American Lake Playground being installed April 19, 2019

Parks Capital Projects

Lakewood Parks and Recreation is always working to improve our parks. Refer to this page to see what the City is planning and working on.

Lakewood Parks & Recreation
6000 Main St SW, 1st Floor
Lakewood, WA 98499

(253) 983-7887
[email protected]

Phone & Staff Hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Current Projects
Upcoming Projects
Recently-Completed Projects

Current Projects

Fort Steilacoom Park Boundary Line Adjustment

On June 20, 2019 the City became the proud owner of Fort Steilacoom Park.  The parcels, originally leased by Pierce County in the 1970’s were transferred to the City.  Pierce College received ownership of the property in December 2021 and is in the process of surveying the parcels in preparation for the boundary line adjustment (BLA).  There main interest is to remove all portions of Waughop Lake from their ownership. 

STATUS: Pending- anticipate BLA completed by December 2022

Chambers Creek Trail Planning and Development

The Cities of Lakewood, University Place, and Pierce County have been working together on a Chambers Creek Trail Project.  The land is owned by Pierce County with sections of the trail(s) and trailheads located in University Place and Lakewood. The completed trail is anticipated to be 2.5 miles long.  Several grants have been received to offset project costs. An updated Interlocal Agreement was approved in 2019.  All agencies anticipate financially supporting the phased trail projects.  

Phase 1 – Completed 

Phase 2- Trail connections and second connector bridge under design. Construction anticipated in 2024. 

Project Phase 2: $657,656 City share

FundingSource:  General Fund, land sale and fees $190K SWM $125K MVET Trails funds $20K 

STATUS:  Phase 2 – finalizing route and completing the 2.5 mile trail design with updated cost estimates  

Wards Lake Land Acquisition

A Pierce County Conservation Futures (PCCF) grant successfully funded the purchase of a residential lot on the south property boundary (end of 25th Ave) in late 2021. The purchase of an additional 10.5 acres has been ongoing with complexities arising due to a binding site plan (BSP) associated with the purchase parcels. The seller has requested execution of an updated purchase and sale agreement (PSA) contingent upon the signatures of 3 additional BSP parcel owners and recording of the BSP amendment. PCCF Grant deadline has been extended from June 31, 2022 to December 31, 2022. An additional appraisal may be required for PCCF due to extended process and approval from PCCF for all associated purchase documents will be required for grant funding and prior to PSA execution. 

Project Cost $91,897 ($22,425 survey & permit docs, $11,470 seller liaison, $1,352 permit fees, $55,000 parcel purchase price, $1,650 estimated closing costs )

Funding Source: Conservation Futures $29,150; General Fund $62,729

STATUS: All properties should be acquired by December 2022 pending PSA execution

Wards Lake Improvements

Since incorporation, the City has utilized a variety of funding sources to purchase several parcels of contiguous land to make-up the current Wards Lake Park property. At over 26 acres, Wards Lake is an outstanding natural area in a densely populated area. A comprehensive master plan update was completed in 2019 in conjunction with the Legacy Plan and to prepare for 2020 state grant cycles.  The master plan focused on increased access, environmental health, storm water function, improved safety and ways to discourage negative activities.  The plan was divided into three phases with funding secured to support phase 1 elements.     

Phase 1:   Improvements include removing invasive plant species, new pathways and bridges, new park access off 88th, a dog park, pump track, enhanced open space areas, signage, site furnishings and a loop trail to provide pedestrian access, improved site lines and to allow the City easier access to maintain the site and clean-up area(s) when dumping or encampments are created.

Phase 2:  Currently under RCO grant review. Improvements include a new neighborhood park and off-street parking on the south side of the park, a dirt BMX track, trail development across the park linking the main entrance with the new neighborhood park, a new restroom and expanded parking off 84th, and new play areas near both park entrances. 

Phase 3: development of acquired parcels totaling 10.5 acres (pending) is anticipated and trail expansion would improve site access and allow the City easier access to maintain the site and clean-up area(s), especially near freeway and in heavily vegetated areas when dumping or encampments are created. 

Phase 1 Project Budget: $2.4 M

Funding Source: $300K (REET/ GF), $1M LWCF, $500K WWRP Local Parks, $350K YAF

Phase 2 Project Budget: $2.5M 

Funding Source: $300K (REET/SWM/GF); Anticipated RCO and LWCF Grants $1.5M, YAF $350K, DOC $252K 

STATUS: Design of Phase 1 is underway with permit issuance anticipated early-mid 2023.  Construction to begin in 2023 with completion anticipated 2024.  Due to federal funding and critical area designation additional studies and permitting are required and has potential to delay anticipated project scheduling. Phase 2 under grant funding review. Phase 3 pending parcel acquisition. 

