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.
The City of Lakewood will use this grant to improve the 17-acre Harry Todd Park, on the south side of American Lake, in Pierce County. The City will build a fishing pier to improve access to the lake and to create the only public fishing dock on the 1,200-acre freshwater lake. The City also will replace finger pier docks to support rowing shells and other human-powered vessels, replace a restroom, connect to the sewer system, and build new pathways from parking areas to open areas and picnic areas. This park is in the Tillicum neighborhood, a geographically isolated and extremely low-income area. This is the only community park in the area and the only park that provides free access to the waterfront. Lakewood will contribute $650,000 in cash and potentially a grant from the state Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account.