Washington Park Arboretum

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Wetlands in the park by Foster Island
The park's northern entrance

Washington Park is a public park in Seattle, Washington, USA, most of which is taken up by the Washington Park Arboretum, a joint project of the University of Washington, the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, and the nonprofit Arboretum Foundation. Washington Park also includes a playfield and the Seattle Japanese Garden in its southwest corner. The entire length of Arboretum Creek is within the park.

To the north is Union Bay; to the west are Montlake and Madison Valley; to the south is the Washington Park neighborhood; and to the east is the Broadmoor Golf Club.

Lake Washington Boulevard E. runs north and south through the park, parallel to the creek. A secondary road, for most of its length named Arboretum Drive E. and for a short northern stretch named E. Foster Island Road, runs along the Arboretum's eastern edge. E. Interlaken Boulevard and Boyer Avenue E. run northwest out of the park to Montlake and beyond. State Route 520 cuts through Foster Island and the Union Bay wetlands at the park's northern end, interchanging with Lake Washington Boulevard just outside the arboretum entrance. A foot path winds underneath the freeway overpasses and over boardwalks, along the Lake Washington ship canal, past the Museum of History and Industry, and into the gardens of the Arboretum.[1]

The land upon Washington Park Arboretum has been developed is owned by the city, but the Arboretum is operated primarily by the University of Washington.


Gadwalls and other waterfowl feed in the park

Washington Park was developed on land that had been logged by the Puget Mill Company for sixty years. In 1920, the parcel was split in two. The eastern 200 acres (0.8 km²) were developed as the Broadmoor Golf Club by a group of businessmen that included E. G. Ames, general manager of Puget Mill. The western 230 were given to the city, who developed a park and arboretum on the site. On the basis of the agreement approved by the University of Washington (Board of Regents) and the City of Seattle (City Council/Mayor), The Washington Park Arboretum was established in 1934[2]

Highway construction impact[edit]

Arboretum Creek just south of the Lynn Street Aqueduct

The potential impact of the recent[timeframe?] plans to reconstruct and expand State Route 520 and replace the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge have raised concerns among Arboretum staff and park users.[3] As the members of the Arboretum community noted in their collective letter to the Washington State Department of Transportation, "Native plants, wetlands, and wildlife ... would be affected not only by the taking of land but by the looming shadows created by roadways in various proposals".[4] Among the alternative proposals is the "Arboretum Bypass Plan," building the new elevated highway over Union Bay on a more northerly route than the current one.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/wpa.shtml
  2. ^ "Washington Park Arboretum". Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tranquil Arboretum caught in 520 storm: Public balks at 6-lane road so close to park. By DEBERA CARLTON HARRELL, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2006-Oct-31.
  4. ^ Position Statement from the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens Committee to WSDOT Environmental Manager, September 15, 2006. Accessed online August 30, 2007.
  5. ^ Washington Park Arboretum: 520 Bridge ReBuilding Plan Updates

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°38′13″N 122°17′46″W / 47.637°N 122.296°W / 47.637; -122.296