Washington Park Arboretum Creek Water Quality Enhancements

Updated: May 31, 2022

Spring 2022

The Friends of Arboretum Creek (FOAC) are continuing efforts to reunite clean, year-round springs with Arboretum Creek.
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.

Plans for 2022:

  • The consultant engineering team will be finishing the 30% design.
  • Contingent upon the revised construction estimate from the 30% design, FOAC will be applying for construction funding from multiple sources. Target sources for funding include SPR, King County, Washington State Department of Ecology, and numerous others.

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.

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.


Washington Park Arboretum


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