A Parkland Treasure Map

by MariHa Casas, Caroline Dreher, and Taylor Lunde

Stereotyping is a process by which people make inferences about a particular thing based on oversimplified images or ideas. Although people try to avoid stereotyping, it is unavoidable that they make assumptions; people do it unconsciously. As a result, it is no wonder that with all the millions of cities and towns around the world, most are seen through the lens of one or more stereotypes. While places can be correlated to a positive stereotype, many end up with just the opposite. Most often, cities end up receiving a negative stereotype due to people having a lack of knowledge about the city. Since there are some many cities in the world—one will never visit them all—people rely on other’s opinions to develop an idea about a place. Encompassed within those ideas are easily mapped-out statistics like crime and poverty. But people neglect other aspects of place that can only be known through experience. Therefore, when it comes time for people to formulate an opinion about an area, they are mislead by the facts and statistics available to the public. As a result, and over time, we end up with stereotypes that have very little truth because one person did not like a place and everybody else took their word for it.

For instance, if anyone has ever heard of Parkland, Washington, they probably believe it is an ugly, dangerous city with violent crime rates 3% higher than the Washington average (areavibes.com). However, Parkland’s violent crime rate is in fact 23% lower than the national average and the chances of being a victim in a violent crime in Parkland are only 1 in 327. In addition to these facts, Parkland is actually safer than 17% of cites nationwide.

Some other stereotypes we may have heard include the idea that Parkland is poor. Although this does have some element of truth, especially when we compare it to a city like Bellevue, Washington, there is some misunderstanding. An interesting aspect about Parkland is that fact that Pacific Ave, the road that divides Parkland in half, each half has vastly different incomes. People who live on the west half of Pacific Ave have an average income of $39,000 while the east half has an average income of $54, 000. This suggests that the community is much more economically diverse than many expect. Further, it suggests that other factors—no poverty—motivate some negative attitudes toward the area.

Although Parkland is consumed by numerous stereotypes, especially negative ones, probably the most untruthful one is the idea that Parkland has nothing to offer and nothing to do. However, as we have seen above, stereotypical ideas of Parkland have very little truth. In fact, if people were not in such a rush, they might actually able to see what cities like Parkland have to offer and establish their own opinions. Even though people come and go from Parkland constantly because half the population is PLU students, most just pass through in order to reach their desired destination.. People will travel through Parkland on Pacific Ave in their cars because it’s on their way to work or it’s the only way to reach an intended destination like Seattle.

In addition to the very quick passers, we also have the constant flow of students who attend Pacific Lutheran University. Many of these students only stay just long enough to receive their degree and then move on. However, what both have in common is the fact that they never explore Parkland. As a result, those who only see Parkland through their stereotypical perspective miss out on all the hidden treasures Parkland has to offer. When people become willing to take the time to look past the stereotypical ideas of Parkland and become accustomed to the area, the unique places are revealed. Furthermore, as one might be tempted to believe that there may not be many hidden gems in Parkland since it is only 7.4 square miles, if one is willing to explore, they may be surprised to see what Parkland has to offer.


The hidden treasures of Parkland, Washington:

BROOKDALE GOLF COURSE & RESTAURANT, 1802 Brookdale Rd E. Brookdale Golf Course & Restaurant is a beautiful, old style golf course built in 1931. The course offers wide, tree lined fairways with a beautiful view of Mount Rainier. No matter what level of experience, every player is welcome at Brookdale. In addition to the beautiful views, their rolling fairways make the course playable all year long. Prices and Details can be found on their website: http://www.brookdalegolfcourse.com/

GONYEA PLAYFIELD, 10th Avenue S. Gonyea Playfield is a cozy, friendly playfield and park. Gonyea offers a number of different activities that can be done on the variety of sports fields it offers, including the multi-purpose baseball, softball and soccer fields. Not only are there multi-purpose fields, but they also have play equipment, a few basketball courts, and a hard surface area for other activities. This is a very family friendly spot that allows for families, groups of friends, or really anyone to come and spend some quality time within the Parkland community.

HAIR MECHANIC JUNKIES, 413 Garfield St S. Hair Mechanic Junkies is far from your average salon. They offer a fun environment with personality and flair that can be seen in the stylists, as well as in the design of the salon itself. The salon is decorated with murals and is very pleasing to the eye. They strive to make their clients happy and eager to return for future artistic ideas and looks. Prices and details can be found on their websit: http://www.hairmechanicjunkies.com

IMAGINATION SCHOOL, 14824 C St S. No two people are alike and a child’s learning style may differ from the typical style of the class. As a result, many people know or have experienced that sometimes a public education isn’t the right fit for every child. At Imagination School, teachers provide an alternative education to public school for children in grades K – 6th. As a Montessori style private school, they strive to provide a motivating environment by focusing on exploring a child’s inner creativity and most importantly the use of their imagination. At the school, they also make sure to limit the number of students per classroom so that each student gets the individual attention he or she needs. Imagination School is the perfect alternative school for a child whose individual needs are not being met from a public education.

