Metro Parks Today
News and Notes

Today we have some “before” and “after” photos, courtesy of the park district’s voter-approved $198 million capital improvement bond.
That’s the new parking lot at Browns Point Lighthouse Park. Metro Parks project manager Tom Dargan shared the photo in last week’s capital projects group meeting. The group – CPG for short – coordinates bond-funded improvements across the district.

When Tom showed CPG the new planters and the smooth walkways down to the water, there was an audible reaction in the room. I think that was because so many people there remembered what the site looked like only a few months ago and could see the marked contrast between the park then and now.
The project added a dozen paved parking stalls to replace what had been a steep gravel lot – and a lot more:
  • A new promenade built to Americans with Disabilities Act standards
  • A concrete path connecting the lot and promenade
  • Landscaping
  • Picnic tables
  • Benches
  • Trash receptacles
  • And an ornamental fence around the U.S. Coast Guard lighthouse, replacing the old chain link fencing.

All in all, the upgrades give visitors safe, all-season access down to the beach. Tom already has heard some compliments from people nearby.

Remember the $198 million capital improvement bond that voters approved back in 2014? That bond, and another bond from 2005, fueled the project.

Browns Point Lighthouse Park is only one of dozens of projects supported by the 2014 capital bond. They’re spread all over the district and range from Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park to Eastside Community Center to Swan Creek’s next round of upgrade. You can read more about them – and see a map that shows which projects are closest to you – online.
Brown grass? No worries
Were you here for the drought in 2015? If you were, you might remember that Metro Parks cut back on water usage in part by letting some of our parks’ lawns turn brown.

With low rainfall and hot weather (tip: check out Metro Parks’ pools and spraygrounds), water managers are being especially careful about water usage.

Which lawns go brown and which are kept green?
Reminder: Portland Avenue Community Center meeting Aug. 16; Swan Creek Park meeting Aug. 30

Metro Parks is having a public meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 so people can hear about services proposed to be offered at Portland Avenue Community Center by the Korean Women’s Association in partnership with Tacoma Housing Authority.
You’re also invited to come and comment on plans for the latest improvements to Swan Creek Park on Aug. 30 in a meeting that will be held practically next door at the Salishan Family Investment Center.
Michael Thompson is
public information manager
of Metro Parks Tacoma. Contact
him at (253) 305-1092 or
Park Board Notes
 Sports programs create opportunities to play, learn, and grow
A message from Park Board Commissioner Jessie Baines
As summer vacation winds down, back-to-school sales are heating up and Tacoma families are preparing for a new academic year.

Metro Parks Tacoma is also preparing for what’s ahead. Together with Tacoma Public Schools, YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, and Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound we’re preparing to launch the third year of our Elementary Sports Program.

With the help of dozens of volunteer coaches, including a special group of teenage coaches-in-training, we’re providing thousands of Tacoma youngsters with opportunities to play after-school sports at any of the city’s 36 public elementary schools.
Jessie K. Baines Jr. is serving his first term as an elected member of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners.
Capital Improvement Projects
Capital Improvement Projects
News Around the District
‘Man, it’s actually here’: Teen musician eager for Eastside Community Center – and its recording studio
Matthew Etienne was a First Creek Middle School eighth grader when he first heard talk about plans for a community center on the campus.
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON: Just 29 days until the new Pacific Seas Aquarium opens at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Already, glorious lion’s mane jellyfish swim beautifully against a bright blue backdrop in the Jelly Gallery of the Pacific Seas Aquarium.
Second grizzly bear cub arrives at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
And now, there are two. An orphaned grizzly bear cub arrived at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park from Montana on Saturday morning, joining another orphaned cub that flew in from Alaska last week.
Metro Parks Tacoma manager simply saves water
One of the driest winters on record for Washington was coming to a close about the time Joey Furuto arrived here from San Francisco in 2015.
Keeper Adventure Tour – All Aboard!
Bison grunt and snort. A caribou calf nurses noisily, its mother calmly munching on grass. The sweet scents of the meadow mingle with more earthy smells as herds of animals pass by.
Get a first look inside the new Pacific Seas Aquarium
Be among the first to get a look inside the new Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Plus enjoy an evening of tasty food and adult beverages, live music, animal encounters and more.
Historic Spotlight
Point Defiance Park
The first public amenities in Point Defiance were built on the waterfront. As early as 1895, the park commissioners agreed to lease property for a boat stand, floats upon the shore, bait stand, fruit stand, and restaurant. Three years later, Edwin Ferris won the contract with an offer of $85 per year and took over the boathouse operation. (Photo courtesy Robin Paterson.)
Upcoming Events & Public Meetings

Friday, August 10
Saturday, August 11
Sunday, August 12
Thursday, August 16
Friday, August 17
Saturday, August 18
Sunday, August 19
Wednesday, August 22
Thursday, August 23
Friday, August 24
Saturday, August 25
Sunday, August 26
Thursday, August 30
Friday, August 31
Saturday, September 1
Sunday, September 2
Monday, September 3
Thursday, September 6
Friday, September 7
Saturday, September 8
Sunday, September 9

Board of Park Commissioners Meeting 
Monday, August 13 & 27
Monday, Sept. 10 & 24
6:00 pm
Capital Improvement Committee
Wednesday, August 15 & 29
Wednesday, Sept. 12 & 26
5:00 pm

Committee of the Whole
Monday, August 20
Monday, Sept. 17
5:30 pm
Metro Parks Tacoma | (253) 305-1030 |