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We are making headway with the Yesler Swamp trail completing an ADA accessible entrance in December 2015 so those using wheel chairs, walkers, strollers or mobility impaired individuals can safely enjoy our boardwalk and upland trail. The Washington Conservation Corp who are pictured below working on the entrance will return in February 2016 to work on the boardwalk on the eastern side of Yesler Swamp, hopefully completing the permanent loop by this summer.

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ADA compliant Upland Entrance Trail with WCC workers


Sally Bagshaw from the Seattle City Counsel who has been supporting our efforts though park and neighborhood funding finally was able to visit the trail. She is now scoping it out as the eastern terminus for the Arboretum-Lake Washington Greenway Trail to improve public health.

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The alpha and omega: Professor Kern Ewing: the instigator, and Sally Bagshaw: the supporter of  Yesler Swamp Trail

The existing boardwalk is visible from the lagoon and separates even the shy birds from the walkers.

Boardwalk from the lagoon side

Boardwalk from the lagoon side

The beaver lodge is visible from either the lagoon or the boardwalk but the beavers are only active at dusk, night and dawn.

Beaver lodge

The east trail to be built this spring will lead to a viewing platform funded by the King Conservation District.

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Swamp cabbage protected from future construction of a viewing platform

We still need to raise some matching cash this spring in support of our recent Seattle Neighborhood Grant.

This is a dream come true!

IMG_1208Friends of Yesler Swamp is offering a paid internship to a person with experience or class work in environmental sciences.  The details are in this description:



Please join us for a tour of Yesler Swamp at 2 p.m. on Sunday November 22, led by Kern Ewing, UW professor of restoration ecology. See the progress we’ve made on the boardwalk and find out more about our native plant restoration.


Photo by Jean Colley

Photo by Jean Colley

We’ll meet at the east parking lot of the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st.

Following the tour, at 3 p.m. everyone is invited for soup and cider at the home of Fred Hoffer and Donna Rodger at 3904 NE Belvoir Place.

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Donations of $15 to further the work of Friends of Yesler Swamp are suggested.

We look forward to seeing you, your friends, neighbors and family!

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Over 40 kids and grown-ups braved the weather and the spooks for a Halloween Walk Saturday in Yesler Swamp. The walkers encountered the Mushroom Man and learned about Swamp creatures and plants like owls, mushrooms, and beavers.

 Friends of Yesler Swamp members Kat Cerny-Chipman, Zac Mallon, Carolyn Foster, and Tyler Licata guided the Swamp Walk. Thanks to Virginia Korycki, Donna Rodger, Carol Arnold and others for bringing Halloween Treats for everyone to enjoy!


Sunday, October 25    2-4 p.m.

Center for Urban Horticulture ~ East Parking Lot at Yesler Swamp Sign

3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle​

​Kids of all ages are invited to Halloween in Yesler Swamp! Join us for  a Halloween Swamp Walk along the new boardwalk to learn about Swamp Creatures!






​Here’s a hint:  Swamp Creatures are our friends!
They’re not spooky at all!!



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! As a follow up note the Seattle City Council approved the Grant for full funding on October 21st, 2015.

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!

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