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

Waterfront: intersection of environment, recreation and jobs

Photo of Pierce County Executive

Three words define him, says the Pierce County Executive.

Did you know that Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier grew up sailing on Puget Sound and even crewed on the Adventuress? Last week, Executive Dammeier talked with the Tacoma Waterfront Association about his personal connection to and vision for the waterfront. Mr. Dammeier says the waterfront is the “intersection of environment, recreation and jobs.” He believes this is a great destination, but not enough people know it.

Executive Dammeier says three words define him: action, collaboration and partnership. He noted that these words may also apply to the waterfront.

Mr. Dammeier said Pierce County has two economic pillars: the Port of Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He believes veterans are a huge asset in our community. At the moment, he says the greatest challenge facing our community is finding ways to work together.

More information

About the Tacoma Waterfront Association

The Tacoma Waterfront Association is a group of businesses, nonprofits and individuals who protect and promote Tacoma’s waterfront. TWA holds monthly meetings on waterfront-related topics. These meetings are good networking opportunities and free for members and guests! TWA supports events along the waterfront, such as the recent Festival of Sail. Interested in becoming a member? Check out the membership levels and benefits here. Follow TWA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thank you!

**Disclaimer** Engage Northwest provides communications assistance to the Tacoma Waterfront Association.