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First Creek Action Plan


The First Creek Action Plan is a consensus vision and framework for action to improve the First Creek corridor. A supplemental map was created to identify key project opportunity areas.

The Plan will be presented to the City Council Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
Image of First CreekIn 2011 and 2012, community members partnered with the City, the Puyallup Tribe, the Tacoma Housing Authority and other agencies to develop a vision and action plan to restore and enhance East Tacoma’s First Creek corridor. The effort was lead by a Stakeholder Committee representing public agencies, community groups and property owners. The Committee worked with staff and consultants to develop a consensus vision for First Creek, along with a framework for action. Three public workshops were held in 2011 to gather community input. In addition, to support the effort a Forest Habitat Assessment Report was prepared.

What is First Creek?

First Creek is one of the defining natural features of East Tacoma. It shapes and defines the neighborhood, and has deep cultural and historic significance to the Puyallup Tribe and others. The Creek is part of a drainage basin of approximately 2,500 acres. It is characterized by an abundance of wildlife and vegetation, some public access, a mix of public and private ownerships, and an important stormwater management function.

Over the years, the Creek suffered impacts from both development and neglect. The past few years have seen a change; the community and public agency partners have made significant progress to address problems.

Perhaps the most significant milestone was re-branding. For decades the creek was known only as the “T Street Gulch”. Historically, this was the first creek reached when canoeing up the Puyallup River. Community activists promoted changing the name to “First Creek” in order to better identify it as an important community asset.

MLK Day Garbage PileIn addition, tons of garbage have been removed, invasive plants replaced with natives, signage installed and more. First Creek work parties meet regularly to conduct cleanup activities. For more information, visit the Green Tacoma Partnership.


Scope of Work

The Action Plan is a well-vetted community vision for First Creek as an invaluable open space, stream, stormwater, aesthetic and recreational asset. Key objectives include restoring habitat, removing dumped material, enhancing public access and education opportunities, improving water quality, and empowering volunteers.

The Plan establishes consensus on action items over a five to ten year period, and identifies the likely public and community partners that can take the lead on each action. It will be up to those partners to determine which actions to pursue. Though implementation is resource-dependent, having a clear roadmap will help all stakeholders to make coordinated, consistent progress to achieve the community's vision for First Creek.

The First Creek Action Plan is intended to build on the momentum established by neighborhood volunteers and activists, and be a communication tool to attract new stakeholders and resources.

Project Timeline

City Council Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee
September 11, 2013
Tacoma Municipal Building North, Room 16
4:30 PM

Action Plan Development

First Creek Implementation Steps

Public Workshops

Portland Avenue Community Center
3513 Portland Avenue
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
7 PM - 8:30 PM
First Creek tour prior to meeting from 5 PM - 7 PM
Contact the staff if you would like to come along

Salishan Family Investment Center
1724 E. 44th Street
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
7 PM - 8:30 PM

First Creek Youth Summit

Salishan Family Investment Center
1724 East 44th Street
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
10 AM - 3 PM

Staff Contact

Desiree Pooley
(253) 502-2126