Get involved in Tacoma’s waterfront park projects

Photo of waterfront along Ruston Way

The waterfront along Ruston Way in Tacoma.

If you enjoy Tacoma’s waterfront parks, get more involved in the planning process! Metro Parks Tacoma provided information about planned improvements for some waterfront parks — Dickman Mill, Ruston Way, and Foss Waterway at a March 15 open house at the Foss Waterway Seaport. Many people attended and provided input on the plans. There are still opportunities to get involved! Here’s a quick overview of some of the key projects discussed at the open house:

Dickman Mill

Dickman Mill project explained at open house

Metro Parks described the Dickman Mill project.

Metro Parks will restore the huge head saw that worked in the old Dickman Mill and publicly display it in Dickman Mill Park along Ruston Way. The expanded park would include a plaza area to view the head saw. This head saw is the last known to operate in Washington. Metro Parks gave an overview of the project, including the preferred location for the head saw.

Liz Satterthwaite with Engage Northwest represents the Tacoma Waterfront Association on the Dickman Mill Steering Committee. See Liz’s previous blog post about this project.

Envision Our Waterfront

The City of Tacoma and Metro Parks Tacoma are starting a project to envision the future of Ruston Way in the next 50-100 years. Public input is important! The City and Metro Parks are interested in knowing what people like about Ruston Way and what improvements would be needed. They are looking at infrastructure, art, activities and more. To learn more and be involved, visit the project webpage and sign up for Metro Parks’ email updates.

Envision our waterfront-display board

Foss Waterway projects

The Foss Waterway Development Authority and Metro Parks plan to build two new parks on the Foss Waterway: Central Park and Waterway Park.

Central Park would extend the public esplanade, create a new walkway to connect Dock Street to the waterfront, and include a play mound and a smokestack-looking tower inspired by the area’s industrial heritage. Waterway Park would turn the existing Berg Scaffolding building into a boathouse with restrooms and boat storage for outrigger canoes, dragon boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. See Metro Parks webpage for more information about these projects.

Other waterfront park projects

Waterfront parks are true gems in Tacoma! Thanks to voters saying yes to park bonds in 2014, Metro Parks Tacoma is improving many waterfront parks now, including Titlow and the most popular park in the South Sound — Point Defiance Park. I plan to provide more information about these park improvements in a future blog post.

For more information

  • Presentation slides and live video from Metro Parks Tacoma’s March 15 waterfront open house is available on their website.

— Liz Satterthwaite, Engage Northwest. EngageNorthwest@gmail.com

Enjoy the Tacoma waterfront this summer!

Photo of the captain of Freda BDid the Festival of Sail inspire you to set sail or explore the restaurants, businesses and recreational opportunities along Tacoma’s waterfront? Here are some water-related activities and events so you can get more involved:

  • Go on a cruise with Destiny Harbor Tours. They offer two-hour boat tours from the waterside at the Museum of Glass as well as tours from Gig Harbor and charters.
  • Learn about the Port of Tacoma on their free boat tours. July 16.
  • Volunteer to clean up beaches and restore habitat with Citizens for a Healthy Bay.
  • Rent and ride a surrey along Ruston Way through Wheel Fun Rentals at Point Ruston.
  • Run with South Sound Running and Tacoma Runners. Many runs go along the waterfront or in Pt. Defiance Park.
  • Join the Tacoma Waterfront Association. Support clean water, recreational opportunities and businesses along Tacoma’s waterfront. Great monthly meetings, network opportunities and events!

Community Events

Photo of the 4th of July air showHere are some fun community events located along Tacoma’s waterfront:

Downtown to Defiance Trolley

Pierce Transit and Metro Parks Tacoma offer bus service from downtown Tacoma to Point Defiance Park along Ruston Way on weekends during the summer. More information about the Downtown to Defiance Trolley here.

Let’s get out and enjoy the fun opportunities to explore and support our waterfront!

Celebrated U.S.-China relationship at Chinese Reconciliation Park

Photo of welcome to Chinese Reconciliation Park

Flags wave and tigers dance to welcome Minister Qiu to Chinese Reconciliation Park

We welcomed China’s Minister  Qiu Yuan Ping to Chinese Reconciliation Park yesterday. Minister Qiu’s visit builds on Tacoma’s Sister City relationship with Fuzhou, and is part of China’s official visit to the United States. President Xi visits Seattle and Tacoma this week.

The special ceremony included speakers from Tacoma Public Schools, Chief Leschi School, The Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tacoma City Council, and Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation. Two students from Tacoma’s Sherman Elementary were honored to present flowers and meet the minister.

Photo of Minister Qiu

Chinese Minister Qiu speaks at the Fuzhou Ting in Tacoma

Minister Qiu — the Minister of Overseas Chinese Commission in the China State Department — recognized the importance of Chinese workers in helping build the transcontinental railroad in the United States. The railroad strengthened America’s economy, and its terminus was Tacoma.

Minister Qiu emphasized education and collaboration in the U.S.-China relationship. Many Tacoma-based schools and colleges were represented at the ceremony, including Bates Technical College, Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound. They offer exchange programs and opportunities to learn about and study in China.

On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Tacoma’s Lincoln High School. Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, a teacher at Lincoln, was just named the Washington teacher of the year. President Xi will visit Mr. Bowling’s government class. This video shows how the students are preparing for this historic visit.

For more information

More photos from the event at Chinese Reconciliation Park are available on Flickr:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/engagenorthwest/albums/72157656606146903