Colman Park Vegetation Management Plan

Updated: March 1, 2019

The public comment period for the Colman Park Vegetation Management Plan runs from Friday, March 1, 2019 through Sunday, March 31, 2019. Comments can be sent to

Colman Park Vegetation Management Plan (VMP)

The Colman Vegetation Management Plan is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Seattle Parks and Recreation, Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) and the community. The goal is to adopt a VMP that will help guide future restoration work that is consistent with best practices and aligns with current city initiatives.


Vegetation Management Plans are written to guide the growth, development, and maintenance of parks and open spaces. Each Vegetation Management Plan is designed to bring together the diverse interests at work (and at play) in a park or open space, and inform and direct the actions of the organizations and individuals that manage it.

A portion of Colman Park is considered an Environmental Critical Area (ECA). It contains a steep slope which is greater than 40%, with a potential slide area, and a wildlife corridor recognized by Washington State Fish and Wildlife Department.

The City of Seattle has an existing land use code for steep slopes and restoration work. The ECA ordinance regulations are contained in Seattle Municipal Code (SMC), Chapter 25.09. This code was updated and adopted by City Council in 2016.

The goal with the VMP for Colman Park is to begin to restore the forest complexity in species type and size which provides better habitat, species diversity, ecological function and slope stability.

SPR has committed to completing a VMP for Colman Park. In order to finalize this project, SPR has planned for and/or implemented the following:

  • SPR assigned Green Seattle Partnership staff to work with Friends of Colman Park Vista (FoCPV) on the VMP outlined in the November 2016 letter.
  • SPR provided a plant list and a created a phased approach for the restoration work.
  • SPR Engineering, Arborist, and Plant Ecologist provided thorough site profile and plan view
  • GSP developed Phase 1 Invasive Plant removal and thinning areas for native plants
  • SPR hired consultant to incorporate needed edits to the VMP 
  • GSP developed and incorporated the Colman park planting plan into the VMP
  • SPR reviewed draft VMP
  • GSP started Phase 2 of the native plan installation

Relevant Links:

One Page Fact Sheet

Vegetation Management Plan


(click for larger view)

timeline from 2014 to present of vegetation management plan

These are some milestones and not an exhaustive list of events and updates related to this project.

March 2019: Draft VMP released for public comments 

February 2019: Update provide at the Board of Park Commissioners

December 2018: SPR finalized planting scope to align with proposed VMP

November 2018: Draft VMP reviewed

October 2018: Colman West Slope walking tour with SPR and community members

May 2018: Colman Park walking tour with SPR and community members

March 2018: Site visit with SPR Engineering, Arborist, and Plant Ecologist to assess environmental conditions

September 2017: Superintendent Aguirre announces SPR decision regarding Colman Park. SPR assigns GSP to work with the community on the VMP that incorporates SPR's needed edits as previously outlined.

June 2017: Briefing at Board of Park Commissioners about Colman Park Restoration Project

2017: Ongoing conversations between SPR and FoCPV, including several Superintendent Reports given at the Board of Park Commissioners.

December 2016: Revised VMP due, with incorporated edits from SPR. Instead, a meeting convened to discuss needed steps for project completion. SPR agrees to hire an environmental consultant to conduct a site analysis and make recommendations associated with the draft plan. Stantec Environmental was hired. Agree to finish VMP after site analysis is completed. ETA is Spring 2017. 

November 2016: Letter sent to FoCPV from Robert Stowers (SPR) laying out the path forward for project completion. This included working with GSP. Updated revisions due to SPR by December 2, 2016. 

October 2016:  Review continues. SPR asked FoCPV to produce a plant list and make needed edits to the draft VMP. Comments were provided to FoCPV by SPR Planning and Natural Resource staff.

July 2016: SPR continues to review draft VMP plan. FoCPV submitted revised VMP.

June 2016: Public workshop. FoCPV presented a site plan, two studies, and draft VMP at ProView meeting. 

May 2016: Public meeting to discuss VMP and review site options.

2015: A Small and Simple NMF was awarded to the Friends of Colman Park Vista (FoCPV) to help them develop a Vegetation Management Plan. The NMF agreement states: 

  • Outcomes: 1) A positive report, approved by the Parks Department, from the geotechnical consultant and (2) an actionable vegetation management plan from the horticulturist consultant, approved for implementation by the Parks Department, as property owner they (Parks) has the final say on design elements and vegetation. If Parks does not approve the plan, DON will not pay for the work.

2014: SPR staff met with a community group who expressed interest in enhancing Colman Park. After site visit and conversation, group pursued a Neighborhood Matching Fund.