INNESSA’S CATERING COMPANY, 301 133rd St S. Innessa’s is a family-owned catering company that specializes in traditional Eastern European foods. Innessa’s operates out of Marvel’s Food and Deli. Therefore, when people decide to host their next big event in Marvel’s reception hall, Innessa’s will handle all of the catering. While celebrating a special event, Innessa’s will cater a family style dinning unless patrons prefer their buffet option with a variety of Eastern European gourmet meals, appetizers and desserts. Unlike most catering company’s which can become very expensive, Innessa’s service and three course meal will only cost $16 to $20 per person. So, whether you want a French cuisine or a traditional German meal there’s no better catering company in the area to fulfill your needs.

JAMES SALES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 11213 Sheridan Ave S. James Sales is a Parkland elementary school that became famous for an award they won. In January of 2012, James Sales Elementary won $100,000 from the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Target. As a result of this gift, the school was chosen as a Washington State School of Distinction.

Students lacking proper school supplies and winter clothes inspired Ellen to begin the “12 Days of Giving” campaign. Each year Ellen wanted to do more and decided to take nominations for schools in need; James Sales Elementary was selected out of 10,000 schools that applied . The principal of James Sales went to L.A for the show and while there she was told the school had won. The money was spent on a variety of school necessities, ncluding a new auditorium sound system, new cafeteria tables, updating library books, new shoes and new playground equipment.

LEMAY MUSEUM AT MARYMOUNT, 325 152nd St E. Raised in Parkland, Washington, Harold LeMay began collecting collector cars as a hobby, but soon developed it into a lifelong passion. With the help of Harold’s wife Nancy, Harold started the original collection of the LeMay Family Vintage Vehicle Collection in the 1960’s. Today, the Lemay family collection includes over 1,900 vehicles; primarily America made. In 1998, the LeMay’s collection was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest antique and vintage vehicle collection. To preserve and showcase America’s artifacts for future generations to enjoy, Harold and Nancy open the Lemay Museum in 1991. The LeMay Museum is a nationally known, nonprofit museum, open six days a week, year round with guided tours. Although Harold passed away in 2000, his collection and museum continue to grow. His wife Nancy continues to maintain the museum.

MARVEL FOOD & DELI, 301 133rd St S. If anyone has ever tried to make a European dish like Spätzle (a special German style egg noodle used in a variety of classic German dishes), they may have had a hard time trying to find the right ingredients at their local grocery story. However, here in Parkland, all worries can be forgotten with a simple trip to Marvel Food and Deli, a gourmet European food store. In addition to carrying an assortment of German foods and ingredients, they also supply a variety of foods from different European countries like France, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine, Russia and many more. Not only does Marvel provide the ingredients needed to cook international cuisine, they pride themselves on making sure they know everything about every product they sell, including how it should be prepared and served. Above all else, Marvel makes sure they bring us their quality food at fair prices. Whether you are a person with money to spend, or a college student on a budget, you can shop Marvel’s specialty foods.

MARZANO ITALIAN RESTAURANT, 516 Garfield St S. In 1993, this little restaurant came to life through the hard work of the owner, Elisa Marzano, who transformed a quaint two-bedroom house into a 55-seat restaurant. In fact, Elisa is not only the owner, she is also the chef. As she was born and raised in northern Italy, she combines authentic Italian dishes with a twist of fresh Pacific Northwest style. The restaurant is very quiet and cozy despite being next to a large university. Although the food at Marzano’s may be a bit expensive, the high quality food and great taste makes it worth the cost.

NORTH PACIFIC COFFEE COMPANY, 401 Garfield Street S. North Pacific Coffee is located just down the street from Pacific Lutheran University. It offers a friendly environment that is great for meeting an old friend, sharing a drink with someone special, or even studying. As North Pacific Coffee Company is right next to the university, it is often a gathering place for college students. Their menu is similar to that of a typical coffee place, with a focus on high quality coffee drinks, light meals, and additional daily specials. They also sell craft beer! This is a fabulous place for various types of people to gather and relax while enjoying a cup of coffee (or something stronger).

