Improvements for Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park

A shoreline permit has been approved for proposed improvements to Chinese Reconciliation Park. The park belongs to the City of Tacoma and is managed by Metro Parks.

According to City planning documents, this is phase 3 of the construction of the park on the Ruston Way Waterfront near Old Town. The improvements come with an estimated $600,000, out of the $9.7 allocated for the first three phases, funded from state grants, City funds, and donations and contributions. Most of the cost for this phase comes from a Historical Society grant, with a smaller share coming from the City's Open Space fund. 

  • 30 new parking spaces
  • Removal of 1,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil
  • A new welcome sign and 2 interpretive signs
  • A new decorative bamboo wall
  • New native and non-native landscape plantings, including irrigation
  • Invasive, non-native running bamboo will be removed
  • Updated ligthing for the Ting and under the Schuster Parkway overpass

The new bamboo wall will be decorated with a Chinese motif​, functioning as a separation between the parking lot and the park area, and will guide visitors through the park.

The calendar for Phase 3 shows construction for the park getting underway this spring, and wrapping up before summer. 

Phase 4, which will be the most expensive and ambitious of the phases of improvements to the park, is unfunded at this point. That phase, estimated at $12 million, is planned to make significant upgrades, with a list of facilities including a "Multicultural Pavilion," classrooms, entrance gate, restrooms, courtyard, "Reconciliation Hall," "Gold Mountain Pavilion," Chinese garden walls, bay-viewing terrace and pond, Tai-Hu stones, waterfall, "Zig-zag Bridge," and additional Chinese garden features. Learn more about the park and plans for it either on the City project page, or at

Assuming no appeals come between now and the end of the appeal period on December 17, the project will be cleared to move forward to the Washington State Department of Ecology, which will take 21 days to conduct its own appeal period. The City has  two years after the effective date of the permit to begin construction on the project, but it looks like you can expect to see dirt moving well before that.

Now, about that Downtown to Defiance connection...

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Reed Richards

Downtown and Point Defiance are already connected.

December 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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It’s true! Downtown and Point Defiance are already connected! But the sidewalk is in bad shape and subject to landslides. We are at the point when all the trails… the Puyallup river/Orting trail, the Water Ditch, Prairie Line and the whole Water Front need to be connected. The “repair the streets… front of my house” NIMBY crowd needs get on board.

December 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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The Ting looks as though it will fall down from lack of repair long before they ever get this thing finished. Can’t seem to get the riff-raff from spray painting things and tearing down any signs, fences, footing material ect that is humanly possible to destroy! They even rip out the hardscaping stones and benches and throw them in the bay. A serious imbarrising reconciliation if you ask me. How much does a bucket of red paint cost? I’ve been watching for over a month now for the construction crew to complete what. Looks like 6 hours worth of dirt moving. Sad waste of money and yet another slap in the face to the Chinese community.

July 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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