American Lake Access Improvements

American Lake Park, although only 5 acres in size, is heavily used in the summer season due to limited waterfront access.  Upcoming improvements include ADA access from the upper parking area to the shoreline, replacing restroom, reconstruct deteriorated retaining walls, and adding a new group picnic shelter, entrance plaza, interpretive information and park sign.  Safety and non-motorized watercraft access is being assessed.  

Project Budget: $2,276,840

Funding Source: $500K (REET), $500K WWRP, $500K ALEA, $252,840 DOC,  $524,560 general fund

STATUS: Final Design currently underway, bidding is anticipated mid 2023, with project completion in 2024. This project will have federal permitting due to in-water work. 

Fort Steilacoom Park Turf Infields

The baseball fields at Fort Steilacoom Park serve youth and adults throughout Pierce, Thurston and South King counties. Replacing dirt infields with synthetic turf material will make Fort Steilacoom Park a more desirable location for large tournaments. The City and Pierce College partnered to build a collegiate size home field on field #1 in the park with additional amenities. Pierce College will cover all improvement costs over and above new turf cost. The City will have access to use the facility when not in use by the college. The addition of a Home Field to Fort Steilacoom is a win for the college, a win for the city and a win for Lakewood residents who will now get to watch college baseball and cheer on the “home team” from Fort Steilacoom Park.

Project Cost: $6,082,339 M ($1,610,000 City / $4,472,339 Pierce College funds) 

City Funding Source: REET $250,000; Commerce Grant, $994,700, YAF grant $350,000, $15,300 general funds

STATUS: Construction activity expected to begin the week of Aug. 7, 2023

Springbrook Park Expansion and Restoration

This project continues City efforts to improve the quality of life for residents in the Springbrook neighborhood. This project will help us clean up approximately 660 linear feet of shoreline, improve water quality, and create a healthy place for Springbrook residents. Improvements include walking paths, viewpoints, picnic and open space areas, a dog park, basketball court, updated community garden, a bike pump track and park sign replacement. 

Project Budget:  $1,445,640

Funding Source: $757,540 Department of Commerce grant and $688,100 City funds

STATUS: Project is in permitting w/ bidding anticipated in fall 2022, construction completion 2023. 

Seeley Lake Improvements

A cooperative project with Pierce County Parks to identify storm water conditions, safety upgrades and public access improvements at the Seeley Lake Conservation Resource Area.  This site is located next to the Lakewood Community Center, which is owned and managed by Pierce County.  It is also the location of the City’s Senior Activity Center. A basin study and site master plan were created and phase one improvements were established to include improving the main trail head, removing hazardous waste materials, and adding ADA access. Pierce County is managing bidding and construction phases with reimbursement of remaining project funds totaling $87,900 from the City. 

Project Budget: $177,900 for permitting & construction 

Funding Source: $90K (Pierce County), $50K SWM, $37,900 general funds

STATUS: Currently in permitting with bidding to occur in 4th quarter 2022 with improvements completed in 2023.  

Nisqually Partnership

Development of interpretive signage, seating and art installations within several locations at Fort Steilacoom Park are currently under development through project partnership with the Nisqually Tribe. A kick-off design charrette was held March of 2022 at the park, and a goal for fall 2022 legislative allocation packet to fund the partnership installations has been set. An MOU to formalize our agency’s partnerships is under development.

Oakbrook Park Improvements

Oakbrook Park is located in the northwest area of Lakewood. A small park was developed in 2002 and is the only neighborhood park in this housing area.  In 2019 the playground was replaced. In May 2022 a design charrette w/ PRAB members and a neighborhood group was held to determine needs and discuss potential site improvements. Suggested improvements included circulation paths around the park, a pickleball court, a small picnic shelter, site furnishings and open space enhancements. 

Project budget: $50,000
Funding Source: General Fund 

STATUS: Design and cost estimates are being developed with construction anticipated 2023. 

Street Ends Update

The City conducted a street end study in 2008-09 to gather data on the feasibility of improved public access at 14 street ends located on 4 lakes within the City. Council approved funds totaling $50K to support an updated study focusing on 12 overall sites to develop cost estimates and schematic design.. 

Project Cost: $50,000

Funding Source: General Fund

STATUS: Site inventory is underway with project completion anticipated fall 2022

Upcoming Projects

Gateway Monument Signs

The remaining signs will complete the work started in 2015 to provide up to 15 gateway monuments at all city entrances. We will take advantage and plan around various transportation improvements to utilize resources efficiently.

Project Cost: $75,000 per sign    

Funding Source:  General Fund 

STATUS:   2022-23 – 84th and Tacoma Mall Boulevard – Private/public partnership using local ROW. Assess alternate locations for 2023 construction. 

