Point Defiance: 100 Years and Beyond
At 702 acres, Point Defiance Park is Tacoma's treasure and one of the West's great urban parks. Itís our community living room, formal garden and big back yard. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Point Defiance as a city park. The News Tribune is marking the occasion with a series celebrating the parkís history, zoo, gardens, natural spaces and recreation opportunities.
Sun., March 27: 100 years of change
Since even before it became a city park in March 1905, Point Defiance has played a special role in the lives of Tacomans. Attractions, people and festivals have ebbed and flowed over the landscape like Puget Soundís tides. The constant: A place where people and nature intermingle for fun and for reflection.
Thurs., April 28: Celebrating the zoo
Along with the park, the Point Defiance zoo marks its 100th anniversary in 2005. Its development from novelty to a serious educational and research facility mirrors the evolution of zoos nationwide. Weíll explore the zoo and zookeeping then and now and look at its future.
Thurs., June 2: Garden Spot
South Sound is a gardener's paradise, so it's only fitting that its premier city park is a showcase for gardens of all types: rose, rhodies, native and Japanese, to name a few. Gardens have been at the heart of Point Defiance since its beginning. We'll trace how generations of Tacomams have cultivated the park.
Thurs. June 30: A Place to Play
The park's trails, roads, beaches and waters offer a refuge from city life and an opportunity for an astounding variety of recreation. We'll look at how Tacomans have played in the park over the decades.
Sun., July 24: The Nature of the Point
With most of its 702 acres undeveloped, Point Defiance is a last reminder of wilderness amid the regionís urban sprawl. It provides sanctuary for wildlife and native trees, a feeding ground for undersea creatures and a laboratory for studying ecosystems and natural history.
Sun., Aug. 21: Imagine a Park
The park's centennial year provides an occasion to look back Ė but also a chance to look forward to its next century. The park district is undertaking a new master plan, the first since 1911. We'll look at the challenges and threats the park faces, but also the huge opportunities it enjoys.
If you have suggestions for what you'd like to see in the Point Defiance centennial coverage, contact team leader John Henrikson at email@example.com or 253-597-8651.
If you have personal stories or memories about the park you'd like to share, contact columnist Kathleen Merryman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writers: Susan Gordon, Jason Hagey, John Henrikson, Craig Hill, Sue Kidd, Jeffrey P. Mayor, Kathleen Merryman, Jean Parietti and Kris Sherman
Photographer: Drew Perine
Photo editor: Jeremy Harrison
Graphic artist: Fred Matamoros
Print designer: Steven Asbury
Copy editor: Dan Austin, Kelly Davenport
Copy chief: Jim Kresse
Online: Mark Briggs, Jon Palmer
Team leader: John Henrikson
Senior editor: Peggy Bellows