Union Bay Natural Area

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Union Bay Natural Area
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Union Bay Natural Area
Map showing the location of Union Bay Natural Area
Location Seattle, Washington, USA
Coordinates 47°39′21″N 122°17′38″W / 47.65583°N 122.29389°W / 47.65583; -122.29389Coordinates: 47°39′21″N 122°17′38″W / 47.65583°N 122.29389°W / 47.65583; -122.29389
Area 50 acres (20 ha)
Established 1972
Governing body University of Washington

The Union Bay Natural Area (UBNA) in Seattle, Washington, also known as Union Bay Marsh, is the restored remainder of the filled former Union Bay and Union Bay Marsh after University Village Shopping Center, the University of Washington (UW) athletic facilities, buildings, and main parking area (E1). It is located at the east end of the main UW campus, south of NE 45th Street and west of Laurelhurst.[1] Ravenna Creek is connected to University Slough (Drainage Canal), thence to Union Bay, and Lake Washington.[2][3] Drainage Canal is one of three or four areas of open water connected with Lake Washington around Union Bay Marsh. The canal extends from NE 45th Street, between the driving range and IMA Sports Field 1, south to the bay, ending southeast of the Husky Ballpark baseball grandstand (northeast of the IMA Building).[4][5] The Drainage Canal that carries Ravenna Creek past UBNA to Union Bay is locally sometimes called University Slough, though that is something of a misnomer in that "slough" is both used in the eastern and southeastern U.S. meaning, rather than the western U.S. meaning, and it is no longer a natural watercourse in that it is a canal that replaced bay and marsh, both now filled.

Gadwalls (Anas strepera) on the west pond

The little grasslands, modest ponds, and lake shoreline of the UBNA is a sanctuary for birds (most dramatically crested cormorants, great blue herons, and eagles);[6] turtles and frogs may be seen. The UBNA is notable for diverse habitats including a good-sized lake, small permanent ponds, seasonal ponds, woods, sample prairie, and marshland. The interfaces among these make the area particularly attractive for birdwatching, with more than 150 species of birds sighted.[7] The canal or slough was part of a restoration of the wetlands called Union Bay Marsh that had been drained by the opening of the Montlake Cut of the Lake Washington Ship Canal (1916) and much of Union Bay filled by the Montlake Dump,[8] (home of J. P. Patches, resident 1958-1981).[9] Formerly the Montlake Landfill,[8] University Dump,[10] or Ravenna Landfill,[citation needed] it was used by the City of Seattle for residential and industrial solid waste from 1911 to 1966.[11] It was fully closed five years later and overlaid with two feet of clean soil.[8][12] Most of the land has been built upon by University Village (1956), UW athletic fields, buildings, and main parking lot E; the remainder comprises the UBNA, colloquially called "the fill".[13]

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) over the south pond

Before the lowering of Lake Washington during the early part of the 20th century,[14] Ravenna and Yesler Creeks flowed into marshland north of where the canal now begins, and the land through which the canal would be cut lay under the waters of Union Bay.[citation needed] The Burke-Gilman Trail follows the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway line along the original shoreline of Union Bay past the UW power plant and University Village. Construction was completed in 2006 on a project that reconnects partially daylighted Ravenna Creek to Union Bay by piping it underground to the canal, thus converting the upper reach from a relatively stagnant drainage to the outlet for one of Seattle's partially restored urban creeks. Daylighting from southeast Ravenna Park to the UW and the UBNA has been blocked by the owners of University Village[15]

Unlike a commons in the UK and Ireland, the UBNA is owned by the State of Washington and held under the aegis of the University of Washington; access is controlled. Parts of the Area are open during park hours, access to other portions is discouraged, some portions seasonally, for habitat or species protection.[16]

Many restoration projects take place at UBNA. Removal of invasive species, such as Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) and Morning Glory (Convolvulus arvensis), are part of a continual effort to restore the site to a natural area. Volunteers account for much of the progress in the Union Bay Natural Area.[17]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ (1) ""University District", map". Office of the Seattle City Clerk. n.d., map.Jpg [sic] dated 13 June 2002. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
    (2) "About the Seattle City Clerk's On-line Information Services". Information Services. Office of the Seattle City Clerk. n.d. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  See heading, "Note about limitations of these data".
    (3) Shenk, Pollack, Dornfeld, Frantilla, & Neman
  2. ^ The UW identifies the body, entirely on its campus, as Drainage Canal since 1970 or earlier.
    (1) University of Washington Computing and Communications, Facilities Services (modified 18 May 2005)
    (2) UW Publication Services & UW Facility Services (revised July 1996).
    (3) University of Washington Publication Services (revised September 1991), from August 1971, revised Sherman (August 1991).
  3. ^ (1) "Union Bay Natural Area". Center for Urban Horticulture. University of Washington. n.d. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
    (2) "HISTORY @ UBNA". Center for Urban Horticulture, Departments of the University of Washington. n.d., 1999 per "Montlake Landfill Information SumMarchy, January 1999" on page. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  4. ^ "University District". Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas. n.d., map.jpg 13 June 2002. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  5. ^ Shenk et al.
  6. ^ (1) P-I Staff (2006-05-14). "Nesting eagles stop fireworks show". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2006-05-14. 
    (2) Gurriere
    (3) Parrish
  7. ^ Dolan & True, pp. 148–150.
  8. ^ a b c "HISTORY @ UBNA". Center for Urban Horticulture, Departments of the University of Washington. (n.d., 1999 per "Montlake Landfill Information SumMarchy, January 1999" on page). Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Stein
  10. ^ Phelps, p.210
  11. ^ Landfill and belatedly, sanitary landfill, succeeding sites 1911, 1920, 1926; closed to the public 1966 or 1967, [Phelps, p. 208, 210]
  12. ^ 1967, Phelps. p. 208
  13. ^ (1) Dolan & True, p. 148
    (2) UBNA, Center for Urban Horticulture, 1980; Laurel Village 1982
    (2.1) "Appendix G: List of Campus Buildings" (PDF). Campus Master Plan. University of Washington. 2003-05-28. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  14. ^ 1916 [Phelps, p. 59]
  15. ^ (1) Ravenna Creek Alliance
    (2) O'Neil
  16. ^ "Union Bay Natural Area". Center for Urban Horticulture
  17. ^ http://depts.washington.edu/ubna/

Bibliography[edit]

  • "About the Seattle City Clerk's On-line Information Services", Information Services, Seattle City Clerk's Office. Retrieved 21 April 2006. See heading, "Note about limitations of these data".
  • "Appendix G: List of Campus Buildings" (PDF). Campus Master Plan. University of Washington. 2003-05-28. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  • Dolan, Maria & True, Kathryn (2003). "Reclaiming Paradise: Union Bay Natural Area" and "Northeast Seattle: Lakes, Ponds, Springs, and Wetlands", in Nature in the city: Seattle, pp. 148–150 and p. 223. Seattle: Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-879-3 (paperback).
    Particularly useful.
  • "Chronology". Ravenna Creek Alliance. n.d., August 1998 per Chronology. Retrieved 2006-04-21. 
  • Gurriere, Joe (3 May 2006). "Windermere Real Estate Cancels Fireworks to Protect Nesting Eagles", Windermere Real Estate Company. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  • "HISTORY @ UBNA". Center for Urban Horticulture, Departments of the University of Washington. (n.d., 1999 per "Montlake Landfill Information SumMarchy, January 1999" on page). Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • O'Neil, Kit, University Community Urban Center, (n.d. [1997 per http://home.earthlink.net/~ravennacreek/chronology.htm]). "Ravenna Creek Daylighting Project". Retrieved 21 April 2006.
  • Parrish, Geov (10 May 2006). "A Parks Lesson Learned: A citizen, the city, a corporation, and a sound decision.", The Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  • Phelps, Myra L. (1978). Public works in Seattle. Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department. ISBN 0-9601928-1-6. 
  • P-I Staff (4 May 2006). "Nesting eagles stop fireworks show", The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  • "Union Bay Natural Area". Center for Urban Horticulture, (n.d.). Retrieved 21 April 2006.
  • "University District". Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas (n.d., map NN-1120S.Jpg dated 13 June 2002), retrieved 21 April 2006. Note caveat in footer.
  • Shenk, Carol; Pollack, Laurie; Dornfeld, Ernie; Frantilla, Anne; Neman, Chris (2002-06-26, maps.jpg c. 2002-06-15). "About neighborhood maps". Seattle City Clerk's Office Neighborhood Map Atlas. Information Services, Seattle City Clerk's Office. Retrieved 2006-04-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
    Sources for this atlas and the neighborhood names used in it include a 1980 neighborhood map produced by the Department of Community Development (relocated to the Department of Neighborhoods and other agencies), Seattle Public Library indexes, a 1984-1986 Neighborhood Profiles feature series in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, numerous parks, land use and transportation planning studies, and records in the Seattle Municipal Archives.
    [Maps "NN-1120S", "NN-1130S", "NN-1140S".Jpg [sic] dated 13 June 2002; "NN-1030S", "NN-1040S".jpg dated 17 June 2002.]
  • Stein, Alan J. (2 March 2003) "Patches, Julius Pierpont", HistoryLink. Retrieved 21 April 2006. Stein referenced Jack Broom, “The J.P. Generation,” Pacific Magazine, The Seattle Times, 4 April 1993, pp. 6–11,14-17;
    Bill Cartmel, “Hi Ya, Patches Pals,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11April 1971, pp. 6–7;
    Erik Lacitis, “Patches Understands – and Survives,” The Seattle Times, 23 February 1978, p. A15;
    [no titles], The East Side Journal, 31 May 1962, p. 3; Ibid. 14 May 1969, p. 19.
  • University of Washington Computing and Communications, Facilities Services (2005). "Northeast Campus Map", UW Home > UWIN > About the UW > Campus Maps. Modified 18 May 2006, retrieved 21 May 2006.
  • University of Washington Publication Services (Revised September 1991). "The University of Washington Campus & Vicinity" map. Compiled, designed, drafted in cooperation between Physical Plant and the Department of Geography, August 1971, revised Sherman (August 1991). Seattle: University of Washington.
  • UW Publication Services & UW Facility Services (Revised July 1996). "The University of Washington Campus & Vicinity" map. Seattle: University of Washington.
  • Walter, Sunny & local Audubon chapters (updated 10 February 2006). "Sunny Walter's Washington Nature Weekends: Wildlife Viewing Locations - Greater Seattle Area". Retrieved 21 April 2006. Walter excerpted from Dolan, Maria & True, Kathryn (2003). Nature in the city: Seattle. Seattle: Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-879-3 (paperback).
    [With additions by Sunny Walter and local Audubon chapters.]
    On-line of the book, but only the viewing locations.

Further reading[edit]