TACOMA, Wash. — When you get to the new Dune Peninsula park at Point Defiance, look for the 50-foot tall, 605-foot long Wilson Way pedestrian bridge, because on the east end you’ll find the place where your kids are going to want to spend the next hour. It’s a series of slides and stairs on a 60-foot slope.
"I've gone down all of them, and I think my favorite ones are the top two because they're really fast,” said first time visitor Jailee Otttman.
"They are really fast," said KING 5 Evening Host Saint Bryan.
“Oh, they're fast,” agreed Metro Parks Manager Phedra Redifer. “They're so much fun. It really brings back the kid in you.”
This chutes and ladders set up is just one part of the new 40-acre, nearly $75 million park.
On the other side of the Tacoma Yacht Club marina, you’ll find the park itself. Once a slag heap for the notorious Asarco Smelter, it is named Dune Peninsula Park for the famous novel by Tacoma native Frank Herbert.
"Frank Herbert lived over in Brown's Point,” said Redifer. “He had a very clear view of the Asarco smelter and the toxic plume basically that would continue to go up in the air, and that inspired him to write the book 'Dune.'”
Decades later, what was once a Superfund site is now getting rave reviews from visitors like Steve Barbee.
"Sitting on this hill up here is the most beautiful view I've ever seen in Tacoma,” he said. “This used to be a stinking earth sucking smelter, and now it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet.”
“I think we've astounded our Tacoma community,” said Redifer. “It is truly heartwarming to see so many people embrace this new park space.”