  • TBD – North Gate Road and Edgewood – Combine with JBLM North and Washington Blvd TBD – South Tacoma Way (near B&I) – limited ROW, looking at over-the-road span
  • options
  • TBD – Thorne Lane (end / near connector path) Determining if needed due to WSDOT project improvements 

Park Sign Replacement Design

Council provided design direction in anticipation of a design contract to look at a new park entry sign design. An RFQ for design development will be posted in July 2022. Following Council approval, sign design and bid package are anticipated to be completed by December 2022.

Project Cost: $20,000 

Funding Source: General Fund

STATUS: Pending 

Park Sign Replacement Program

The City created a park sign program in 2002 to identify new and improved City park sites.  The concrete monument signs were placed near the entrance of each park and included the park name and city logo.  Eleven park signs will be updated over the next few years to identify City parks as public spaces. 

Project Cost:  Sign construction budget is approximately $30,000 per sign.   

2023 Sites:  Wards Lake Park, Active Park, Washington Park, Springbrook Park, Fort Steilacoom Park, Harry Todd Park and American Lake Park, Oakbrook Park

2024 Sites: Kiwanis and First Lions Skate Park, Primely Park and Edgewater Park

STATUS:  Design is anticipated to be completed by end of year 2022 with installation beginning 2023 and completion of all sites in 2024

Playground Equipment Replacement

Playgrounds are an important amenity in city parks, especially neighborhood parks.  Playgrounds are regularly inspected and repaired as needed.  The life span of a playground is influenced by use, materials and environment but can typically last between 10-15 years. The Legacy Plan identified the following playground replacement program:  

Funding Source: TBD  

2023 ‐ Primley Park – $55,000

2023 ‐ Active Park – $ 110,000

2024 ‐ Lake Louise School Park – $115,000 (partnership with CPSD)

2025 ‐ Washington Park – $115,000 

STATUS: Anticipated meeting with neighbors of Primley Park to be held Q4 2022 to determine park and playground improvements 

Edgewater Park Master Plan

Visit the Edgewater Park page for all of the information on this project.

 Project Cost: TBD 

 STATUS:  Pending ROW resolution. Traffic study and final design development anticipated 2023 in anticipation of 2024 RCO grant cycle. 

Harry Todd Park Pickleball Courts

The City is looking to convert the aging and underutilized above ground skate park and 50 year old tennis courts at Harry Todd Park into four pickleball courts.  Two of the courts will be ADA accessible and adjacent ADA parking, access route from the current gravel parking area, new drainage and fencing will be included. The proposed improvements would increase opportunities for recreation clinics, local and regional tournament use and increase healthy recreation opportunities for youths and families in the Tillicum Neighborhood. 

Project Cost: $600,900

Funding Source: $350K YAF, $250,900  City allocated funds – source to be determined and included in 2023parks CIP budget.  

STATUS: RCO YAF grant under review. If awarded, contract anticipated July 2023 w/ construction to be completed by early 2024.  

ARPA Park Projects

Hand wash station pilot project at Springbrook Park is under permit review with construction completion anticipated in 2023. Review of use and program success will help determine future installations at other neighborhood parks.  

Recently-Completed Projects

Gateway Monument Signs

Continuing the work started in 2015 to improve 15 different gateways and create a positive first impression, the City worked with WSDOT to install two new signs identifying the Tillicum Neighborhood and the Woodbrook Business Park as part of the I-5 WSDOT improvements.  Landscaping and irrigation installed by WSDOT fall 2021.

Project Cost: $116,095   

FundingSource: LTAC $64,000; General Fund $52,095

  STATUS: Complete

Steilacoom Park/Angle Lane South Improvements

Fort Steilacoom Park is the most popular park in our system.  Project improvements included the construction of a new parking lot, trail head and signage improvements, resurfacing Angle Lane from Elwood to Waughop Lake Road and a new restroom, plaza, and park amenities.  Development of additional interpretive signage, seating and art installations are currently under development through project partnership with the Nisqually Tribe. Development. Final improvement will be the installation of a new park sign at the park entrance off of Elwood. 

Project Cost: $1,525,000

Funding Source: REET $390K; LTAC $210K; RCO/WWRP $500K; Nisqually, POP and Town of Steilacoom Donations $30K; Tree Fund $20K; City of Lakewood $375K 

STATUS:  Complete 

American Lake North Parking Lot

The City purchased land along Veterans Drive adjacent to American Lake Park for overflow parking during the busy summer season and to accommodate loss of on-street parking from Veterans Drive improvements. Project completion is anticipated by July, 2022.   

Project Construction Budget: $231,953 

STATUS:  Complete

Fort Steilacoom Barn Removal

A small storage barn partially collapsed when a portion of a tree fell on the barn.  The project was completed December 2021. 

Project Cost: $16,500
Funding Source:
General Fund
STATUS: Completed