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News & Stories


Metro Parks' Annual Holiday Cruise

Thanks to you and many others, Metro Parks is able to host the annual Holiday Cruise for individuals with special needs. For many, the event is a highlight that they look forward to all year. The event includes fellowship, a boat ride, pizza and dancing at the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.

This truly is a community effort with volunteers from Day Island Yacht Club, Tacoma Yacht Club, Totem Yacht Club, Charles N. Curtis Sea Scouts and many others.  It is a wonderful event helping our community members with special needs.

The Curtis crew, with 40 volunteers on the docks and 60+ in the museum and behind the scenes, assisted 125 people with disabilities board and disembark with the simple goal of safety on the docks. There were 29 boats involved in providing a boat cruise around Commencement Bay.

Mother Nature was good to us this year. The sun came out, temperatures were mild, the rain held off, and the wind was light.

We appreciate the support from the yacht clubs, the volunteers and all the donors and supporters who make this event possible. 



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.

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