China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord

W Updated
China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord-sign
China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord-lily
China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord-bird
China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord-forest
China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord-trail
China Lake Park-JB Lewis-McChord-lake

City Listings

City Listing Category
Military Owned Business Location

Geographical Address

Duty Station(s)
Public Address
1811, South Shirley Street, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, 98465, United States
Postal Code

Contact Info


Business Info

Operating Hours
  • Mon 6:30 am - 9:00 pm Open now
  • Tue 6:30 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wed 6:30 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thu 6:30 am - 9:00 pm
  • Fri 6:30 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat 6:30 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sun 6:30 am - 9:00 pm

This 31-acre forested park includes walking trails, a lake, and numerous opportunities to observe wild birds in a wetland habitat like the ones that once flourished throughout Pierce County.

The City of Tacoma acquired the land in 1942 as a natural space for residents to enjoy, and Metro Parks Tacoma has managed the parklands since the 1980s. In 2010, the City formally transferred ownership to Metro Parks Tacoma.

Natural History Apart from the name of the lake, recent history has focused on the threat of continued urbanization to local wetlands and the ecosystems therein. Although it was heavily logged in the 1890s after it was acquired by the City in 1942 for greenspace, the natural areas revived at China Lake.

What are Wetlands? Wetlands are transitional areas between land and water, in this case freshwater ponds. Wetlands support specialized plants, offer refuge and habitat for many species of fish, birds, and wildlife. Nearly thirty distinct types of plants and over ninety different animal species, including mammals, amphibians, and birds, can be found in wetlands like this!

Wetlands contain rich nutrients, absorb excess stormwater to help prevent floods, and clean water by filtering out pollutants and sediment. Wetlands are amazing and diverse: the complex interaction of their basic components – soil, water, animals and plants – have helped sustain the interconnected lives of animals and humans for millennia.

Thanks to wildlife advocates this site has been protected from development over the years and maintained as a valuable habitat for plants and animals.

For more details about wetlands at Snake Lake and China Lake, check out the Tacoma Nature Center’s webpage and interactive programs.


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