Tacoma Council OKs grant request for Foss Waterway children’s play area

Tacoma City Council approved a resolution Tuesday authorizing City staff to submit a grant request to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office to help pay for a children’s play area at a City-owned park near South 21st Street and Dock Street, along Thea Foss Waterway.

The $155,786 project is a partnership between the City, Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA), and The Henry Group—a private developer currently constructing a 161-unit, $32 million apartment building nearby, according to documents prepared by City staff. The City is seeking a $60,000 grant for the project. The Henry Group and FWDA would pay for the rest of the project.

Earlier this year, City staff prepared a presentation highlighting some the benefits and features of the project. First, the park would include the only children’s play area along a 7.5-mile waterfront stretch connecting the Tacoma Dome and Point Defiance waterfront trail. Second, creating the children’s play area would expand the diversity of use within the park and draw more people and activities to the area. Third, the eco-friendly play area would feature a LEED-certified mat surface, as well as landscaping with native plants. Finally, Metro Parks Tacoma, Citizens for a Healthy Bay, Tacoma Waterfront Association, Foss Waterway marina, and many Foss Waterway residents support the project, according to City staff.

The grant proposal is expected to be evaluated this summer. A decision on grant funding is expected to be made in June 2015.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Foss Waterway park and the proposed children’s play area, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengerssecond-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State; third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; and third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright. His work has appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.