$1.6 million McKinley Park renovation underway

Metro Park Tacoma announced this week that staging for improvement work that will soon get underway in McKinley Park has begun.

The 2005 Park Improvement Bond provided $1.665 million for design and construction work at McKinley Park, initiating Phase 1 of the master plan developed with the eastside community in 2004. During that process, residents identified safety improvements and preservation of the parks naturalized areas among their highest priorities.

To enhance safety by increasing visibility and accessibility of the park’s walkway, the community selected the design plan which includes elevating the promenade to street grade. Although trees must be removed to accommodate the safety improvements desired in the park, the District’s urban forester had previously identified several of these trees on a watch list as needing replacement. According to Metro Parks, while the trees may appear to be healthy, some are slated for removal and not in good shape, including a Maple with stem rot, Horse Chestnuts suffering from leaf blight and some Birches which are in only modest health. Two groupings of trees near the playground will also be removed to allow for expansion of the children’s play area. The vast naturalized area of the park will remain forested and untouched. Much like the work recently completed in Wright Park, the District will plant in excess of 100 trees in McKinley Park providing future generations with a rich biodiversity of healthy trees to enjoy.

The promenade will include a new plaza and restroom facilities located near the expanded playground.

The improvement work will be completed by Spring 2009.