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About the “Friends”

Friends of Yesler Swamp is a community group dedicated to restoring and preserving Yesler Swamp.

This Swamp,  a wetland with trees, is located at the corner of NE 41st and Surber Drive on the shore of Lake Washington. The Swamp, on the site of the historic outlet of Yesler Creek, skirts a lagoon that connects to Union Bay and once housed Henry Yesler’s lumber mill. Yesler Swamp hosts over 100 species of birds and an active beaver lodge.

Susan Black & Associates, a noted landscape architecture firm, designed an environmentally sensitive, handicapped accessible trail. Friends of Yesler Swamp raised funds to construct the boardwalk and rallied volunteers to help with the project.

Visitors to Yesler Swamp can now walk a boardwalk and gravel upland trail beginning at the east parking lot of the Center for Urban Horticulture, winding through the swamp, and looping back to the parking lot. Friends of Yesler Swamp partnered with University of Washington students, faculty, and staff to restore Yesler Swamp by installing native plants and clearing invasive species like Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and reed canary grass.

The support of students and community has enhanced this rare natural space, improved security, and created habitat.

The community,  UW Botanic Gardens, and the persistence of individual members of Friends of Yesler Swamp made this  project possible including:

Carol Arnold,  Retired lawyer, grant writer, and president of Friends of Yesler Swamp

Jerry Gettel,  Retired engineer, project manager for the first half of the boardwalk construction

Fredric Hoffer, Retired physician;  client and steward for UW student ecological restoration

Jean Colley, Treasurer, photographer, editor

Virginia Korycki, Finance Manager

Connie Sidles, Bird consultant and secretary

Art Feinglass, Producer and director

Allie Kerr, Webmaster

Donna Rodger. Development manager

UW faculty and staff: Sarah Reichard, Fred Hoyt, Carrie Cone, and David Zuckerman of  UWBG Administration; Kern Ewing, UW College of Environment; Bill Bender, UW Department of Construction Management; Wendy Kelly, and many others.

UW students: Robert Edsforth, Elyse Denkers, Tyler Licata, Zac Mallon, Kat Cerny-Chipman, Carolyn Foster, Corrine Hoffman

Community volunteers and supporters: Lani and Larry Johnson, Lewis Johnson, David Gordon, Deb Green, Christopher Mealy, Jeff and Tricia Raikes, Susan and Bill Holliday, Emily Neilsen and Lewis Levin, Bridget and Leo Heim, Jill Ryan and Steve Kerr, and many, many more!

Questions? Comments? Contact us at yeslerswamptrail@gmail.com.

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