Metro Parks Tacoma

  • Park Finder
  • Register

Project Updates

Capital Projects Update – January 2018

Partnership Initiatives

  • Eastside Community Center
    Metro Parks is working with Tacoma Public Schools, the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties to develop a new facility to meet the needs of the Eastside community. We’ll have more updates in the months ahead.
    Status:Steel and the roof over the social hall has been installed, the gymnasium and track have steel in place, set to have the second floor concrete poured in the month of January. Interior and exterior wall framing is beginning this in January. View Images
  • Prairie Line Trail
    Metro Parks is coordinating with the City of Tacoma for an extension of the urban trail that follows the former Prairie Line Rail corridor from South 23rd Street through the UW Tacoma campus and extending to Dock Street along the Thea Foss Waterway. This phase will complete the trail from Pacific Avenue to Dock Street.
    Status: The City is in the right-of-way phase of finalizing easements and is scheduled to bid after the first of the year.

Point Defiance Park Projects
(see for more information about Waterfront Phase I and the Master Plan Update)

  • Point Defiance Park - Waterfront Phase 1
    Complete the public pathway from Point Ruston to Point Defiance Park with a new trail and bridge over Pearl Street. Provide a new location for boat and trailer parking to support the existing boat launch. Finish the remediation work at the Point Defiance peninsula and establish a new park on the peninsula land.
    Status: Grading is largely complete. The shoreline and parking lot closest to Point Ruston will be completed by summer 2018. The soil nail wall will be installed just above the Yacht Club Parking Lot A (below the MPT maintenance building) in January/February 2018, which will allow for final trail grading. The hardscape installation will be ongoing through the winter and into the spring of 2018. The three peninsula buildings will begin construction in January (2018) and be completed by late spring of 2018. Bridge installation is nearly complete, except for the rail installation. The final pieces of the rail (mesh infill) are currently being installed. .Landscape installation to be completed summer 2018.
  • Point Defiance Park -– Roundabouts
    Design and build roundabouts at the entrance to Point Defiance Park, while updating the intersection at 51st & Pearl and providing a bike lane from 51st to 54th.
    Status: Notice to Proceed is being issued for 1/15/2018. Work will commence that day. The first work to see will be the temporary fencing and necessary tree removal. Traffic will be rerouted into its temporary condition, which will last until the latter portion of the project.
  • Parking and Circulation Study
    This is a full comprehensive study for the vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic circulation and additional parking at Point Defiance Park. After study is completed, will be presented with alternatives for additional parking and improved circulation.
    Status: The final Parking & Circulation Study has been submitted. A Public Meeting/Open House will occur in February 2018 to present the final 30% Design Layout.  This will close the project.
  • Japanese Garden Design
    In cooperation with Tacoma’s sister city Kitakyushu, this project will reconstruct the Japanese garden in front of the Pagoda in the traditional style. This phase will complete the design as we work with Japanese Garden Designers from Japan.
    Status: On hold pending final recommendations of Shared Use Trail system under Point Defiance Parking and Circulation Study as this influences final design of the Japanese Garden Expansion design.
  • Green House Relocation
    Relocated greenhouse production operations to the Tacoma Landfill.
    Status: Project is waiting on final internet connection.
  • Boat Lift Improvements
    Improvements will be made to the grates, guide beams, lift enclosures, switches and other improvements as a result of the inspection/design process.
    Status: Notice to proceed was issued late December.  Work to begin on-site mid-January.
  • Point Defiance Owen Beach Improvements
    Site improvements at Owen Beach that include new restroom building, renovation and addition of new shelter, new playground, kayak launch and beach accessibility, parking, landscaping and walkway improvements.
    Status: Schematic designs are being discussed. An open house will take place early February.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
(also see the zoo’s capital projects page for more information)

  • New Aquarium
    Design and construction of a new aquarium to replace the aging North Pacific Aquarium.
    Status: Construction is 75% complete. 
  • PDZA Rocky Shores Underwater Viewing Window Improvements
    Remove eight existing windows and replace in-kind for puffin, otter, walrus and sea lion exhibit area.  Included are new frames, bolts and sealants.
    Status: All work on this project is complete. Project will be closed out once contractual paperwork requirements are met by the contractor.
  • Picnic Shelter
    Construct a picnic shelter to be placed in the location where Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium currently sets up tents for this purpose every summer. This is to be a permanent structure.
    Status: Permits have been issued and will be going out for bid before Christmas.
  • Polar Bear Exhibit
    This exhibit opened in 1982 as part of the Rocky Shores/ Arctic Tundra Exhibit. It won the AZA Exhibit of the Year Award in 1983. This project is a significant upgrade and renovation to this historic exhibit.
    Status: Working with contractor on predesign, with scope and budget agreed upon.

