By KRIS SHERMAN • The News Tribune
he grassy bowl still invites picnickers. Owen Beach beckons beachcombers and kids. The forest shelters wildlife and soothes human visitors.
But besides the obvious pleasures that lure parkgoers, Point Defiance Park shows warning signs of neglect.
Buildings deteriorate, parking overflows, an aging water system can’t muster enough pressure to fight a large forest fire. The park’s list of needs includes $76.2 million in basic repairs and improvements. There is no way to pay for most of them.
There’s also no clear vision for a property whose only official master plan dates to 1911. A lack of foresight, political indecision and chronic funding problems have tarnished the park.
“The facility is showing its age, and there are more and more challenges that we face every day,” says Jack Wilson, executive director of Metro Parks.
We love Point Defiance. We take it for granted. We shouldn’t.