Established in 2006, what was once a vacant lot with blight and crime issues is now a great play and community garden area. Neighbors Park is .57 acres.
In the early 1990s, what is now Neighbors Park was a single vacant lot with significant issues of blight and crime. In 1992, S 8th & I Street Neighbors leased an overgrown plot of land from an attorney for $1 per year. After neighbors testified of the need to the Metro Parks Board, Metro Parks agreed to place Neighbors’ Park under their liability insurance.
In 1993, a group of volunteers installed the current playground. In 2000, a local improvement bond was used to expand the park across South 8th Street. The grass fields on the south side of the street became a part of the park. A plaza with picnic tables, decorative arches, and a wheel chair ramp were added. On the heels of the inter-local agreement between the City of Tacoma and Metro Parks Tacoma, Neighbors’ Park received maintenance and operations.
Neighbors garden at the ParkDuring a severe budget shortfall in 2003, neighbors stepped up to the plate to help care for their park. The 8th and I Street Neighbors were one of the first community groups to sign a ‘CHIP-in!’ agreement with MPT.
Neighbors provide daily services such as litter pick-up, putting up/taking down basketball hoops, putting up/taking down the tether ball, and constant park watch. In addition, monthly work parties are organized to do small repairs as well as re-distributing play chips, weeding, and planting. Additionally, members of 8th & I Neighbors manage and oversee the daily maintenance of the community gardens.