Chief Sealth Trail Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Rendering of the planned new sidewalk path and green infrastructure along the Chief Sealth Trail, near Wing Luke Elementary.
Rendering of the planned new sidewalk path and green infrastructure along the Chief Sealth Trail, near Wing Luke Elementary.

Project description

Reducing stormwater pollution and street flooding

More than 12 million pounds of pollution are carried into our water bodies through stormwater runoff each year. Stormwater that falls on the roofs, streets, and parking lots in your neighborhood can pick up harmful pollutants before eventually draining into Lake Washington. The pollutants can harm fish, wildlife, and our ecosystems.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) plans to build new green stormwater infrastructure at the intersection of S. Kenyon St and the Chief Sealth Trail to manage stormwater runoff in the Othello neighborhood. This project will be a green space that uses special soil and deep-rooted plants to temporarily hold and filter stormwater. The project will help protect Lake Washington’s water quality by filtering stormwater from about 25 acres of neighborhood at the top of the hill. It will also provide a new green open space for the community and may be able to reduce street flooding risks in Othello.

This project is in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and their Safe Routes to School program. After SDOT builds a new sidewalk at this location, SPU will install the green stormwater infrastructure.


SPU’s green stormwater infrastructure will be located at the intersection of S. Kenyon St and the Chief Sealth Trail. This is the area east of Wing Luke Elementary, along 39th Ave S. Aerial map of the project area.

What's happening now?

This project is nearing completion of the early planning stage. The project team is considering two different preliminary design options to advance for full design, and we intend to select a preferred option in the first half of 2023. SPU will lead community engagement throughout January of 2023 to learn about how this project can best serve the community and incorporate your feedback into the decision-making process.

The two preliminary design options have several different features and community benefits. See details of the design options and take the survey to give us your feedback. There will also be in-person engagement opportunities at upcoming neighborhood events – please sign up for our project mailing list and/or continue to check this website to stay up to date on these opportunities.

SPU is working closely with SDOT and their Safe Routes to School program to ensure the new green stormwater infrastructure aligns with SDOT’s sidewalk project and the new segment of the Chief Sealth Trail.

Community benefits

Green Stormwater Infrastructure offers multiple benefits to local neighborhoods and ecosystems, including:

  • Lower risk of flooding
  • Healthier creek, lake, and saltwater ecosystems
  • Landscape improvements, new plantings

By partnering with SDOT, SPU can improve open green spaces, align with community priorities for better pedestrian safety and connections, and enhance use of the Chief Sealth Trail.

What options are we looking at?

SPU has developed two design options and is considering the advantages and disadvantages of each design. Option 1 is a smaller facility that provides water quality treatment. Option 2 is a larger facility that provides water quality treatment as well as stormwater runoff and flood storage improvements that will decrease downstream flooding risks. See more details about the two options.

Both options have some interchangeable features like different seating choices or pedestrian paths. The final result may “mix and match” between draft Options 1 and 2.

Community involvement

Community input will be essential to this project alongside technical evaluations in each project phase. The two GSI facility options have differences in terms of public use and aesthetic features. We would like your feedback on what elements are important and meaningful to you. Please complete this survey by January 31, 2023 to share your thoughts.

SPU will be attending the following events to share project information with attendees:

  • Wing Luke Elementary PTO

  • New Holly Lunar New Year Celebration

Please check back as we update our community events calendar or sign up for our project mailing list to stay up to date.

  • 2022 – Early planning begins
  • Early 2023 – Choose preferred project option
  • Mid-2023 – Begin design
  • Mid-2024 – Start of construction

Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

Newsletter Updates


Sign up for the latest updates from Public Utilities

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.