Dan Voelpel’s column (“Grit City Greens? Lincoln Park project could spark economic boost”: September issue) has caused some confusion in the community, and we want to set the record straight from Metro Parks Tacoma’s perspective.

Dan opened his column with this provocative statement: “As a public park in Tacoma, Lincoln Park is a failure.” We respectfully disagree, as do the local families that visit their beautiful neighborhood park daily. They tell us they love the trees, the grass, the incredible views of downtown and the port, as well as the proximity to Lincoln High School and the business district.

The bulk of Dan’s column is devoted to sharing a creative idea from Cleveland, which converted blighted property into a commercial greenhouse operation that provides jobs and fresh food. It’s an innovative idea, for sure, and perhaps one that should be considered for any number of locations in the city that could be ripe for redevelopment. We’re open to being a part of any discussion like that.

However, Metro Parks is on a mission to preserve green space for public use, and even secure more. The Cleveland greenhouse model would not be a good fit for Lincoln Park.

We appreciate that Dan’s column was clearly labeled as “opinion.” Still, we heard some confusion among community members who were concerned this greenhouse idea is a done deal.

We just want to assure everyone that Metro Parks is committed to supporting Lincoln Park. In fact, thanks to the park bond approved by Tacoma voters in 2014, we plan to invest in Lincoln Park in the next wave of improvements to our system. We aim to engage community members on planning and design next year.


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