2011 update: New equipment is in at the park and in constant use by very happy kids. Lincoln now has one of the best playgrounds in the city, (with bathrooms!) you should check it out. I need to post some pictures soon.
Several neighborhood groups organized a play time at Lincoln Park yesterday, to "send a strong non-verbal message to some park inhabitants (homeless individuals) that we deserve a safe park to walk through and play. They urged neighbors to "start USING this park and make it less desirable for unwanted activity to happen in this park." Well, I will definitely be back.
About 20 people got together to play in the park yesterday, over the course of a few hours. Although this was a small group for a park nearly the size of Wright Park, it was enough to drive transients to the perimeter and make the area look much more inviting.
Even in its present somewhat neglected state, (renovations begin this Spring) Lincoln Park is quite beautiful. It shares more than just size with Wright Park - the long green lawn is covered with mature, shady trees, and glimpses of Lincoln High School through the trees remind a visitor of the Stadium District.
Although right now there's just one very small old Big Toy play structure, the kids seemed to have plenty of fun appreciating the trees and wide open space. We ran into Pink Cookie Lady (Gretchen) of Herban Cafe (no one's paying me to mention them so much! They're just everywhere, making friends. This is good.) handing out Pink Cookies to the friendly people of the Lincoln District.
Gretchen and her kids had to leave early, due to the locked bathrooms. We also had to leave earlier than I would have liked for the same reason, but we came back about an hour later and found that although the big group had split up, pockets of activity remained throughout the park, with many people strolling around the park, pointing out its features as if they hadn't been there in quite some time, and smiling.
There's good news for Lincoln Park:
- Due to the hard work of neighborhood groups, Park Bond renovations have been moved up to this Spring, and safety additions such as lighting will be installed.
- With the Yakima overpass re-opened, you can now drive straight to Lincoln Park from North and Central Tacoma by taking N 21st, which turns into I, then turns into Yakima, then leads straight across the freeway to the park on Thompson. I hope more Tacomans use the Yakima overpass as a quick way to explore the Lincoln District, which is one of my favorite parts of the city.
- Although it's a big park, 2 moms (or dads) and their kids are enough to drive most of the illicit activity to the outskirts. The park's current residents didn't seem too happy to see us, but there was no whiff of confrontation as they walked away. So don't be afraid to make a playdate and meet up at Lincoln Park, it's a beautiful place.