The public is invited to tour the Titlow Park waterfront and visit its natural areas during a special Metro Parks event at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12.
The eventis technically a public meeting, but it’s more “open beach” than “open house.” The goal is to gather input on Metro Parks’ efforts to make parts of the 75-acre park more publicly accessible while restoring and conserving the natural landscape. The event is open to all. Everyone who has an interest in the park is invited regardless of whether they live close by.
Participants should meet at the park’s sprayground, close to the main parking lot. The public input will be largely unguided, with multiple contact points where visitors can ask questions and make comments; Metro Parks and its consultant also will introduce a new feedback tool that will help sort comments by location in the park.
Andrea Smith, president of the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners, will kick off the event.
“As a child I spent time at what was called Hidden Beach day camp, learning about sea life at low tide and how trees contribute to our well-being and environmental sustainability,” Smith said. “I’m excited to hear how citizens want to use this park in the future.”
The park district is refining its 2010 Titlow Park master plan to reflect changes that have taken place since then. Substantial public involvement contributed to the development of the original master plan. This revision is focused exclusively on the shoreline and the forested areas north of the park’s lagoon.
In 2014, Metro Parks voters approved a $198 million bond issue. Some of the money was earmarked to upgrade Titlow Park. The specifics included improved trail access to Hidden Beach and natural area restoration. The district also is considering how to manage a now-vacant waterfront site at Titlow Park’s north end to best benefit the public. Tacoma Outboard Association, which had leased a boat ramp, dock and clubhouse at the site, departed in 2016.
In all, 46 acres of Titlow Park are undeveloped forest, dominated by alder, big leaf maple and Douglas fir trees. The park is designated as bald eagle and pileated woodpecker habitat and includes several streams and wetland areas.
People who participate in the outdoor public meeting might want to stay for a free, family-oriented nature walk hosted by the Tacoma Nature Center. The hourlong walk begins in the park at 1 p.m. Advance registration is required for the nature walk. Click here to register.
Find out more about proposed Titlow Park improvements at TitlowParkVision.org.