Chief Sealth Trail Green Stormwater Infrastructure

project map
Aerial map view of Chief Sealth Trail near Wing Luke Elementary with new sidewalk path and planned green infrastructure marked. 

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) will 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 polluted 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. 

What's Happening Now?

This project is currently in the early planning stages as we study design options for the green stormwater infrastructure.

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:

  • Increased landscape diversity
  • Lower risk of flooding
  • Healthier creek, lake, and saltwater ecosystems
  • More tree 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.

Community Engagement

Community input will be essential to this project alongside technical evaluations in each project phase. There will be several opportunities for the public to engage and provide feedback throughout the project.

If you are interested in learning more about the project and upcoming community engagement opportunities, please sign up to receive project email updates.

Early 2022

  • Early planning begins

Late 2022

  • Choose preferred project option


  • Begin design


  • Start of construction