Local

Shrubbery outside Tacoma library meant to soften boulders’ appearance

Contract workers from a company hired by the city install trees and shrubs Wednesday around a series of boulders on South 12th Street near the Tacoma Public Library main branch. In the past this parking strip had been a gathering place for homeless people.
Contract workers from a company hired by the city install trees and shrubs Wednesday around a series of boulders on South 12th Street near the Tacoma Public Library main branch. In the past this parking strip had been a gathering place for homeless people. phaley@thenewstribune.com

Many of the boulders are staying across the street from the downtown Tacoma library, but they’ll look less foreboding when the city completes a landscaping project left unfinished last year.

The city this week is putting the finishing touches on a project it launched last year to beautify Earnest S. Brazill Street while adding some features that will deter people from hanging out too long there.

The trouble was that the city got only as far as laying rows of imposing boulders. Some criticized the move as an ugly attempt to prevent homeless people from spending time near the library.

At the time, weather prevented the city from planting trees and following through on its design.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax in a report to the City Council characterized the project as an effort to collaborate with “business and property owners to increase outreach and safety in the area.”

This week, Earnest S. Brazill Street will be closed at times adjacent to the main branch of the Tacoma Public Library on Tacoma Avenue South.

The landscaping plan includes some boulders as well as pine and ash trees. Different kinds of grasses and shrubs also are in the mix.

The city spent about $19,000 on the new landscaping.

The city plans to move some of the boulders that sat along Earnest S. Brazill Street to another location under Interstate 705, city spokeswoman Megan Snow said.

At the new site, the boulders are intended to serve a similar purpose, deterring people from lingering and creating nuisances.

Adam Ashton: 253-597-8646, @TNTMilitary

  Comments