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POINT DEFIANCE: Grant would enhance public access

Letter by Jim Hedrick, Ruston on Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm with 4 Comments »
August 17, 2012 9:48 am

Point Defiance is a great destination to visit in the South Sound region. It has the park, the zoo and aquarium, recreational opportunities and a magnificent view of all the natural surroundings. But it’s missing a critical component: improved public access.

Currently three projects are proposed for this area: the development of Peninsula Park (by the Tacoma Yacht Club), a link between Peninsula Park and Point Defiance, and construction of a boardwalk alongside an estuary restoration project. If funded, these projects will allow public access to the waterside, link the park from the city’s downtown and restore marine habitat.

I grew up in Tacoma and now reside with my family in Ruston. I have great childhood memories of Point Defiance and now take my children there often to enjoy the South Sound’s best family destination.

We have all dreamed about the completion of these projects for decades; and with a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grant, this can all become a reality. In fact, a WWRP grant may be the only way the public can realize everything Point Defiance has to offer.

But we must act now before we lose this unique opportunity. Support from our legislators in the upcoming biennium will be imperative to securing funding for these projects. Please join me in urging our local delegation to support WWRP funding for public access projects at Point Defiance.

(Hedrick is a member of the Ruston Town Council.)

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. itwasntmethistime says:

    What would be REALLY cool is if they lowered the admission price for the zoo to $5. It’s $49 for my family of 4 to get in. Ouch. I don’t really care what big fancy upgrades are at the zoo these days since it’s out of our price range anyway.

    Why do people complain about the golf course costing the taxpayers so much money but nobody fusses about the millions spent on the zoo? Neither are affordable for low income residents so what’s the difference?

  2. AndyHill says:

    Finally! Getting the money for these projects would allow us all to make the most out of the area. Let’s hope that these dreams do become a reality!

  3. alindasue says:

    I looked to see where and what Peninsula Park was and all I could find was some old references to a proposed park at Point Ruston that they wanted Metro Parks to develop and run. The references were all dated between 2007 and 2009 and there is no listing of it on the Metro Parks site except on a couple old archived pages.

    I’m all for marine habitat restoration and if that is the main focus of the project, then it is a worthy use of the funds. However, there is already plenty of public access to the park through it’s two entrances, the main one being already closer to Ruston than it is to most of Tacoma. If the focus of the funds is on creating a new “access”, then the money would be better spent on improving the park itself or – as itwasnmethistime suggests, create easier “access” to the zoo for lower income members of our community who cannot afford the current admission rates.

    (By the way, itwasntmethistime, I figured out when my kids were young that it’s cheaper to just buy a membership if you can. After the second trip, it’s more than paid for itself and you don’t have to worry about “getting our money’s worth” if you have to leave early for some reason.)

  4. itwasntmethistime says:

    Alindasue — We did pool a few months’ of entertainment dollars for a zoo membership a few years ago. It was fun, but nobody wants to do it again. Parks, libraries, and playgrounds are always free but there are some things that cost a few dollars that the kids would like to do once in a while rather than go to the zoo 20 times in one year. The thing I really liked about the membership was that we could go for just a few hours, not all day.

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