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News & Stories


Because Parks Matter 2016

How can we support more access to Tacoma’s world-class parks? On February 24, 255 folks did so by playing games, eating lunch, laughing and crying. This year our Because Parks Matter luncheon at STAR Center raised over $47,000 in support of GMPF’s mission: to invite you to build a healthier, more vibrant community by investing in people and parks.


Take a moment to check out this fun little video of the good time we had at the event. The video was done in-kind by Pacific Lutheran University and produced by Zach Powers: As you can see, people really enjoyed themselves at this joyous event.

The awardees highlight some of the great work that is taking place at Metro Parks:

Outstanding Program: Groovin’ with Marcus

Outstanding Project: SERA Field 

Outstanding Community Group: Liz Rocks Campaign    

We would like to thank everyone who donated and volunteered for the event. Thank you to our sponsors:

ARC Architects 
Heritage Bank 
Brown & Haley 
Advancement Consulting 
University of Puget Sound 
Charley Bingham 
Michele Johnson 
Albers & Company
Bruce Dees & Associates


Eastside community center video released

The Eastside of Tacoma sorely lacks safe, healthy, attractive places for children, youth and their families to gather, learn, play and grow.  During the recession, many services and programs were shuttered in the Eastside. The existing Portland Avenue Community Center is undersized and lacks vital amenities such as a gymnasium. The aging Eastside pool is nearing the end of its useful life.

Metro Parks Tacoma, working in collaboration with the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Schools, and the Tacoma Housing Authority will build a new Eastside community and aquatics center next to First Creek Middle School at the corner of Portland Ave and East 56th.

The community center will provide vital activities, resources and skill-building for Eastside youth outside of the school day.  As a gathering place and center of program delivery, the center will become a hub of youth activity in the neighborhood—an assets-based alternative to the violence, crime and boredom that is present in the streets between school and home.

Eastside Video on YouTube


Please call Bryan Flint at (253) 753-8656 to find out how you can help.


Delivering for Our Parks

On Monday, January 25th the Greater Metro Parks Foundation presented the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Park Commissioners a check for $283,134.98. The Foundation works to support Metro Parks programming, and is a partner in leveraging private dollars to support the capital projects and add to the bond dollars passed by the voters in 2014.

By working with the Resource Development staff of Metro Parks, we raise this money to support programs that improve and enrich the lives of people in Tacoma and Pierce County.

These dollars represent private donations generously contributed from individuals, foundations and companies who support our fabulous park system here in Tacoma.

A significant portion of these funds are for the construction of the multi-purpose artificial turf field at the SERA campus in South Tacoma. Nearly 4,000 public school children from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds surround SERA. As Metro Parks’ first all-season public turf field in Tacoma, it will give opportunities to Tacoma’s youth and families seeking ways to improve their health and fitness, gain new skills and connect to their community through sports. The field is slated to open in early spring.

Funding for the SERA turf field came from generous donors including:

  • Names Family Foundation
  • Norcliffe Foundation
  • Dimmer Family Foundation
  • D.V. & Ida J. McEachern Charitable Trust
  • Ben B. Cheney Foundation
  • TOTE Maritime (formerly Totem Ocean Trailer Express)
  • Baker Foundation
  • And, generous employees of Metro Parks

State-of-the-Art Field at SERA Campus Close to Completion

Great news! The SERA multi-purpose field project is nearing completion, thanks to our incredible supporters.

Construction has been in progress throughout the summer and early fall on the project. The artificial turf field is now done, and the lights are installed.   

The contractors are on schedule to complete work on the field by early November. As Metro Parks’ first artificial turf field, it will be available for sports enthusiasts year-round after its official opening.

In addition to generous gifts from individual donors, the Greater Metro Parks Foundation received over $260,000 from private foundations, including Names Family Foundation, Norcliffe Foundation, Dimmer Family Foundation, DV & Ida McEachern Charitable Trust, Ben B. Cheney Foundation, and Totem Ocean Trailer Express.

The Metro Parks Board of Commissioners also recently accepted a $500,000 grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office for this project.

The grand opening of the field will be held in January.


60 Years of Specialized Recreation – Time to Celebrate!

GMPF is proud to support Metro Parks Specialized Recreation program, the state’s largest and oldest recreation program for people with disabilities.  It started as a summer program for kids in the 1950s.  Then, recreation programs for adults with disabilities began in 1977, taking over a city-run, evening-and-weekend social program.

Specialized Recreation currently serves nearly 500 people annually in about 135 different programs. More than half of the participants live outside Tacoma, many in group homes.

Parents and guardians of Specialized Recreation participants are uniformly grateful. Sharon Hanson, a mother of four disabled adults now in their 50s, called the Specialized Recreation program a godsend and the staff, fantastic. “I’ve yet to meet one that doesn’t have (my children’s) best interests at heart,” she said.

For many participants, the social contacts are crucial. Ed Vandenberg brings his daughter Katie, 35, to various Specialized Recreation sports programs. “It gives her a chance to meet her friends. It’s a very important part of her life.”

Supporters and participants in Metro Parks Specialized Recreation programs will celebrate the program’s long history with a dinner, dancing and silent auction at STAR Center this Saturday, October 10th, 6-9pm.

More information and complete story at: