Washington Park Arboretum Creek Headwaters Project

Updated: November 6, 2023

Fall 2023

The Friends of Arboretum Creek (FOAC) are continuing efforts to reunite clean, year-round springs with Arboretum Creek. FOAC and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) are working together to secure construction funding from multiple sources such as King County and Washington State Department of Ecology. The design team is on track to deliver 60% design documents by the end of the year. The team anticipates that the design drawings will be completed in 2024. Dependent on construction funding and permitting, the project aims to be in construction in 2025.

In 2022:

  • The consultant engineering team has completed a 30% design which can be viewed on the Friends of Arboretum Creek website. The project team presented the design to SPR’s Pro-view Committee and Washington Park Arboretum’s Master Plan Implementation Group. 
  • FOAC established a new design contract with Jacobs Engineering to continue with the design and construction documentation. FOAC estimates that there’s enough secured King County grant funding to cover the remainder of the design investment.

In 2021:

  • Early in 2021, FOAC Received endorsement for the 10% design option from the SPR Pro-view Committee and the Master Plan Implementation Group at the Washington Park Arboretum. This option included adding catch basins and infrastructure to divert (and clean) storm runoff away from the Japanese Garden and nearby streets. This was a key design improvement that helped enable the KC Flood Control design grant.
  • FOAC published a new website with critical artwork that shows our vision for the future of Arboretum Creek.
  • FOAC added numerous native plants at the visioning site. Thanks to the Matsen's for their support and to Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and the UW Botanic Garden (UWBG) for their guidance.
  • FOAC initiated work parties along Arboretum Creek with key guidance from Seattle Parks and Recreation, especially Matthew Hilliard, and Alyssa Henry with the Arboretum Foundation.

Previous years:

  • In 2020, FOAC continued to expand the organization through community outreach while coordinating with King County, The Arboretum Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.
  • In 2018, with support from a King County grant, FOAC determined the water in Alder and Alley Springs is clean and available to be reunited with Arboretum Creek. This clean water is currently routed into the King County Sewer, which reduces needed system capacity.


Washington Park Arboretum


In 2022:

  • In August of 2022, a $25,000 grant from the Aldarra Foundation, was secured by the Arboretum Foundation. This critical commitment to restoring the headwaters of Arboretum Creek will undoubtably inspire additional construction funding!

In 2021:

  • In September, FOAC was awarded a significant grant from King County Flood Control which will cover all remaining costs associated with the project design.

In 2020:

  • FOAC hired an engineering team, using a second and newly approved King County grant, to study and refine the design options for reuniting Alder & Alley Springs with Arboretum Creek. You can learn more about this critical opportunity to restore Arboretum Creek on the FOAC website - Friends of Arboretum Creek.
  • FOAC hired a local artist, Gail Wong, via a City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) grant, to help illustrate the FOAC vision of Arboretum Creek as a flourishing ecosystem.

Schedule / Community Participation

Held a successful virtual Community Meeting, on October 15th, 2020, to review the latest design options and the current state of the visioning artwork. You can review the video of the meeting, or read the Executive Summary, on the FOAC website - Friends of Arboretum Creek.

The Friends of Arboretum Creek plans to continue neighborhood engagement, enhance the website with a flourishing vision of Arboretum Creek, continue to raise funds for restoration and outreach while promoting a mutually acceptable design for uniting the uphill springs with Arboretum Creek.

News Items / Links

Parks and Recreation

AP Diaz, Superintendent
Mailing Address: 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
Phone: (206) 684-4075
Fax: (206) 615-1813

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