Pierce County Parks and Recreation and Public Works and Utilities purchased the 932 acres that comprise Chambers Creek Properties over a period of 40 years. The land had been altered by 110 years of sand and gravel mining. A 50-year Master Site Plan for the acreage was completed in 1997, following input from cities and neighbors that included University Place, Lakewood and Steilacoom. The Foundation notes with pride that the Master Site Plan received the 2004 American Planning Association National Planning Award, and that the role of the Foundation was mentioned in the Award citation.
Nearly seven hundred acres of land have been designated for recreational and educational use by the public. The Robert Trent Jones firm was retained to design Chambers Bay Golf Course. Other planned public uses include a view restaurant, hiking trails with amenities, beach access, environmental education facilities, a native plant arboretum, acres of open space and a play area for children. These projects have the potential to generate revenue to maintain the Chambers Creek Properties over time and positively impact the economies of surrounding cities.
The remaining 200+ acres will be devoted to expansion of the Chambers Creek Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant. Construction of man-made ponds and streams will be designed to provide tertiary wastewater treatment that will be recycled to provide a irrigation capability for the Chambers Creek Properties. Six hundred fifty acres of the former gravel mine will be returned to productivity though the use of reclaimed water and bio-solid-amended materials manufactured on-site.
The Chambers Creek Foundation and Pierce County have entered into a written Operating Agreement, which designates the Foundation to serve as the exclusive tax-exempt, charitable partner for raising, managing and allocating gifts and donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations for the site. The intention of designating one entity to receive such donations is to provide consistency, uniformity and avoid duplication of efforts. Consistent with this intention, the Foundation will collaborate with other regional projects with similar goals, such as Puget Sound Partnership, Metropolitan Parks and others to avoid duplication of services, while expanding and enhancing the recreational and environmental educational opportunities region-wide.
The Foundation Board receives and reviews potential development plans for projects on the Chambers Creek Properties submitted by other community organizations and interested citizens.