Stan and Joan Cross Park opens; design features sustainable restoration of historic barns and accessible play areas
PIERCE COUNTY — Pierce County Parks has completed the development of the northern 4-acres of the 64-acre Stan and Joan Cross Park site. This development represents phase 1 of the park’s master plan.
Stan and Joan Cross Park is the first and only public park serving the rapidly expanding community of Frederickson. Purchased in 2003, this property lies in the heart of an urban growth area and the new park and community center feature environmentally friendly, much-needed outdoor and indoor recreation spaces.
The new park is a multi-faceted and valuable resource for residents. It provides community green space, a universally accessible playground, two historic barns refurbished into a community center, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and picnic areas.
A unique aspect of this project is the inclusion of two historic dairy barns which were restored and improved using sustainable building strategies. Retaining most of their historic materials and assemblages, these buildings serve to educate about local history and current sustainable building practices.
Sustainable building design and construction includes the salvage and reuse of materials from the barns and secondary outbuildings such as milking stanchions repurposed in the community center’s entry design. The interior walls feature paneling made from reconstituted straw, the waste product of grain production and a renewable resource. Water and energy efficiency are built into the restored barn’s systems and indoor air quality is improved through low-VOC finishes.
Cross Park’s design incorporates pathways and accessible picnicking opportunities near wetlands and forested areas adjacent to the newly improved Naches Trail Preserve prairie habitat, giving residents an opportunity to connect with nature. The park also includes plans for the important on-going restoration of the headwaters of Clover Creek and the adjacent priority habitat of prairie grassland, white oak savannah, and wetland. These efforts will help preserve the open space around Cross Park, allowing for wildlife viewing and the mental health benefits nature provides, in an otherwise suburban environment.
Construction began in June 2019 and was completed in September of 2020. Because of COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, a virtual grand opening has been prepared to introduce the community to Stan & Joan Cross Park and the Frederickson Community Center. To view the virtual grand opening, please visit the Cross Park web page. While the community center will remain closed for the near future, the playground, parking lot, accessible restrooms and park grounds are open and available for use from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Park operating hours will be subject to change as we move through fall and winter and daylight hours get shorter.
Cross Park: 4420 Military Road East, Tacoma, WA 98446. (Google has this address, Bing currently does not get it right)
Pierce County Parks would like to thank the following groups and funds for their help in creating the Stan and Joan Cross Park project:
- The Friends of Stan and Joan Cross Park
- The taxpayers of Washington state
- Pierce County impact fees
- Contributing private donors and charitable organizations