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PenMet Parks was formed on May 18, 2004 by a vote of the people on the Gig Harbor Peninsula, outside the City of Gig Harbor.  

State legislation was passed in 2002 enabling the formation of metropolitan park districts in unincorporated areas.  As municipal corporations, these newly formed districts had taxing authority to support the delivery of services and capital projects.  Consequently the formation of PenMet Parks in 2004 and the improved funding options enabled park planning and the delivery of much needed services easier.  The legislative changes enabling the formation of metropolitan park districts in unincorporated areas enabled the District to issue $6.5 million in park development bonds for improving Sehmel Homestead Park and provide funding through property taxes for maintenance, operations and additional improvement projects for other District park properties.  The metropolitan park district funding will provide further development of a comprehensive park system for the community.

The purpose of the formally named Peninsula Metropolitan Park District is to provide for the management, control, improvements, maintenance, and acquisition of parks and recreational facilities within the area of unincorporated Pierce County west of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and east of the Purdy Bridge (excluding the City of Gig Harbor).