Tubby’s Dog Park Closure: July 15 to October 30

Tubby’s Trail Dog Park will be closed for construction beginning on July 15, 2024, and will remain closed through October 30, 2024. We encourage you to visit Rotary Bark Park during this closure.  Rotary Bark Park is located at 10100 Bujacich Road NW, Gig Harbor.

The Tubby’s site will be CLOSED TO ALL VISITORS during this time frame. No public access will be permitted.  Construction crews will be completing work with heavy equipment and site hazards will be present.  To ensure your safety, please do not enter the park.

Contractors will install a new stepped rain garden, ADA accessible parking and a new ADA walking trail that allows users to access the rain garden. These improvements are part of the Recreation Center project and will support storm drainage improvements while enhancing trail access, supporting healthy habitat, and reducing erosion at this park facility.

Administrative Headquarters Alternative Driveway

The driveway into the PenMet Parks Administrative Headquarters will be closed from Monday June 17 to Friday June 28 to allow for the installation of storm drainage.

An alternative route has been developed for access to parking. Upon turning into the driveway, take an immediate left to come down the single lane drive. It is only wide enough for one vehicle at a time, so proceed with caution.

Monday, June 17, 2024

  • Install fencing, road barricades and signageTemporary gravel path for pedestrian access to Admin Building from parking lotBegin storm drainage excavation work.

Tuesday, June 18 – Friday, June 28, 2024

  • Continue storm drainage work. Pedestrian path will be moved as shown on above figures as work progresses.

Friday, June 28, 2024

  • Completion of work and re-opening of driveway into the Admin parking lot.

Madrona Links FAQ

NGF Consulting presented its preliminary results from the Madrona Links Golf Course assessment at a special Park Board study session at PenMet Parks’ main administrative building on June 13, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. See below the FAQ for the report.

Q: Who owns the golf course?

A: The City of Tacoma originally owned Madrona Links and in 1977 leased it to Ken Tyson, who designed, developed and operated the course. This third party operator has a 50 year lease that expires in 2028. In 2008, the City of Tacoma sold Madrona Links and assigned the lease to PenMet Parks. Today, PenMet Parks owns the golf course and the third party operator is responsible for day-to-day golf course operations, maintenance, and capital improvements.

Q: Who is responsible for managing and maintaining the golf course?

A: Pursuant to the terms of the 1977 Lease, the third party operator is responsible for managing and maintaining the golf course, the pro shop and the restaurant.  This includes all golf course maintenance, repair, and capital improvements.

Q: How are the greens fees established?

A: The third party operator is responsible for setting the greens fees.

Q: What is PenMet Parks doing to steward the golf course for the benefit of our community?

A: PenMet Parks recently conducted a survey and the majority of respondents indicated that the golf course is meeting the recreational needs of our community. To assist with long-range planning, PenMet Parks engaged the National Golf Foundation to provide a comprehensive review of the course, its physical condition, needed improvements, operating profile, market environment and economic potential.  See below to view the National Golf Foundation report.

In addition, and to help plan for the future, the Board of Park Commissioners has been appropriating funds for future investment in Madrona Links. These funds were set aside in the budget for future use and do not “expire”. The specific use for the funds has not been determined, but will be as part of an overall and comprehensive plan for the golf course.

Q: How can I get more information or share feedback about Madrona Links?

A: Please email us for more information or to share any feedback regarding the Madrona Links Golf Course. PenMet Parks will document any feedback it receives and share that with the third party operator so that any concerns may be addressed.

Q. I heard a rumor that PenMet Parks plans to convert the Madrona Links Golf Course into a water park or even a housing development. Is this true?

A: No – PenMet Parks plan is to continue to operate Madrona Links as a golf course. PenMet Parks recognizes the importance of the Madrona Links Golf Course to our community. In response to community concerns expressed last year, PenMet Parks retained NGF Consulting to review and assess the current golf course operation and condition and to identify areas that may not be in compliance with the operating lease between PenMet Parks and the tenant. PenMet Parks also retained NGF to provide recommendations regarding basic golf course oversight, structure and staffing so that this amenity will be available to the public in the future and in the condition expected by the public, even after the current lease expires. 

