Walking In The Park On Wednesday #1: 21st Street Park

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Which Park?  21st Street Park

Who Or What Is It Named After? It is named after S. 21st Street. If Highway 509 did not start directly after you cross Pacific Avenue heading out of town,21st Street would lead to this park.

Where Is It?  2101 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402

Amenities? Bathrooms

Overview: There are over sixty parks in the city of Tacoma. I have decided to visit all of them and write about them here on TacomaStories.com. For the most part, I will be visiting a park once a week and going through an alphabetical list.

First up is one of Tacoma’s newest parks. 21st Street Park was created as part of the recent efforts to revitalize Tacoma’s waterfront. It was created by Tacoma’s Metro Parks, designed by firm AHBL, and is maintained by the Foss Waterway Owner’s Association, the owners of the nearby building full of condos, The Henry. AHBL used century-old lumber in constructing an arbor covering in the center of the park as an effort to commemorate the old mills that used to dot Tacoma’s waterfront.

This is one of those parks where if you blink, you’ll miss it. Just past the glass museum and partially under the Highway 509 overpass, you’ll see a parking lot splitting two grassy areas. You’ve arrived at 21st Street Park. As you pull in, on your left side you’ll see a sizable grass area perfect for playing fetch with the dog, playing Frisbee or just sitting on the grass.

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On your right you’ll find public restrooms, another grassy area and an arbor. The long flat stones in the small field are good for sitting on (or climbing if you’re a small child). They are similar to stones used in the nearby Chinese Reconciliation Park. This sort of symmetry is a nice touch.

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The park is bordered by Dock Street on one side and a sidewalk on the other. There are a few benches for those who don’t want to sit on the stones. There is a small perhaps unintentional trail to the nearby water. You’ll also notice the near constant sound of trains going by as the tracks are just on the other side of Dock Street.

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The small amount of space 21st Street takes up is well used. It isn’t a good park for exploring, but if you’re looking for a piece of nature right by Downtown Tacoma, it’s a good spot.

Next Week: Alderwood Park

– Jack Cameron

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