Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife and increase harmony between humanity and nature.

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

Speak Up!

The Arboretum Foundation and UW Botanic Gardens have launched a broad, state-funded survey to learn about the needs and preferences of our community regarding the future of the Washington Park Arboretum. They are hoping to get feedback from current park users and potential new visitors.

A focal point of the survey is the North End parcel, the 28-acre peninsula on the shores of Union Bay immediately northwest of the Arboretum. On this map the area is labeled "WSDOT Peninsula" and it includes the land surrounding Kingfisher Cove. Currently, it is a staging/office area for the 520 bridge construction. The land is to be returned to the Arboretum, via the Seattle Parks and Recreation partnership, after the completion of the 520 projects. This is the largest expansion of the Arboretum in decades and most likely nothing comparable will ever happen again.

At this stage, the Arboretum leaders are collecting very broad input and ideas, but priorities include recognizing the Coast Salish peoples as the original inhabitants of the land, expanding shoreline access, and restoring Arboretum Creek.

(This artwork, by Gail Wong, was paid for by a Seattle Neighborhood Matching fund grant.)

The Friends of Arboretum Creek are focused on three areas of restoration for Arboretum Creek:
  • Restoring year-round flow in the headwaters of the creek, 
  • Adding native keystone plants and trees (as shown in the artwork above), and the
  • Daylighting of the lower portion of Arboretum Creek. 
Together, these improvements will benefit native trees and plants, while attracting a wide variety of native fish and birds. While also, hopefully, inspiring a healthy and long-lasting relationship with nature for future generations of local residents. Click Here to learn more. 

The daylighting, near the mouth of the creek, will return it to the surface and allow fish to enter the stream for the first time in nearly one hundred years.

Of course, there are many other projects and potential aspirations for the Arboretum. Click Here to learn more about a variety of current projects and endeavors in the Arboretum.

As the author of this blog, focused on co-existing with nature, as an Arboretum Foundation board member, and as the president of Friends of Arboretum Creek, I am asking you to please take a few minutes to complete this survey. 

There are both specific and open-ended questions in the survey. Knowing what you find most important will help you to effectively express your guidance and direction. My suggestion is to decide on three points you would like to emphasize before you begin. To take the survey:

Thank you for caring about our shared future in one of our most delightful, healthy, and inspiring public spaces!


ps: In case you are wondering how having fish in Arboretum Creek might enhance your park experience here are just a few of the species they attract to Union Bay.

Belted Kingfisher - female

Pied-billed Grebe - near 520

Green Heron - first year

Great Blue Heron

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle - near Husky Stadium

Bald Eagle - Montlake Cut nest


Osprey - Union Bay Natural Area nest

River Otter - photographed on Duck Bay - into which Arboretum Creek flows.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I saw the notice about the survey when last walking through the Arboretum and of course promptly forgot about it when I got home. Thank you for making this accessible through your beloved Union Bay Watch site. All the best to a great community leader!