Q. There is a 14-acre parcel that is a part of the golf course that, until 2023, was owned by the tenant under the operating lease. This property was sold to a third party in 2023. How does the sale of the 14-acre parcel affect the golf course?

A: The tenant’s sale of the 14-acre parcel does not affect the ongoing operation of the Madrona Links Golf Course. 

In the 1970’s when the tenant agreed to construct the golf course pursuant to the operating lease, the tenant also agreed to acquire the 14-acre parcel to accommodate the full 18-hole course. Last summer, the tenant requested PenMet Parks consent to the tenant assigning the operating lease to a third party which would include the sale of the 14-acre parcel to that third party. PenMet Parks was unwilling to consent to an assignment of the lease, but did express interest in purchasing the property. At that time, PenMet Parks began budgeting funds to purchase the property. Without consulting or attempting to negotiate with PenMet Parks, the tenant sold the property to the third party. The tenant then demanded PenMet Parks consent to the lease assignment, which was again rejected. 

The tenant is obligated under the operating lease to make the entire golf course, including the 14-acre parcel, available to the public for its use. PenMet Parks will fully enforce this obligation should the tenant fail to honor its obligations. In the meantime, PenMet Parks is exploring options to acquire the 14-acre parcel to keep Madrona Links Golf Course intact after the operating lease expires.

Q: What actions has PenMet Parks taken to enforce the third-party operator’s responsibilities under the lease?

A: The public has entrusted PenMet Parks with stewarding Madrona Links Golf Course for the benefit of our community, and PenMet Parks is responsible for holding the tenant accountable for its responsibilities under the lease. 

After hearing concerns from our community, PenMet Parks conducted a course inspection in 2022 and issued the first Notice of Default directing the tenant to take action to resolve course deficiencies. The tenant corrected some of the deficiencies andagreed to continue to take action to resolve the remaining items. In 2023, PenMet Parks issued a second Notice of Default directing the tenant to take action to resolve additional and ongoing deficiencies. PenMet Parks will continue to take appropriate actions requiring the tenant to fulfil its contractual obligations to operate the course in a “good, prudent, and businesslike manner” and maintain the course in “good condition and repair” in accordance with the terms of the lease, including capital and maintenance investments required due to the original course construction and to catch up with overdue maintenance and repairs.

Q: What happens when the current operating lease ends in 2028?

A: PenMet Parks is evaluating options to responsibly and sustainably operate Madrona Links Golf Course to provide public benefit when the current operating lease ends in 2028. The data provided in the National Golf Foundation report will help inform future decisions. 

Q: What are each party’s responsibilities under the operating lease?

A: See below to view a copy of the 1977 operating lease.

Q: A community member created a conceptual plan for the Madrona Links Golf Course property. Is PenMet Parks moving forward with that plan?

A: In March 2024, a member of the public shared with PenMet Parks his thoughts regarding the future use of the Madrona Links Golf Course by providing a conceptual design for the property. PenMet Parks did not participate in developing the conceptual design and does not have any plans to change the use of the golf course to a different purpose. The golf course operating lease does not expire for approximately four years and citizens indicated in a recent survey that they feel Madrona Links is meeting the needs of the community. As a result, PenMet Parks has no comments on the conceptual design. PenMet Parks encourages community members to provide input as that is one of the hallmarks of a healthy public agency, and we appreciate this person’s interest and efforts. 

PenMet Parks Partners with Peninsula School District

Joint Use Interlocal Agreement Approved by Both PSD and PenMet Parks

The Boards of Directors for Peninsula School District (PSD) and the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District (PenMet Parks) approved a joint use interlocal agreement on June 4, which allows PSD and PenMet Parks to work together in partnership to increase community use and development of our local facilities and open spaces. Both agencies will be able to provide more cost effective educational and recreational programs by maximizing public utilization of facilities.

