Feed on

Today I saw a women scout out the trail and up on the street was a car with a handicapped licence plate and a nice man in a wheelchair over looking the swamp from Surber Drive. I suggested she could try to go around the sidewalk to the entrance at the Eastern edge of the Center for Urban Horticulture and wheel her charge down the more than 5% grade chipped trail to the ADA accessible boardwalk and gravel upland trails. I cautioned that the entrance boardwalk still did not have the kickers so a wheel chair could wheel off.

They wheeled the whole trail.

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They also ascended the steep slope out without too much difficulty . She was strong enough to push him up. She goes to the YMCA regularly.  They were so grateful and are going to spread the word to others in the paraplegic community at UW. We hope to complete the entrance access to ADA standards as soon as the city approves our plans.



Carolyn, Kat, Carol, and Tyler are pictured along with a slide show, historical and present day posters of Yesler Swamp as photographed by Donna Thursday evening June 18th. Virginia also attended. Carol applied for the $100,000+ grant, Carolyn who just graduated from UW and has been working in the swamp restoring native plants with Tyler did the oral presentation. Kat is a masters student at UW who will continue to help us coordinate the flora restoration while we complete the boardwalk. Tyler is coordinating funding, permitting and construction of a bird viewing platform in Yesler Swamp. Quite the team!

Thanks to Herrara Environmental Consultants for contributing dozens of hours to restoring Yesler Swamp! Herrara is an engineering firm that specializes in water, restoration, and sustainable development. The Herrara team was supported by Lewis Johnson, Fred Hoffer, Carolyn Foster, Tyler Licata, and other community volunteers.

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Photos by Lewis Johnson

W9 boardwalk viewing platform

The construction of the environmentally designed, accessible Yesler Swamp boardwalk is more than half way finished and restoration of Yesler Swamp is on the home stretch! All that remains is the East Trail, the entry path, and the viewing platform on the north side of Yesler Swamp.   Generous donors have contributed over $260,000 to fund the restoration and the boardwalk.   Restoration has been amazing! Volunteers have donated hundreds of hours pulling ivy, digging blackberry, and planting native plants. Areas that were once tangles of invasive blackberry and English ivy are now cleared and planted with native willow, dogwood, and evergreens. Friends of Yesler Swamp is now monitoring and reporting progress to the Seattle DPD and other environmental agencies.   We encourage the community to donate to complete Yesler Swamp! Friends of Yesler Swamp has applied for several grants to help finish the work. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund has generously supported Yesler Swamp in the past, and we have requested about $90,000 to complete the East Trail. We have asked King Conservation District – another generous supporter – for about $20,000 to build the viewing platform, finish planting, and fund monitoring and reporting. Finally, we have asked Peach Foundation for about $20,000 to construct the Entry Trail.   Yesler Swamp – one of the last true swamps in Seattle – is a beautiful, serene oasis in the midst of a busy neighborhood. Great blue heron nest on the shore, beaver families live in the beaver lodge, and hundreds of birds perch on its trees and shrubs.   Please visit Yesler Swamp! Dogs on leash are welcome, but please refrain from biking and jogging in this fragile wetland environment.   DONATE to Yesler Swamp either via Seattle Parks Foundation or University of Washington:

Carolyn & Tyler

Friends of Yesler Swamp Board members Tyler Licata and Carolyn Foster presented their Senior Projects to UW faculty members on Thursday evening, receiving enthusiastic applause!  Carolyn’s project in community based restoration reported interviews with 10 environmental leaders and their role in preserving ecosystem services and building social capital in Seattle. Tyler’s project in Environment and Policy detailed his plan for integrating construction with the natural landscape by designing, permitting and building a bird blind in Yesler Swamp.

Congratulations to Carolyn and Tyler. Friends of Yesler Swamp thanks you both for your amazing contributions to Yesler Swamp!

YESLER SWAMP is heading to the final stretch of boardwalk construction and restoration!

Yesler Swamp needs YOUR help to reach the finish line!

