Park Where ‘Dune’ Author Frank Herbert Lived Finally Named After His Best Selling Sci Fi Book of All Time

It’s official: “Dune” won’t just be the name of a classic science-fiction book series.

“Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park” was given the green light Monday night by the Metro Parks Tacoma board of commissioners.




The 11-acre park with grassy hills will feature the Frank Herbert Trail. Herbert was the Tacoma-born author of the “Dune” stories that told of environmental destruction on a planetary scale.

“Frank Herbert won the most prestigious awards in science fiction. Geographic features on Saturn’s moon Titan are named after words coined by him. And yet, not many people know he’s a native of Tacoma,” said Metro Parks commissioner Erik Hanberg. “His experiences in Tacoma shaped his appreciation for the delicate balance of nature, so it feels right to attach his name to a park that reclaims toxic land.”

Dune Peninsula is being built on the former ASARCO Superfund slag heap. Though technically it will be park of Point Defiance Park, its geography makes in a separate location. It will be connected to the park proper by a half mile-long multi-use trail.

A sloped event lawn will use two of the park’s acres and feature a 2,000-square-foot plaza for a temporary stage with an audience capacity of up to 2,500 people.

The trail from the main park to Dune Peninsula also will connect to Ruston Way. It will feature slides next to stairs from the hillside to the waterfront.

Dune Peninsula is slated to open in late 2018 along with Wilson Way, the new pedestrian bridge at Point Defiance, and the trail.




Naming the park for Herbert was a years-long crusade.

Originally, Hanberg, former Tacoma Landmarks Commissioner Daniel Rahe and PostDefiance.com founder and co-managing editor Katy Evans championed the cause. During the process, Metro Parks Tacoma decided to re-examine how its parks are named.

“Dune” the book came out in 1965. It had five sequels. It was made into a 1984 movie by “Twin Peaks” director David Lynch. It was also made into a 2000 mini-series starring William Hurt.

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