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Owen Beach in Tacoma will officially reopen June 4

Metro Parks Tacoma closed the beach in February 2021 for the $6.3 million renovation project, a part of the 2015 Destination Point Defiance master plan.

TACOMA, Wash. — Editor's note: The video above on a planned re-design of Owen Beach originally aired in February 2020.

Point Defiance Park's Owen Beach officially has a reopening date after being closed for 16 months due to climate-friendly renovations.

Metro Parks Tacoma closed the beach in February 2021 for the $6.3 million renovation project, a part of the 2015 Destination Point Defiance master plan.

Owen Beach will reopen June 4 with renovations that include a new road and trail entry/exit, a bigger parking lot with ADA-accessible drop-off zones, new restrooms, benches, a climbable whale sculpture, a new facility to host community gatherings and science classes and more.

“These renovations have truly transformed Owen Beach into a destination for everyone,” said Joe Brady, deputy director of regional parks and attractions. “We are proud to have made such crucial practical and aesthetic improvements while protecting the forest habitat that makes Point Defiance so unique among American cities.”

Metro Parks Tacoma will host a public celebration on June 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours.

In 2020, KING 5 first reported on the Owen Beach project, which was designed based off University of Washington research that shows the global mean sea level rise is projected to be about 2.8 feet higher by 2100.

All of the renovations were set back and uphill to allow for the rising sea levels.

“We have a responsibility as stewards of this gem within Point Defiance Park to ensure that generations to come are able to enjoy its peace and beauty, just as much as those who built it and those who have come since time immemorial," said Marty Stump, deputy director of planning and development. "Adapting to climate change is crucial, and Metro Parks is proud that we can do this on behalf of our community.”

For more information on Owen Beach, visit metroparkstacoma.org.

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