Other Highlights from Neighborhood Council Areas

New Tacoma

  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restoration and Expansion
    Renovation and expansion of the conservatory. Steering committee formed and schematic design is underway.
    Status: Design is being presented to Landmarks for a design briefing January 10th and a Steering Committee meeting on January 24.  We are working towards 100% Design Development public open house in March.
  • W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Restroom
    Design Development through construction of a restroom connecting to the existing conservatory.
    Status: The Plinth has been replaced and acceptable. Metal work has begun on site and fabrication in shops
  • Foss Waterway Parks
    In collaboration with the Foss Waterway Development Authority this project includes the design for two park sites along the Foss Waterway including a new boathouse facility for kayaks and shells.
    Status: Proceeding with consultant contract proposal and Board approval in February.  Starting the Ballard King report on programming for Waterway Parks and Central Parks design.
  • Neighbors Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status:  Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.

North Tacoma

  • Dickman Mill Park Expansion & Head Saw
    An extension of the existing Dickman Mill Park. This is to restore and publicly display the historic Head Saw and provide plaza space with expanded decking for viewing.
    Status: The final topographic survey is being prepared. Had a team design discussion and presented 50% schematic design to the Steering Committee on January 16.

South Tacoma

  • Meadow Park Facility Improvements
    Identification and implementation of improvements, including irrigation control and upgrades to the restrooms, restaurant and pro shop.
    Status: Notice to proceed has been issued, and the contractor began work in January. The remaining work of the structural reinforcing, and ADA restroom upgrades is in for city permit review.
  • Oak Tree Site Upgrades & Art Project
    Implementation of Development Plan to include new parking lot and seasonal restroom shelter, tool storage shed, trail and path upgrades, site furniture, tree removals, prairie expansions and native plantings to support Oak habitat,  new nature playground, park ID and wayfinding/ interpretive signage. After the city completed the Prairie Line Trail, Metro Parks Tacoma will provide restoration to two adjacent areas to the trail (pump house parking lot, gravel pit and partnering with the COT with an art project).
    Status: Phase 1 for meadow area has been approved by Tacoma Water and going out for bidding in January. Working on City of Tacoma permit and SEPA review.
  • South Park
    Play court resurfacing and ADA access.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.

South End

  • Wapato Park – Dock Replacement
    This will replace the two wooden dock structures for improved access and paddleboat/ kayak launching and events.
    Status: On time for completion and budget. Expecting substantial completion by January 12, 2018. 
  • Charlotte’s Blueberry Park Garden/Playground
    Design of community garden/park amenities. Continuation of public process to address possible addition of playfield, trails, and/or wetland enhancement.
    Status: The permit re-submittal was received by the City of Tacoma middle of December 2017 and hoping for a 4-6 week turn around. Targeting going out to bid in Feb/March 2018.
  • Verlo Playfield
    Basketball court resurfacing and ADA access. ADA access to tennis court, consider alternative use for tennis court area.
    Status: Will be completed under Phase 2 of the Districtwide Court Improvement project in 2018.
  • Stewart Heights Park
    Court improvements.
    Status: Will be done under Phase 1 of the Districtwide Courts project. 70% bid set submitted November 2017. Scheduling meeting with Tacoma Public Schools Athletic Director to review Stewart Heights courts. Final design to be completed in February/March 2018.
  • Swan Creek Phase II - Master Plan Update and Construction
    Update masterplan and pursue conditional use permit
    Status: Negotiating contract with chosen consultant Mithun. Legacy Grant changes were accepted by NPS and RCO and preparing for Board approval in February.

North East

  • Browns Point Lighthouse
    Accessible pathways and promenade, additional parking, new furnishings.
    Status: USACG approved CRA report in December 2017.Construction will move from the wet winter months to March 2018.Bidding to occur in January/February 2018. Permit drawings and reports for Site Development have been approved by Pierce County.
  • Browns Point Playfield
    Basketball and tennis court reconstruction due to large cracks, improve ADA parking and access route to basketball courts.  Make necessary improvements to play equipment.
    Status: Topographic Survey of additional areas is underway. Design to occur in January 2018, with construction to start summer 2018.


  • Tacoma Nature Center Building and ADA Improvements
    The scope of work includes ADA upgrades and improvements to the entry ramp, and entry door; relocation of a utility pole at Discovery Pond; replacement of exterior wooden stair treads; and utility routing to Coyote Flats. There will also be minor site and signage upgrades on the TNC property and a Facility Assessment to the main building. Dependent upon the result of the facility assessment, the scope of work may shift to address needs at the main building.
    Status: An RFQ is being crafted to advertise for A/E services to develop construction and permit documents to improve and upgrade a failing exterior envelope (roof, windows, siding, doors, and exterior landings) of the main TNC building. Work to tentatively be performed in the summer of 2018.

West End

  • Titlow Lagoon Design and Phase 1
    Provide matching funds for lagoon restoration in accordance with partnering agencies.
    Status:Awaiting final permit issuance from BNSF to allow for Geotechnical work. Geotechnical Investigation to occur in January 2018, pending BNSF approval.
  • Titlow/Hidden Beach Improvements
    Hidden Beach and natural area trail/path/beach access upgrades. Landscaping enhancements, natural area restoration, demolition of shelter and old restroom at Hidden Beach. Utility modifications at former TOA facility. Remove or perform bridge retrofits to TOA Railroad bridge.
    Status: The Topographic Survey field work is complete and Boundary Survey almost complete. Consultant finalizing contract proposal for the Titlow Park Master Plan Update for approval in January 2018.

Completed Projects:

PDF Versions: