Community Partnerships

The Peninsula School District (PSD) and the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District (PenMet Parks) cooperatively developed an interlocal agreement, which both Boards of Directors approved at their respective meetings on June 4, 2024.

This partnership allows PSD and PenMet Parks to work together jointly 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 the public’s utilization of facilities and improving our efficiencies. This partnership also advances our shared goals and strategic direction.

The 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. Some examples for 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 agreement is in effect as of 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 in summer 2024, with additional programs to launch in 2025 and beyond. We are incredibly thrilled and honored to strengthen our community connections to continue to provide better services to all.

    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.