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News & Stories


Many thanks to 2014 CHIP In! Volunteers and Donors 

Every year, thousands of park stewards commit many hours to help keep our parks safe, healthy, and beautiful through CHIP In! Citizens Helping Improve Parks. In 2014, 4,600 volunteers came together and gave 48,000 hours of their time to help improve Tacoma parks.

Youth and people with disabilities gain training and conservation skills as they worked alongside environmental advocates, retirees, students, families, church and neighborhood groups, and corporate volunteers. Volunteers participated in community-wide events, with park steward group work parties, and they visited parks routinely to do restoration and maintenance such as litter pick up, trail repair, pruning, brush removal and other landscape care, or join the safety patrol program.

Green space restoration is a priority for CHIP In! and this year, volunteers stewarded 25 new acres under restoration for a total of 100 acres currently being restored and maintained.

Through CHIP In! support, two new trail wayfinding systems at Oak Tree Park and Swan Creek Park were established in 2014, adding an additional 10 miles of trails to the Metro Parks system. Volunteers also improved trail access at Puget Park, Oak Tree Park, and Swan Creek Park by installing box steps. Along with these new trails and improvements, CHIP In! volunteers also maintained 36.1 miles of existing trails.

Finally, CHIP In! volunteers participated as part of eight larger, regional and national events, and over 50 smaller events. The eight significant events included the Martin Luther King Jr Day of Caring, Parks Appreciation Day, Trails Day, United Way Day of Caring, Community Day of Service, Green Tacoma Day and two Faith in Action Days.

The thousands of CHIP In! volunteers are dedicated and passionate, and their efforts are possible thanks to support from donors like REI. On behalf of all the volunteers, thank you for this investment in both our volunteers and our environment.


Metro Parks Earns CAPRA Accreditation

We have great news to share. In case you have not already heard, a national decision was recently made that has significant meaning and positive impact on Metro Parks Tacoma. 

The Commission on Accreditation for Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) has conveyed accreditation to Metro Parks for a period of 5 years based on Metro Parks' overall quality of operation, management, and service to the community.


Of over 12,000 park and recreation agencies in the United States, less than 2% have earned accreditation. Metro Parks Tacoma is one of 135 agencies nationwide who have met the 144 national standards of excellence. 

While accreditation only requires the agency to achieve 85% of the standards, Metro Parks was found to meet 100% of the standards upon first submission. 

We are fortunate in Tacoma to have such an outstanding park system. As a partner organization since 1991, we are proud to support a parks agency that is building a healthier, more vibrant community by investing in people and parks.  

Read more about the accreditation via the links below.


Link to media release:


Link to brochure related to accreditation:


Celebrating Tacoma’s art and parks

On February 5, 2014, local arts supporter Cathy Sarnat and her family graciously hosted a reception for artist Sarah Gilbert and the Greater Metro Parks Foundation in the historic Vaeth House. Tacoma art, history, and park supporters came together to meet Sarah, explore the enchanting Victorian mansion, and learn a little more about Sarah, the history of Tacoma’s parks, and the Greater Metro Parks Foundation.

Sarah, a local sculpture and fabricator, and the head technician at the Museum of Glass, is also passionate about Tacoma’s parks. In the creation of her newest series of artwork, Sarah looked to the history of Metro Parks as inspiration, creating “Thank you, Ebenezer” a captivating cameo portrait of Ebenezer Rhys Roberts, the first superintendent of Tacoma’s parks. The sculpture is a portrait framed by a shovel-shaped armature, representing the inception, groundbreaking, and flourishing of Tacoma’s parks system. Ebenezer Rhys Roberts is portrayed on the blade of a shovel, kind eyes beaming over a flamboyant, blossoming moustache made of leaves and flowers.

At the event, Parks Superintendent Marina Becker shared some historical information about Ebenezer Rhys Roberts, a creative, eccentric, and brilliant master gardener whose love for horticulture, nature, and the Pacific Northwest has endured in the work of Metro Parks Tacoma, more than 100 years later.

Sarah donated this beautiful work of art to the Greater Metro Parks Foundation and the piece is currently available for purchase through the Foundation’s  Because Parks Matter Online Auction. The auction closes on February 26th so make sure to check it out and get your bids in. The winner of the piece will be announced at the upcoming “Because Parks Matter” luncheon at the STAR Center.

Sarah Gilbert’s exhibition opens this August at the University of Puget Sound’s Kittredge Gallery. 


Because Parks Matter Auction 2014

Want to support our mission and win cool prizes? Then make sure to check out our Because Parks Matter Online Auction.

Also, visit our Facebook page for more up-to-date information.


New Signs Installed at McCarver and Wright Parks

The air was bitterly cold with a strong wind but the sun was shining as McCarver Elementary students, donors and campaign leaders gathered to take the wraps off newly installed signs.  Folks who worked tirelessly for over 3 years on the Zina Linnik Project had a mini-reunion as they hugged and caught up on old times.  Students from McCarver gathered around the sign to see how it told the story of the Zina Linnik Project and the goal of creating safe places for kids to play in the Hilltop. A highlight for the students was the hot cocoa.  The signs where installed to say thank you to the donors who contributed over $3.2 million to turn tragedy into triumph for the entire community of the Hilltop and Tacoma. 

Two signs, one at McCarver Park and one at Wright Park, were installed so that visitors could know the story of the parks.  Each sign has a map of the respective parks as well as the names of the hundreds of donors to the project. The artwork for the signs was done by Cathryn Bingham, member of the Bingham family who played a major role in the success of the project and who have strong roots to McCarver Elementary.


Words spoken by 4th Grade Peacemakers:


“Thank-you very much for donating money to help.  It means a lot…. Without your donation to the park we would have nothing to remember Zina by…. She needs to be remembered she was one of the best Peacemakers.”
~ Addie


“Thank-you donors for helping us build the Zina Linnik Park. It made my life special. If it wasn’t for you donors we would never have a beautiful Park.  I have a poem for you:
Peace is you and you are Peace…..
Peace will show you light that will shine all through your life.
I need you to spread Peace with your life, honor and dignity.”
~ Charles


“Thanks donors for spending you precious time working for Zina’s Park…and for donating money to build the Park.  It helps spread peace and love to Zina and all of McCarver.”
~ Deja


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