Tacoma citizens clean up Point Defiance for Earth Day

Pictured: The beach at Point Defiance — Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Point Defiance is a park that has great importance to the Tacoma community not only because of its beautiful nature, but also because of its historic background and economic influence. Therefore, it is very important to keep it clean and beautiful. In order to achieve this, a clean up event was held at the park on April 20.

“We started talking with Metro Parks about what their needs were. We have some people doing the beach cleanup right now, but because of the big winter storms this year that knocked down a lot of trees. Most of our group right now is doing the trail clean up in the Rhododendron Garden,” Director of the Manufacturing Industrial Council Meredith Neal said.

“I work with a lot of the business in the Tacoma Tide flats area, so Port of Tacoma. They’re manufacturing, industrial and marathon businesses and they all give back in different ways each year. But we thought it would be fun to do a cleanup event around Earth Day where everyone comes together and pitches in,” Neal said.

During the event people from all ages could be seen walking along the shore of Owen’s Beach and other parts of the park with trash bags, gloves and tools to help collect the trash they encountered in their walks.

“Last year was the first year that they did this in conjunction with Metro Parks, so last year we had about 60 [people], and this year we have about 85. Next year the goal is 100. So we’ll keep doing this every year,” Neal said.

With the increasing help of the community, Point Defiance will continue to be the beautiful place people enjoy today with their families and friends.

According to Marina Admin and Programming Assistant Gene Anderson, Point Defiance Park stretches from Point Ruston’s stores and restaurants all the way to Owen’s Beach. It is about 100 years old, and during that time the Marina has burned and been reconstructed twice. People have enjoyed the beauty of this park for a long time now. However, climate change has been affecting people’s experiences.

The old part of the Marina is used for rental boats and is submerged in a couple of inches by the tide every day while the new Marina is used for storing boats owned by people and is built higher up, according to Anderson.

In addition, Point Defiance is also home to the Science and Math Institute, a high school where kids take classes all over the park and learn about the environment, art, music and math, according to Anderson.

Hopefully with events like this, citizens can reduce how much global warming affects the park so we can enjoy the park for 100 years more.

“The main message is that we all recognize the need for a shared responsibility and a cleaner future, and so that’s really what the message is. That we are all in this together, we know this, all of the businesses are doing things around sustainability. This is a way for them to remind themselves and each other, and to remind the community that everybody knows that we have a responsibility for a greener future and that we are all working on it together,” Neal said.