Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park
by Stuart Isett
The new Point Defiance park, designed by landscape architects Site Workshop, finally opened this weekend. The Point was formed by toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city's industrial heyday and I got to spend the day doing what I love most, doing street photography, capturing people interacting with the new space. Author Frank Herbert was from Tacoma and writer of the sci-fi classic "Dune." Tacoma's history of industrial pollution, and the towering sight of the city's copper smelter in particular at Point Defiance inspired some of the environmental themes in the book.
After three years of construction, Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park opened on July 6, 2019. The 40-acre project includes a series of slides down a 60-foot slope, tree stumps raised high for raptors and salmon to perch on and fields of wild flowers and grasses over what was once one of the nation's largest superfund sites. The old adage, the "Tacoma Aroma", is hopefully a thing of the past!