Washington is famous for its gorgeous and abundant waterways, from the Salish Sea to the Nisqually River, but many communities lack open public beaches and waterfronts where everyone can enjoy picnicking, swimming, paddling, boating, and angling. Water Access projects fund public shoreline access, boat launches, and fishing docks to create more opportunities for water recreation.
Tacoma used this grant to build a Chinese picnic shelter, enhance landscaping, install signs, complete utility work, and stabilize and restore the beach in the Chinese Garden and Reconciliation Park, a multi-phased waterfront development on Commencement Bay. The bridge and the grotto that were scheduled to be built during this phase of the park development had actually been built during Phase 1. Specifically, the following major items were accomplished using this grant, along with the financial contributions and community support from the City of Tacoma, private corporations, foundations, and the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation: 1. Site preparation, earthwork, and drainage; 2. Shoreline stabilization and beach restoration (including marine demolition, removal of approximately 34 deteriorating pilings, placing 1,200 square yards of concrete mats to protect the shoreline, and installing rocks, pebbles and sands to provide easy access to a 200-foot beach for water activities); 3. Landscaping features and furnishings (including paths, rocks, bamboo fencing, plants, 4 root wads, and 4 benches); 4. Electrical transformer and additional irrigation; 5. Foundation for the Chinese picnic shelter (including grading, excavation, pile driving, and building a concrete floor base, stairs, and an accessible ramp); and 6. The Chinese picnic shelter, or the Fuzhou Pavilion (or “Ting” in Chinese). The Fuzhou Ting was approximately 75% complete by the end of this reporting period (i.e., November 2010), and was approximately 99% complete by the date of the filing of this report (i.e., May 2011), pending the weather-dependent application of paint touch-ups and anti-graffiti coatings. This was a donation from Fuzhou, Tacoma’s sister city in China. Tacoma built the foundation base in June 2009, and in September 2010, Fuzhou shipped raw materials and prefabricated components and sent a delegation of advisors to Tacoma to guide the construction of the Ting. The majority of the construction was accomplished during the Fuzhou Delegation’s stay in September-October 2010 and continued to progress well by Tacoma’s crew thereafter. The construction as well as the community support for this unique and authentic addition to the Chinese Reconciliation Park was documented with a series of Fuzhou Ting Status Reports, posted online at www.cityoftacoma.org/planning (and click on “Chinese Reconciliation Park”).