks does a deep analysis to find out if the right programs are being offered in the right areas. You might be one of the lucky ones randomly selected to receive the seven-page scientific survey (we warned you that it’s a deep analysis). If you do, please take the time to fill it out. If you are not part of the random sample, you can still help. Take the shorter version that’s online. Data from both surveys will be included in the final assessment. Everyone in the district has a go-to-online-survey-buttonchance to be heard. Click here for more details.

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

You have another chance to speak up about your park district, this time about the Conservatory. A public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 3 to talk about improvements Metro Parks is planning for the historic structure. Click here for details.

The Conservatory is one of the best-known gems in Tacoma, and it’s been in Wright Park since 1908. It’s short of space – it does not have public restrooms, for example – and more than a century of use is showing. You can discuss possible additions and plans for restoration of the structure at the public meeting. If you can’t make it, email or call Project Manager Kristi Evans: or (253) 305-1054 to share comments. You can read more about the Conservatory at

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Planning

Long-range capital and program planning is underway for the Fort. “Within the context of the Fort’s mission, what do you think the Fort can be?” Chief Planning Manager Doug Fraser said. “What improvements do we need to make that happen?” A public meeting last month started the discussion, and you can still participate: Please give your input by clicking here to take an online survey about your experiences and hopes for the Fort. You also can call Fraser at (253) 305-1019 or email him at

Foss Waterway Park, Central Park

Metro Parks is working with the Foss Waterway Development Authority to develop plans for both parks, and you can share your thoughts at a public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 15, at Metro Parks headquarters, 4702 S. 19th St. The organizations are considering plans that would better support human-powered watercraft along with picnic facilities and restrooms. If you can’t attend, contact Project Manager Kristi Evans at (253) 305-1054 or to ask questions or give input.

Winter event calendars

Look for these popular calendars in the Friday, Dec. 18, edition of The News Tribune. We’ll also have copies available at Metro Parks headquarters, 4702 S. 19th St., community centers and other locations. Download a digital version here. These calendars give you tips for events from January through April and some great information on a few other topics, including the opening of Kids’ Trek at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park this spring.

Food drive

Metro Parks and Emergency Food Network are working together to collect food donations through January 31, 2016. You’ll find EFN collection bins at community centers, Tacoma Nature Center, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory and other locations throughout the district. Click here to find out where you can drop off a donation.

Eastside Community Center

Also last month, planners hosted an open house to give updates on the new Eastside Community Center in development. The center will be built on the campus of First Creek Middle School. A lot of work remains, but the meeting was a good chance to stop and talk about the project with the community. Our project partners include Tacoma Public Schools, the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Housing Authority, the Greater Metro Parks Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound, the YMCA and other organizations. Read more at

Capital improvements

Construction work continues at sites across the district. Click here for the latest updates.

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

Contact him at (253) 305-1092 or