“Our students and families win when we form strong community partnerships,” said PSD Superintendent Krestin Bahr. “During my time at Tacoma Public Schools, we worked closely with Tacoma Metropolitan Parks. I am looking forward to forming a similarly successful partnership with PenMet Parks, to enhance educational and recreational opportunities for children while streamlining our processes.”

PSD and PenMet Parks have worked together and collaborated informally for years. This formalized partnership supports goals related to incorporating inclusion for all ages and abilities, especially for people furthest from health and wellness opportunities, and maximizing community use of public facilities owned by PenMet Parks and PSD. Examples of additional programming considerations are after school youth sports, outdoor education, swim lessons and aquatics recreation, camps and programs after school, during breaks, and in the summer.

“The 2023 State of Play report for Tacoma-Pierce County revealed only 26% of youth in our community meet the CDC’s recommendation of 60 minutes of daily physical activity,” said PenMet Parks Executive Director Ally Bujacich. “This partnership will create more access to recreation and physical activity opportunities for children by mutually prioritizing each agency’s use of facilities.”

The agreement goes into effect on July 1, but no immediate changes are planned to current facilities reservation processes or fees. PenMet Parks and PSD will launch a mobile recreation program at three elementary schools this summer, with additional programs to launch in 2025 and beyond. 

Read the interlocal agreement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W48Rcu9hfXkHBREd4fYs3PxC1J25six9/view

Read FAQs about this partnership: https://penmetparks.org/peninsula-school-district-partnership/

Peninsula School District Partnership FAQs

PSD and PenMet Parks have a long history of working collaboratively to serve our community. Washington State law allows public agencies to contract with each other to deliver public services through an interlocal agreement. This agreement formalizes the partnership and allows PSD and PenMet Parks to work together to deliver educational and recreational services to our community.

The partnership advances each organization’s strategic direction and supports shared goals related to:

  • Community recreation and education;
  • Promoting the health and general welfare of our community*;
  • Enhancing the educational and recreational opportunities afforded to children; and
  • Cooperating and coordinating with other government agencies to innovatively deliver services to the community in the most cost-effective manner possible that incorporates inclusion for all ages and abilities, especially for those populations furthest from health and wellness opportunities.

*The 2023 State of Play report for Tacoma-Pierce County showed that only 26% of youth in the Peninsula School District meet the CDC’s recommendation of 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

This partnership allows PSD and PenMet Parks to work together in the joint use and development of facilities for increased community use of taxpayer-funded assets. It allows PSD and PenMet Parks to:

  • Maximize the community’s use of public facilities owned by the school district and the park district, for the benefit of the public, by providing more access to taxpayer-funded facilities regardless of ownership.
  • Pool property resources and encourage joint use of school district and park district facilities and grounds for recreational and educational programming for the benefit of PSD students and the general public.
  • Co-host educational or recreational programs for the benefit of our community.
  • Efficiently and consistently manage community use of school district and park district facilities.
  • Comprehensively plan for and develop capital assets and improvements to meet our community’s educational and recreational needs with the least possible expenditure of public funds.
  • After school youth recreational sports.
  • Outdoor education opportunities.
  • Swim lessons and aquatics recreation opportunities.
  • Camps and programs after school, during breaks, and in the summer, such as the mobile recreation program based at Artondale Elementary, Harbor Heights Elementary, and Purdy Elementary this summer.

The timing to implement new programs depends on demand, complexity, and available resources. The mobile recreation program will begin in summer 2024. Other programs will be developed over time.

When government agencies pool resources they can reduce unnecessary redundancies  and provide services more efficiently for the community, resulting in cost savings. For example, existing facilities can be shared to maximize public utilization before considering using taxpayer funds to acquire, develop, or rent new facilities. Specialized equipment can be purchased once and shared rather than duplicated when possible. Interagency partnerships can create additional grant funding opportunities. The partnership does not require PSD or PenMet Parks to financially subsidize the other party’s programs or use of facilities.

Yes, agencies in many communities have similar agreements for joint use, development, and/or operations of facilities, joint programs, and general cooperation. Local examples include Tacoma Public Schools with Metro Parks Tacoma and the Fife School District with the City of Fife Parks, Recreation, and Aquatics Department.

