If you live in or near Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood, you can’t miss the extraordinary job that Friends of Madrona Woods has done over the past few years restoring the trails and forest habitat of Madrona Woods, the wooded hillside area below 38th Avenue along Lake Washington. Both adults and schoolchildren have given many afternoons and weekends to tear out exotic plants and trees and reforest the Woods with native shrubs and trees. No longer do you see much of the dreaded ivy, holly, English laurel and Himalayan Blackberry that chokes everything it touches in these parts.
Now, the Friends of Madrona Woods and Seattle Parks & Recreation are ready to turn their attention to a stream none of us may have ever heard of or seen: Madrona Park Creek. The reason we haven’t heard of it is that decades ago, city engineers (in their wisdom) decided that the best stream was one they could cage in pipes and route underground. In the process, many a beautiful stream along the Lake vanished. The City and local volunteers have been “daylighting” some of these stream over the past few years. Now, it’s Madrona Park Creek’s turn for restoration to all its historic ‘daylit’ glory.
The Creek comes out of Madrona Ravine, a hillside along the Spring Street right of way below 37th Avenue. The project’s goal will be to daylight the stream from this point all the way to Lake Washington. In the process, they will be creating beautiful natural pools and small waterfalls, along with bridges and viewing platforms that will enhance the beauty of this area and our neighborhood.
We must thank the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Starflower Foundation who have provided grants to begin the project. By its conclusion, the project will cost anywhere from $300,000-500,000. Work may begin as early as Summer, 2004. Here are some further project details:
1.MADRONA RAVINE: Restore and daylight 150 feet of creek up to 38th Avenue; Provide pedestrian access from 38th Ave. to new Overlook Deck at creek; Clear remaining invasive plants up to 37th Avenue; and Revegetate/seed ¾ acre of existing park with native plants.
2.MADRONA WOODS: Restore 300 feet of existing creek channel and create an additional 505 feet of new channel up to Lake Washington Boulevard; Include new creek culvert under 38th Avenue from end of Madrona Ravine creek at 38th to beginning of new Madrona Woods creek channel; Provide minimum of 2 new pedestrian bridges/overlooks for the creek and related trail improvements; and enhance and revegetate 1 acre of existing park with native plants.
3.MADRONA BEACH PARK: Daylight 325 feet of new creek channel; Create new Lake Washington cove or estuary; Include new creek culvert under Lake Washington Boulevard; Provide pedestrian access trail with 1 new bridge over the creek; and revegetate 1 acre of existing park with native plants, including emergent wetland vegetation within the new lake cove or estuary.
One of the most exciting portions of this plan will create new wetlands along the shore of Lake Washington and bring the shore farther in toward land. This will allow the creation of a new wetland community including a salmon habitat which has not existed here for many decades.
The map below shows Lake Washington and the Madrona Park creekbed to Lake Washington Boulevard and beyond in a westerly direction.
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