Public Description of Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, King Co., Washington, USA

Title: Public Description
Location: Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, King Co., Washington, USA
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General Description:

From the UW Botanic Gardens Website (

“The Arboretum is a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Washington. Jointly managed by UW and the City of Seattle, its 230 acres are a dynamic assortment of plants found nowhere else. The City owns the land and the University owns all of the trees and plant collections. In terms of care, maintenance and management, the City takes care of the park-like functions (trails, benches, garbage) and the UW Botanic Gardens takes care of the gardens, trees, and plant collections. The Graham Visitors Center contains an information desk and a gift shop managed by the Arboretum Foundation. The Japanese Garden, located at the south end of the Arboretum has an entrance fee and is managed by the City of Seattle.”

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.

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.

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.

The potential impact of the recent plans to reconstruct and expand State Route 520 and replace the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge have raised concerns among Arboretum staff and park users.1 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”.2 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

Habitat Description:

Anything and everything!


Public, but no picking of any plant or fungi is allowed as far as I understand.


Description author: Tim Sage (Request Authorship Credit)


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