The park is on 17.56 acres. The trail around the park is just under 1/2 mile.
One of largest neighborhood parks in Tacoma, Vassault Park is the site of the start/finish line of the annual Sound to Narrows run and several other special events.
Accessibility, History & Improvements
Parking: Yes – designated for Park
Restroom: Yes – but not near playground
Water Fountain: Yes – in restroom
Surface: Wood fiber
Swings: Yes – (0) high back support swings
Ground Play: Ground half of elevated play
Adaptive Play: Transfer system only
Sensory Play: Bongos, Limited Manipulatives
Play Tables: None
Shade: Limited, outside of playground area
Accommodations: Some benches and tables, not on route
This property was purchased from the City of Tacoma on January 19, 1961 for the cost of the unpaid LID assessment ($776.96). Vassault Park received its name from the street of the same name running along the west side of the park. The street was named for Ferdinand I. Vassault, the editor of the Tacoma News from 1891-1892.
Doug McArthur Baseball Field
In January 2019, a proclamation from the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners officially named the Vassault Park baseball field in honor of Doug McArthur, recognizing his life’s work on behalf of community athletics.
Doug McArthur contributed to sports in Tacoma as a player, coach, and promoter. A graduate of Lincoln High School, class of 1946, McArthur attended Washington State College and the College of Puget Sound, where he played third base on the varsity baseball team. After serving overseas in the Korean War, in 1956 McArthur appeared on the Tacoma sports scene as founder and manager of the amateur baseball team Stanley’s Shoemen. That year, the team won the league’s national tournament after an astounding 13 game winning streak. 1956 also saw McArthur became the KTAC Radio sports director. His communications degree was put to good use throughout his professional career.
In 1964 he played slowpitch softball for the local Tucci and Sons team. He played third base and occasionally pitcher, and helped the four-time Northwest Regional champions get to the national tournament for the first time. In addition to playing for and managing amateur teams, McArthur coached numerous college sports teams at his alma mater and formed his own promotions company for local athletics. MAC Northwest secured the broadcast rights to numerous high school, college, and professional sports events in Tacoma and beyond. Within a few years, McArthur was a household name in the local sports community, as he served as Superintendent of Public Recreation and Supervisor of Athletics for Tacoma Public Schools and the Metropolitan Park District. He even served as Park Board Commissioner from 1971 – 1972.
Above all else, McArthur was a sports booster. He helped coordinate the 1980 bond campaign for the Tacoma Dome, coached the first women’s fastpitch softball team at University of Puget Sound, was a founder and tournament director of the LPGA Safeco Golf Classic, event director for the 1987 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships held in Tacoma, a member of the Tacoma Athletic Commission for many years, and in 2005 helped co-author a book celebrating Tacoma athletes through the decades, Playground to the Pros: An Illustrated History of Sports in Tacoma-Pierce County. His work has been recognized by the City of Tacoma, which awarded him the Key to the City in 2017, the University of Puget Sound which hosts a basketball tournament called the Doug McArthur Classic, and the Tacoma Athletics Commission, with the “Doug McArthur Lifetime Achievement” award, given to the next generation of promoters, organizers and sports participants who carry on his legacy.
McArthur’s familiar cry of “attaway” encouraged and inspired generations of players over the years. Athletics in Tacoma owe a debt of gratitude to Doug McArthur’s sportsmanship and advocacy.
2016 – The purchase and installation of a new centrifugal pump and installation of irrigation materials to improve coverage of several zones.
2013 – Play Equipment Upgrade – New play equipment installed to replace old equipment that was removed due to safety compliance issues. ADA ramps included for the swing-sets and new equipment.
2013-2015 – Dept. of Ecology soil remediation