Alert: Program & Facility Updates

Parks are an important escape from daily life and provide both physical and mental health benefits. We are excited to see so many people out and about exploring our parks and nature trails. Thank you for following social distancing and other guidelines. When you #RecreateResponsibly you are helping to protect yourself, others and our parks.

What is Open, Closed and Canceled

These facilities are OPEN

  • All Parks and Trails are open
    (see the closed list to find out what amenities are not available at parks e.g. restrooms, parking, playgrounds)
  • Dog Parks/Off-Leash Areas are open
  • Point Defiance Marina  – open with limited services – Read more
  • Meadow Park Golf Course  – advance tee times required – Read more
  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park  – New exclusive Wild Drive tours to see moose, bison and more – Read more

These facilities and amenities are CLOSED

Closed Facilities

  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
  • All four community centers (Eastside, STAR, People’s, Norpoint)
  • Tacoma Nature Center
  • W.W. Seymour Conservatory
  • Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
  • Metro Parks Headquarters

Closed Amenities

  • Restrooms at all of the district’s parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Sports courts
  • Picnic shelters
  • Skate Parks
  • Parking lots at parks
  • The gates to Point Defiance Park are closed at the Pearl and Mildred street entrances. This means Five Mile Drive is also closed to motor vehicles.
  • The pier at Dash Point Park
  • The fishing dock at Point Defiance Marina

These programs and events are CANCELED

Canceled

  • All programs are canceled, including indoor, outdoor, and volunteer work parties.
  • All facility rentals — including community center rooms, the Point Defiance Pagoda, Titlow Lodge, Wapato and Dune pavilions, etc. — are canceled.
  • Tacoma’s 4th of July Celebration
  • Ethnic Fest
  • Summer Bashes
  • Taste of Tacoma – postponed to Fall

Our parks are open for walking, running, cycling and enjoying nature

Open with limited services

With the Governor’s Stay Home order currently extended to May 31 there is not yet a projected opening date for certain amenities such as restrooms, playgrounds, picnic shelters, Five Mile Drive, parking lots, and others.

These areas are closed to protect the safety of our community and our employees by limiting crowds and reducing potential contact with high-touch surfaces.

Opening dates are influenced by safety and budget considerations

Metro Parks faces a projected $13 million revenue shortfall due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. As a result, nearly 80% of our staff are currently laid-off or furloughed. Additionally, directives from the governor and public health officials will continue to limit certain park uses and cap the number of program participants throughout each phase of the state’s recovery plan.

As a result, many of our programs and activities within our parks and facilities will be significantly modified through at least this summer. Scroll down for a current listing of openings and closures.

Guidelines for visiting parks during COVID-19

Parks & trails remain open for walking, running, and enjoying nature, but please remember that they are great places to be for solitary recreation not for group activities. If it’s crowded, choose another trail, beach or park to visit. Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. Read more about social distancing at www.tpchd.org/coronavirus.

Taking personal responsibility for yourself and your family can go a long way toward helping you stay healthy:

  • Think First: Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms.
  • Wash Hands: Wash your hands before coming to the park, carry hand sanitizer and avoid touching picnic tables, railings and benches.
  • Keep Your Distance: Maintain 6 feet between yourself and others and give warning before passing on the trail. Please bypass busy areas for quieter ones.
  • Come Prepared: Bring your own drinking water, carry out your trash and be prepared for restroom closures.
  • Respect Closures: Playgrounds, restrooms, sports courts, picnic shelters, skate parks, and other amenities are closed for public safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are park restrooms closed?

Why are park restrooms closed?

  1. Concern for the public and our employees.
    By closing the restrooms we are eliminating a common place where the virus is spread. Restrooms are high-touch areas and will remain closed, as we are not able to provide the level of servicing recommended right now, due to limited protective supplies and staffing.
  2. Inability to keep them clean.
    We don’t want you to use dirty restrooms and we’re pretty sure you don’t want that either. COVID-19 has had a profound financial impact on Metro Parks, projected to cause a $13 million shortfall in our 2020 operating revenues.  We are operating the parks with only 22% of our staff which makes it impossible to clean the restrooms often enough to protect public safety.
  3. Repairs are needed.
    Several of our restrooms were vandalized when toilet paper and soap dispensers were destroyed by individuals attempting to steal them.

We’re all in this together, and with all of us working together we can come through it stronger and get back to the easy escapes we’ve come to rely on in our parks.

So now that you know that restrooms and amenities are closed what can you do?

  • We encourage visitors to stay local and keep their recreational outings short.
  • Share the message with your family and friends so they don’t get caught unexpectedly at a park without realizing the restrooms and other amenities are closed.

Please understand that we are making decisions based not only on Governor Inslee announcements but also on how can we best manage the budget shortfall that we’re experiencing. We appreciate your patience during this complicated and uncertain time.

Will I receive a refund for canceled programs?

Program refunds

  • Due to the temporary closure of Metro Parks Tacoma facilities, customers will be withdrawn from all activities that they are registered for through May 25, 2020 (Memorial Day). Any payments for these activities will be credited to their accounts. Please be patient with this process as there are many programs involved and the situation is made more difficult by working remotely with the team separated.
  • For programs that have been canceled in their entirety, customers will receive a full refund. Refunds will be processed as a credit on the customer’s Metro Parks Tacoma account.
  • Questions about refunds? Contact reg.support@tacomaparks.com or (253) 305-1030

Am I still paying for my community center membership?

Community Center Memberships

  • In light of the Governor’s orders to close recreational facilities as part of the effort to slow the spread of coronavirus in our community, all active community center memberships have been put on hold during this closure. As a result, community center members will not incur any charges from March 17 until the centers are able to reopen for business. Rest assured, we anxiously await the opportunity to welcome and serve you in our centers again.
  • Should you have any questions about your membership please contact us:

What is the facility reservation cancelation policy?

Facility Rentals

As you are aware, the current COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching and dramatic effects on our community and across the nation. We understand that this may be impacting our customers in many different ways, not the least of which is those who have rentals booked at our facilities.

If you currently have a May or June rental our staff will contact you to reschedule to a later date. If you are unable to reschedule we will work with you to issue a full refund. We are currently only processing rentals through the end of June.

Questions? Call (253) 305-1090

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department continues to update its website with the latest and most accurate information, including what to do if you feel sick or have come into contact with someone with the COVID-19/coronavirus. https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/human-coronavirus

Posted In: Alerts, COVID-19, Places, Programs