No immediate changes to the reservation process are planned, however the partnership agreement mutually prioritizes PSD and PenMet Parks use of the other party’s facilities for the benefit of PSD students and/or the general public with the goal of maximizing the community’s access to public sports fields and facilities.

PSD and PenMet Parks have recently taken steps together to improve the reservation process based on feedback from user groups, and are committed to continuing to work together to maximize community access to the pooled group of public assets using a consistent and user-friendly process.

At this time PSD and PenMet Parks will continue to independently establish rental fees for community use of respective assets.

Yes, the partnership agreement includes the joint use of PSD swimming pools. We know from recent survey data that access to pools for recreation, swim lessons, and aquafitness are top priorities for our community. This partnership provides an opportunity to work collaboratively toward solutions to meet those needs using existing facilities, including the potential to provide community aquatics programs as early as 2025.

PSD and PenMet Parks both recognize the need for additional turf and lighted sports fields in our community. While no specific projects are presently identified, the partnership provides a formal mechanism for  PSD and PenMet Parks to collaboratively plan and develop assets based on comprehensive community needs and to jointly pursue grants and other funding opportunities. Joint projects will be identified based on community priorities and vetted through the capital planning process.

The partnership agreement is for five years. At the end of five years, it will automatically renew annually and may be terminated by either party with 12 months written notice

The interlocal agreement may be viewed here.

PSD and PenMet Parks will continue to be responsible for the maintenance of their own properties and facilities, however under the partnership will establish joint maintenance standards, when appropriate, where practical and feasible for the safety of all participants in school and recreational activities. The partnership also allows PSD and PenMet Parks to explore the feasibility of shared maintenance responsibilities to reduce overall costs.

Read the interlocal agreement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W48Rcu9hfXkHBREd4fYs3PxC1J25six9/view

Read the news release about this partnership: https://penmetparks.org/peninsula-school-district-partnership

Increased Presence at DeMolay Sandspit

Increased staffing resumes in summer 2024

With an expected increase in visitors, PenMet Parks will once again provide an increased site presence during the summer to help ensure a positive and safe experience for visitors and neighbors.

If you have any questions or wish to share feedback, please call PenMet Parks at (253) 858-3400 or email [email protected].

PenMet Parks and the Peninsula Art League Join Forces

PenMet Parks and the Peninsula Art League announced a collaboration to enhance park, recreation, and art-related opportunities for the Gig Harbor Peninsula. 

“We recognize our growing community needs more park and recreation opportunities, including access to art,” said Ally Bujacich, Executive Director of PenMet Parks. “We are delighted to partner with Peninsula Art League to enhance the services each organization currently provides that benefit our community.”

Through this collaboration, Peninsula Art League is able to increase art-related activities and opportunities through workshops and other events at locations such as the Sehmel Homestead Park Volunteer Vern Pavilion. Peninsula Art League will provide volunteers for PenMet Parks’ art programming and the procurement of artwork for its new Community Recreation Center and other facilities.

“PenMet Parks is a valuable community asset and a wonderful steward of beautiful parks, trails, and gathering spaces,” said Colette Smith, President of Peninsula Art League. “Peninsula Art League is very pleased to collaborate with such a strong community partner to increase opportunities for our community to gather, play, and create.”

Peninsula Art League is a non-profit organization which endeavors to give back to the community with free annual activities such as its 38th Summer Art Festival, July 20-21, 2024. This  year, the event will be held at Sehmel Homestead Park. Peninsula Art League will also hold its 22nd Annual Open Juried Show at the Harbor History Museum from October 5 to November 22, 2024.

PenMet Parks exists to enhance the quality of life by providing parks and recreation opportunities for our community. The District manages nearly 650 acres of parkland in unincorporated Pierce County on the Gig Harbor Peninsula and provides hundreds of recreational programs and events every year for all ages and abilities. In 2024 PenMet Parks will celebrate 20 years of being deeply rooted and boldly growing in our community.