MARCH 2018
Metro Parks Today
News and Notes
March’s headlines: Waterfront open house, roundabout and pickleball
Waterfront meeting March 15
About 200 people attended the “All Things Point Defiance Park” open house last month. The everything-but-the-kitchen sink format was so successful we’re going to do it again from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 15.
This time, the topic is “Metro Parks Waterfront Projects ,” and the venue is Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street. We’re partnering with the Seaport on the location because it’s “Third Thursday” in Tacoma, which means you can get into the museum for free as early as 4 p.m. and check out the exhibits such as the new “First on the Waterways: The Puyallup People.“
In other news:

Point Defiance Park roundabout
Point Defiance Park remains open, but roundabout construction at the Pearl Street entrance is now in full swing. This means drivers entering the park may still use Pearl Street, but they’ll need to exit from Mildred Street or drive down to the boathouse and merge into ferry traffic exiting the park. (Ferry traffic is not affected in either direction.)
You can get tips and a map online . Pro tip: If you’re driving to a park attraction, use the Mildred Street entrance.

The project should wrap up by early summer. It’s funded by a Washington State Department of Transportation grant through the City of Tacoma and by the voter-approved 2014 Metro Parks Tacoma capital improvement bond, which is funding improvements throughout the park district .
When it’s done, traffic flow should be smoother into and out of the park. The communications office has received some questions over the past few months. Here are a few quick answers:
  • It’s a single-lane roundabout. (Some residents have expressed concern over multi-lane roundabouts.)
  • Pedestrian crossings will be striped.
  • The roundabout will not have striping for a separate bicycle lane, but bicycle lanes on Pearl Street will have transition ramps to the sidewalk as they approach the roundabout.

The other day, a person emailed the communications team to ask if Metro Parks has pickleball courts. As a matter of fact, we do:
  • Vassault Park and Jefferson Park. Lines and tennis nets are in place.
  • Optimist Park. Lines are in place. Bring your own net.
  • Center at Norpoint. Lines and nets are available. Check in with the customer service desk to ask about use.
The district’s recent Mission-Led Comprehensive Program Plan , by the way, called out pickleball as one of several non-traditional sports on the rise that need attention from the district. The plan was built with community input, and it gives direction to Metro Parks.
So that’s another reason to participate in the park district’s public engagement opportunities, like the one on March 15 .
Michael Thompson is
public information manager
of Metro Parks Tacoma. Contact
him at (253) 305-1092 or
Park Board Notes
Metro Parks commits to more diversity in hiring
A message from Park Commissioner Jessie K. Baines Jr.

Keep your eye on the ball.
How many times have you heard that?
For me, it’s not a cliché. That’s probably because I’ve spent most of my life playing and coaching team sports, in which winning or losing depends on how you and your teammates handle the ball.
Now, I’m one of five members of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners helping our park district keep its eyes the ball. To ensure we meet that responsibility, we recently adopted a strategic plan that sets a number of important goals, including that we improve our hiring so that our workforce reflects the community it serves. That means more racial, ethnic and gender diversity.
Jessie K. Baines Jr.
Metro Parks Tacoma
Board of Park Commissioners
Capital Improvement Projects
Capital Improvement Projects
News Around the District
North Pacific Aquarium to close March 30
Come and say “goodbye” to an old friend and get ready for the opening of the new Pacific Seas Aquarium this summer.
Point Defiance Park roundabout detour begins; Mildred St. best entry/exit
Although Point Defiance Park and all of its attractions will remain open, construction of the Point Defiance Park roundabout has introduced a traffic detour at the park’s Pearl Street entrance.
Bring your sense of wonder to a 24-hour BioBlitz at Point Defiance Park
If you’ve ever wondered just how many different living organisms make their home in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park, you’re invited to help Metro Parks Tacoma find out.
Metro Parks swimmer goes to D.C. for Black History Invitational meet
A member of the Metro Parks Tacoma Aquatics Team competed in the nation’s capital at the Black History Invitational Swim Meet over President’s Day weekend.
New Canada lynx makes debut at Northwest Trek
There’s a new cat in town, and now is the purr-fect time to see her at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.
Historic Spotlight
1949 Landslide at Point Defiance Park
February 28 was the 17th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake. Let's take a look further back in history to 1949.

The landslide pictured occurred near Fort Nisqually just north of Salmon Beach, three days after the 1949 Puget Sound earthquake. The slide generated a 6- to 8-foot tsunami that hit Gig Harbor! Although the landslide missed waterfront homes, the tsunami damaged them.
Upcoming Events & Public Meetings

Friday, March 9
Saturday, March 10
Sunday, March 11
Tuesday, March 13
Wednesday, March 14
Thursday, March 15
Friday, March 16
Saturday, March 17
Sunday, March 18
Saturday, March 24
Saturday, March 31
Monday, April 2
Tuesday, April 3
Wednesday, April 4
Thursday, April 5
Friday, April 6
Saturday, April 7
Sunday, April 8
Monday, April 9
Wednesday, April 11
Friday, April 13
Saturday, April 14
Friday, April 20
Saturday, April 21
Friday, April 27
Saturday, April 28
Sunday, April 29


Board of Park Commissioners Meeting 
Monday, March 12 & 26
Monday, April 9 & 23
6:00 pm
Capital Improvement Committee
Wednesday, March 14 & 28
Wednesday, April 11 & 25
5:00 pm

Committee of the Whole
Monday, March 19
Monday, April 16 & 30
5:30 pm
Metro Parks Tacoma | (253) 305-1030 |