PARKLAND FIRST BAPTIST, 1016 112th St S. Parkland First Baptist Church mission is to “love God and serve his people.” Services take place every Sunday morning at 10:00am and they welcome anyone wanting to learn about the Lord. As everyone is invited, they look forward to what the presence of outsiders can bring to the church. Parkland First Baptist also provides a food bank to help the local community. The food bank is located at 11222 10th Ave S, Tacoma, WA.

PARKLAND MURAL, C St S. The Parkland Mural was created by students from Pacific Lutheran University, in collaboration with members of the Parkland community. Realizing that Parkland has its own unique history and cultural identity, the students created the mural to help share those stories on a wall. Its purpose was to unite local artists, students, community organizations, businesses and community members to creatively and collectively tell Parkland’s story. However, at the same time, they hoped it would allow the community members to develop a better understanding of each other. The artists and planners received small grants for the project, which is always on display—rain or shine.

PARKLAND PARISH QUILT CO., 12152 Pacific Avenue S. Parkland happens to be home to a first class quilting company. The Parkland Parish Quilt Company is a high-end quilting company that is very inviting to visitors from the community. This friendly company sells great quality quilting fabrics and patterns. Although it is not widely known to those who do not spend a lot of time in Parkland, it is something to consider checking out. People may want to go there whether it be for their beautiful quilts or perhaps to take one of the many classes they offer for different quilting techniques.

PARKLAND PUTTERS, 10636 Sales Road S. When looking for an outdoor activity, what is better than a casual or perhaps a competitive, game of putt-putt? Located just off the 512 at the Steele Street exit, Parkland Putter is open from March to October for all your mini-golfing needs. They offer four different courses ranging from easy to hard. This course selection allows an option for everyone, no matter their age, experience, or skill. This putt-putt golf course is not only recognized by the Parkland community, but also by KING5 news which ranked Parkland Putters the number four best miniature golf course on KING5 best Northwest Escapes. In addition to being a great escape, Parkland Putters also offers a family friendly atmosphere in which everyone is rewarded—each and every participant receives a ribbon. As this golf course has been thriving in the Parkland community since 1960, it has become a great place to have some fun.

PAUL FRITTS & COMPANY ORGAN BUILDERS, 630 121st St E. In 1979, an American organ builder named Paul Fritts established Paul Fritts & Company Organ Builders in Parkland, Washington. Fritts has dedicated his life to designing and constructing high-quality, historically modeled pipe organs. He spent years researching organs and their acoustical properties in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Mexico, France and the United States. Since 1979, Fritts has created over twenty mechanical action organs, which are displayed all over the country. His work includes his largest piece to date, an organ at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio that has three manuals (keyboards) and sixty-six stops. His second largest organ resides here in Parkland at Pacific Lutheran University with three manuals and fifty-four stops. Even though Fritts’ work is renowned all around the country, he and his team design and construct all of their organs here in Parkland.

SPRINKER RECREATION CENTER, 14824 C St S Ste 107. Sprinker Recreation Center is Parkland’s community recreation headquarters. Established in 1976, Sprinker provides a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including ice skating, tennis, racquetball, wallyball, pickle ball, ping pong, basketball, football, soccer, softball, baseball, and skateboarding. There is no other place in Pierce Country that offers more activities in one place.

Even though Sprinker offers a variety of different activities, there are two activities that are very popular at the center. Sprinker’s ice arena is one of twenty clubs in the Unites States that has received the “Excellence on Ice” award, which recognizes their dedication to coaching juniors on the ice. Their junior program is so strong that most days, no matter what time it is, you will see juniors on the ice. The other prominent activity at Sprinker is the tennis center with four indoor tennis courts and a variety of junior classes for all levels. Sprinker Recreation Center is a great, family friendly place for all ages to enjoy.

TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 12115 Park Avenue S. Trinity Lutheran Church plays a major role in the Parkland community. Like all churches, Trinity Lutheran supplies its community with services every Sunday, but it is behind the scenes where one can find unique and thoughtful events that give back to the community. What most people do not realize about the church is that Trinity Lutheran holds community meals the third Friday of every month. These are free warm meals offered to the entire community from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. This is an extremely unique event that not only provides people with warm food, but also helps to bring the Parkland community together.

WINTERFEST, Pacific Ave. S. & 121st Ave S. Winterfest takes place every December, where it provides Christmas gifts to children in Franklin-Pierce and Bethel School Districts who do not have access to gifts. Winterfest helps build the communities in Parkland and Spanaway by connecting residents and families together across social and economic barriers that often keep them divided. Winterfest is located at PLU’s East Campus (Old Parkland Elementary). They accept many items and would love for people to make tax-deductible donations. Volunteers are always needed! Contact: winterfest@plu.edu


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