Dawson Playfield Park Improvements

Open House

Pierce County Parks is developing a plan for improvements to Dawson Playfield. Mark your calendars for this final opportunity to shape Dawson Playfield!

We've got a Budget! We've got some OPTIONS!
Come tell us what you think of them!

Monday, September 23
5:30-8:00 p.m.

Harvard Elementary School Gym

Come see the new plans for Dawson Playfield and share your final comments! Afterworking with the community to develop a preferred plan, we are seeking final input before construction begins in 2020.

Drop by, bring your kids!

  • 5:30-6:30 - Open House with design posters
  • 6:30-7:15 -  Presentation
  • 7:15-8:00 - Questions & Survey

All open houses are free to attend and open to the public. A Spanish speaking translator will be available. 

Outreach Summary

On Sunday, August 4, Pierce County Parks staff and project team hosted the first open house regarding the Dawson Playfield design plans.  The information along with input from the public will be used to develop a preferred concept.

View the open house boards that include pictures of some of the improvement options.

What We Have Done So Far

Dawson Playfield's is a popular neighborhood park located on the corner of 90th St. and Portland Avenue in Tacoma. Current amenities at Dawson Playfield include a covered picnic shelter lighted softball field (non-regulation), outdoor basketball and tennis courts, playground equipment, restrooms, uncovered picnic tables, and a walking track

In 2017, we asked you to tell us how to improve Dawson Playfield. “Should we rebuild the tennis courts for $150,000 or should we build something else?” The tennis courts at Dawson Playfields are past their useful lifecycle and need to be replaced. Drainage issues and a high groundwater level have contributed to the condition of the courts caused wide cracks on the playing surface.

Together with the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, we worked to gather community input on how best to spend $150,000 to improve Dawson Plafield. Two meetings were conducted in the park, the first on July 29, 2017 to obtain ideas from the park users and the second on August 12, 2017 to vote on the proposed ideas. The options and the result of the community vote are shown in the table below.

Dawson Playfield 2017 Voting Results

RankOptionsVote Total
% of
Estimated Timeline
from 1/1/18
1Spray Park9540%$500,00036-60 months
2Futsal Court5222%$150,0012 months
3Junior Basketball Court3314%$100,0012 months
4Big Kid Playground3113%$80,000-$120,00012-18 months
5Exercise Station125%$75,000-$100,00012 months
6Paved Walking Path94%$100,00012-18 months
7Tennis Courts52%$150,00012 months

In April of 2019, Johnson & Sutherland Landscaping Architecture was hired to complete design of the park improvements.

What's Next?

  1. Pierce County Parks and Recreation has conducted a study of the top three options and will share cost estimates and conceptual designs this summer (2019).
  2. The first of 2-3 public meetings to continue the conversation on the designs will be on August 4, 2019 from 12 noon-2 p.m. in the picnic shelter. The goal of these meetings will be to choose a project plan for new improvements.  The preferred concept will be presented at an Open House in the fall of 2019. Construction is anticipated to start Summer 2020.

Questions or Comments: 
Benjamin Barrett, Capital Projects Manager
(253)798-4081  |  email