On May 5, 2015, the Seattle Foundation sponsors “Give Big.” Donate from midnight to midnight and Seattle Foundation donors will STRETCH your contribution (up to 12% of a $2,500 contribution) to Yesler Swamp. The stretch pool last year was $1 million. Your gift will help Yesler Swamp win its share of this year’s pool.

To stretch YOUR contribution, please donate:  http://www.seattlefoundation.org/search/pages/results.aspx?k=yesler%20swamp

Thank you for helping Yesler Swamp finish the restoration and boardwalk!

The Washington Conservation Corp has been working in three phases from April 2014 till this last Thursday April 23rd, 2015 on boardwalk construction of the ADA compliant boardwalk of Yesler Swamp. This last phase allows viewing of the beaver lodge IMG_2472 from the safe confines of this trail looking out over the lagoon IMG_2470where kayaks and canoes can still travel between the boardwalk and the beaver lodge in high water and

IMG_2471ducks and fish can swim under the boardwalk in high water and we can look back at the

Water + Trees = Swamp!

Now we need to raise more money to get the Washington Conservation Corp to return to build an ADA accessible gravel based entrance and more grant money to build the remainder of the boardwalk loop so wheelchairs, walkers, leashed pets and kids will never have to turn around.


Friends of Yesler Swamp and UW Botanical Gardens asked Lisa Ciecko from the Seattle Parks department to mow the banks on the corner of NE 41st St and Surber Ave. It happens that that land is owned by Seattle Parks. There is a lot of native plant restoration and ADA trail building in the swamp that the neighbors cannot see due to the invasive Himalayan blackberry on the slopes. So now the blackberry is mowed. Our restoration biologists did not want any invasive plants reseeding all of our restoration work. You will have to invade Talaris or another site if you have a craving for invasive blackberry fruit this summer. 

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We found a shopping cart among the blackberries and filled it with other items hidden on the slopes.


David Zuckerman from the Botanical Gardens also saw rats scurrying into the swamp as the mower approached.

The mower, John, from Seattle Parks was very careful not to damage any native trees or native plantings placed by UW Capstone groups over the years or as recently as last weekend.


We will be meeting next week to discuss how to keep the blackberry under control and what to replant.


We, Friends of Yesler Swamp, are getting closer this spring to seeing our dream come true. The workers from the Washington Conservation Corps have been closing the long awaited loop of the new boardwalk that will link the permanent west trail boardwalk and the temporary wood chipped east trail. On this portion of the boardwalk, you will gain a close-up view of the beaver lodge and the 350 new ground cover plants installed in the cove. This area will be “over high water” after April 15th as the lake rises to supply water for the Crittenden locks this spring, summer and fall.


The boardwalk in this area had to be modified by pounding vertical pilings 30 to 50 feet into the ground!


The stringers are cedar rather than treated wood so that the fish would not be exposed to any trace amounts of copper.


We have laid cedar planking over 2/3rd of this area.

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The last third of the walkway in this area will be covered by open metal grating so the fish get enough light and the pedestrians gain enough traction.

This portion will be finished soon but we need donations from the community to complete it.

We are seeking additional grants to fund the completion of the east trail to make the whole system ADA compliant.

Hi Everyone,
I hope you all had happy holidays with family and friends. Our team is excited to start the new year with a work party a week from today on Sunday, January 11 from 10 am to 2 pmMaybe some of your new year’s resolutions involved goals to do more restoration work… :)
Please come for any amount of time that works with your
schedule–every bit helps!

We will be working on the eastern part of the Yesler Swamp trail near the
Beaver Lodge in mitigation zone U3. To find us, head down the trail by the
Yesler Swamp sign at the eastern edge of the eastern parking lot at the
Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street). Then, keep left and
follow signs for the Beaver Lodge. You can also give me a call at
360-773-5228 when you arrive at the Center for Urban Horticulture and I will

 come meet you.

We will be planting native species in addition to removing invasive plants.

We would love to see you :)
The Yesler Swamp Team

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