Policy Tours


Online registration is now closed.

Please visit the Host State Desk on site to register for a policy tour.



Please note that tours must be registered for in advance.

Guests are welcome to register for a policy tour- a separate registration must be completed for each individual.


Tours will involve moderate amounts of walking, please wear comfortable close-toed, close-heeled shoes.



Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM)

The largest joint base on the West Coast, JBLM provides support to over 40,000 Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve Service members and 15,000 civilian workers, along with training, quality of life programs, and mobilization and deployment operations for Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. JBLM operates innovative programs including the Transition Assistance Program for members preparing for civilian life; the Logistics Readiness Center; the Army’s Environmental Net Zero initiative; and Mobility Guardian, a combined forces training for U.S. and allied nation military force.

Restrictions: Participants must bring a REAL ID compliant photo identification. If the issuing state is not compliant with REAL ID as of August 2017, a state issued identification AND additional documentation is required (click here for a list of approved secondary identification documents). Please click here to find out if your state is REAL ID compliant. Foreign visitors must show current passport.




The Center for Urban Waters

A prominent fixture along Tacoma’s waterfront, the Center for Urban Waters is home to City of Tacoma engineers, University of Washington Tacoma researchers, and the Puget Sound Partnership – each focused on clean water technologies and solutions to protect and restore Puget Sound. The facility, built by a nonprofit corporation created specifically for the project, is located along the east shore of the Thea Foss Waterway, a longtime industrial center that was once among the most heavily polluted in the nation.


On this tour, you will learn how the building reacts and adapts to environmental conditions in order to minimize its use of energy and resources. Built to LEED Platinum certification, this smart building provides real-time monitoring and measuring of energy and water use; a green roof which filters storm water; solar passive design; rainwater collection; natural ventilation; geothermal wells for heating and cooling; and grey water recycling for irrigation. You will also learn about the work of researchers and university students conducting water sampling tests to understand and quantify chemical pollutants in our waterways in the onsite laboratories.


Restrictions: A short portion of the tour is not ADA compliant (roof top, no elevator, only stairs).


Follow these links to learn more about the partnering organizations:



Image result for The Northwest Seaport AllianceThe Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA)

The Port of Tacoma and the Port of Seattle partnered in 2015, forming the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to unify management of marine cargo operations. The alliance is a port development authority governed by the two ports as equal members, with each port acting through its elected commissioners. The two ports form a gateway that fosters economic growth for the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. The Puget Sound is a major gateway to Alaska and Hawaii. More than 80 percent of the total trade volume between Alaska and the lower 48 states moves through the Tacoma and Seattle harbors. The economic reach of the two ports supports more than 48,000 jobs and generates $4.3 billion in statewide business revenue. Maritime cargo activity generates $379 million in state and local taxes, which support education, roads, and police and fire protection


Please join in us for a bus tour of the South Harbor facilities in Tacoma -- a major center for containers, bulk, breakbulk, project/heavy-lift cargo, automobiles and trucks. You will learn about the steps NWSA is taking to modernize its cargo terminals to ensure they handle the largest ships afloat and new technologies it is utilizing to move cargo more efficiently.  View the unloading of a container cargo ship in action and see firsthand how non-containerized and irregular shipments are handled.  You will also learn how the NWSA is helping its customers switch to cleaner burning fuels; its efforts to reduce seaport-related emissions, clean up legacy contamination, restore habitat and find innovative solutions to manage stormwater runoff.  Come learn about this unique gateway, the fourth largest for containerized cargo in the Western Hemisphere.


Restrictions: Participants must bring a photo ID.





Amazon Fulfillment Center

Fulfillment by Amazon enables sellers to use Amazon’s network of more than 100 fulfillment centers and 15 sort centers around the world to store, pack, and ship products directly to customers. Washington State’s four fulfillment centers expand the number of products available for quick delivery in the Puget Sound area and provide thousands of jobs to the region. Amazon’s newest Washington fulfillment center in Kent is a nearly one million square foot robotic equipped warehouse that ships smaller orders of consumer goods.

Restrictions: Platform, open toe, open heel, or shoes with a heel in excess of 1 ½ inch high or less than 1 inch width may not be worn. Long hair must be secured above the shoulders. No pocket knives or guns are allowed. Those wearing a necktie will be asked to remove it prior to going on the tour. No photos or videos will be allowed on the tour.



https://www.tacomaschools.org/PublishingImages/yt-default.pngTacoma Public Schools

Located at Point Defiance Park, the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) provides integrated inquiry-based experiences, combining the arts, science, math, environmental, and marine studies in the unique forest, zoo, and aquarium spaces operated by Metro Parks Tacoma. SAMI’s innovative approach allows student to take personal ownership of their education and by integrating students’ learning around their passions, students come to understand the relevance of their work in every discipline. The result is a 98%+ graduation rate, and the highest math, reading, and writing skills in Pierce County.


By building partnerships and collaborating with local science organizations, including Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium as well as local universities, SAMI facilitates greater resources – such as classes, forums, and special events – for students and community members throughout Tacoma. With its holistic, integrated approach and its emphasis on real world experiences, SAMI equips today’s young learners, ensuring students graduate with the mathematics, science, creative and technical skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global economy. 


You will hear first hand from students about their experience attending SAMI; what a typical school day looks like; and why they chose this learning environment. You will learn about the unique classes offered, how the curriculum is structured, community partnerships, and how SAMI helps students prepare for graduation and move beyond high school.  Additionally, you will tour the SAMI campus and the brand new Environmental Learning Center- a partnership between Tacoma Public Schools and Metro Parks Tacoma, which will be completed this fall.  The 30,000 square foot innovative Environmental Learning Center will feature eight formal learning settings for SAMI and community use, communal space for collaborative and interpretive activities.


Restrictions: None.






For information on policy tours please contact:
Meagan Arndt