PART I: 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.
• Visit the eras of the park
PART II: Celebrating the zoo
Along with the park, the Zoo marks its 100th anniversary. Its developed from novelty to a serious educational and research facility.
• Visit the zoo and aquarium
PART III: Garden Space
South Sound is a gardener's paradise, so it's only fitting that its premier city park is a showcase for gardens.
• Visit the gardens
PART IV: A place to play
The park's trails, roads, beaches and waters offer a refuge from city life and a variety of recreation.
• Visit the park
PART V: Nature of the park
With most of it undeveloped, Point Defiance is a last reminder of wilderness amid the regionís urban sprawl.
• Visit nature
PART VI: Imagine a park
The park's centennial year provides a chance to look forward to its next century.
• Visit the future
Drew Perine/The News Tribune
The tall ship Lady Washington plies the waters off Point Defiance Park at sunrise, in a scene reminiscent of the visits of early explorers. By DREW PERINE • The News Tribune
Its easy to take Point Defiance Park for granted.
Sometimes our lives are so buried by the trappings of modern life -- electronic gadgets, responsibilities, traffic jams, deadlines, reality TV -- that we forget how peaceful it is to walk through an old growth forest. We stop noticing eagles commanding the skies at sunset or the intricate webbing of a single autumn leaf.
Sometimes we need to take the time to appreciate what we have. Lucky for me, I was assigned that task.
Over the past year, I've made thousands of photos at Point Defiance Park, documenting its natural splendor, family traditions and annual events. I've tromped down every trail and took pictures from a boat, plane, train and kayak. We've compiled some of my favorites in a special commemorative section that concludes the News Tribune's look at Tacoma's most precious resource.
This year mark's the 100th anniversary of Point Defiance as a city park. Comparing our lives and habits to historical photos, its striking how little has changed. Practically everybody who lives in this region will spend some time there as have thousands before us. Some will marvel at the pleasures of the park's 702 acres while others simply want a nice spot to picnic.
But people keep coming. There's a rich vein of community spirit in the park that never stops flowing.
There's no big news in these photographs. They lack the importance of Hurricane Katrina or our overseas reporting in Iraq, China and Sri Lanka. But I do think they serve as a reminder to value the familiar, to appreciate what makes our region a home.
Consider this photo section to be a time capsule, photographs from our shared backyard.