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The Magnuson Community Garden
At the Warren G. Magnuson Park
Seattle Parks and Recreation
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Magnuson Children's Garden


Garden Features

The Magnuson Children's Garden is a vibrant, interactive garden that was designed and inspired by children, and is open FREE to the public year-round. Its goals are to engage and connect children to the wonders and beauties of plants, insects, birds, and wildlife. This unique garden is filled with plants and other features that delight all the senses:

  • A sea of grasses that rustle in the wind;
  • Plants that feed butterflies and other beneficial insects, hummingbirds and songbirds;
  • A Snack Wall of berries and herbs for humans (and birds) to nibble on;
  • Child-size picnic tables and tree stump stools;
  • The Tea Garden, filled with fragrant mint;
  • A sweet little garden shed "house";
  • The Log Pile, for building forts, nests, bug houses, or other playful structures;
  • Bog Gardens made from buried swimming pools;
  • The Rolling Lawn, for taking spins and giggles down the hill;
  • A spiral path up the hill to the Lookout, the highest point in the whole community garden, surrounded by Oak tree "pillars";
  • The Salmon Survival Path, created by local school children and filled with mosaic steppingstones and pools depicting the upstream journey of our native salmon;
  • The Starfish Border, where kids can bask like a butterfly on a seating rock, surrounded by the fragrant herbs and perennial flowers that line each of its arms;
  • Tidepool Gardens, filled with interesting Sedums and other underwater look-alikes;
  • The Grey Whale Garden, complete with mosaic tail and eyes, and a tall grass spout!

For the past 10+ years, the Children's Garden has become a "home away from home" for hundreds of local children and families who have visited it to play, picnic, or participate in programs and special events. Its lush planting beds, filled with color and beauty, have also become home to a variety of native songbirds, dragonflies, ducks, frogs, ants, beetles, butterflies, and an occasional garter snake. We welcome you to visit and see for yourself that "more grows in the garden than was sown there." Visit Magnuson Nature Programs, Children's Garden Events for more information and the latest garden news!

Programs and Special Events

The Magnuson Children's Garden Committee and Magnuson Community Center collaborate on the use and stewardship of the garden, which has produced wonderful benefits for both entities and for the public!

The Children's Garden is used as an outdoor classroom by the Magnuson Community Center Nature Programs for its educational camps, classes, and special events that serve hundreds of children and families each year.

The Children's Garden is also used for a variety of special events from spring to fall. Once a month, we host Family Garden Days, where children's activities are provided FREE of charge, including worm bin exploration, nature art sculptures, planting and harvesting! Community volunteers are also on hand at these events, doing seasonal garden stewardship tasks such as weeding and mulching, and King County Master Gardeners are on hand to answer your home gardening questions. The summertime Family Garden Days are held in conjunction with Magnuson Community Center's free, family-friendly music concerts on Friday evenings in the Magnuson Community Garden Amphitheater, which is right next door to the Children's Garden.

Children and parents who visit the garden during Family Garden Days events are also welcome to join in with the stewardship: favorite child-friendly gardening activities are spreading wood chips, refilling bird baths and puddling ponds, and watering plants!

The annual Fall Harvest Celebration fills the Children's Garden and Brig lawn with a fabulous variety of fun for the whole family, from an orchard maze scavenger hunt to a petting farm, and everything in between, including harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs for local food banks. This event is a great way to celebrate spring and summer successes and welcome the fall season!

For additional information on the Magnuson Children's Garden, as well as details on all upcoming special events and programs, visit Magnuson Nature Programs, Magnuson Children's Garden Events

Volunteer Opportunities

We warmly welcome individuals and groups to help sustain the Children's Garden by attending our stewardship events! Typical tasks include simple garden maintenance such as weeding and mulching beds and paths, planting, etc, and experienced garden leaders are on hand at each event to guide other volunteers. Over the years, many wonderful volunteers have helped sustain the garden from organizations such as Seattle Works, Campfire, 4-H, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, Seattle P-Patch, and service-learning elementary, high school, and college students.

We make all our stewardship events fun for novice gardeners as well as experienced ones, and provide gloves, tools, and delicious refreshments provided for all! If you or your group would like to participate, visit Magnuson Nature Programs and click on the Volunteer link

Creating the Children's Garden

The Children's Garden at Magnuson Park is an interactive garden, designed  and inspired by children from the Northend neighborhoods.  Its purpose is to delight and engage children in the wonders and beauties of making things grow, of learning to save our environment, and to spread this knowledge to others. In 2002, led by volunteer landscape architects and designers, the Children's Garden Committee held a design charette with 28 children, ages 5-13 from neighboring schools. Several design themes emerged that were incorporated into the final childern's garden design.

The central element of the garden is a large mound overlooking the Orchard to the West and the Amphitheater to the Northeast. From the viewpoint at the top, one gathers a territorial view of the community garden, park, and lake beyond. The plant pallet includes a diverse collection that offer scent, structure, and tactile exploration. The garden is filled with flowers and plants. Pathways are lined with stones painted by the children in bright colors. Volunteers planted 400 shrubs and grasses, built a tool shed, added stepping stone paths, and installed drip irrigation system.

Landscaped side of mound

The children adopted a nautical theme for their garden. A Big Blue Whale bed was planted with silver foliage plants with ornamental grass for the spout. In 2007 a sculptural mosaic whale tail and eye was installed in the garden bed. The tail of the whale is a favorite place to gather Whale tale
Pictured below is the entrance of the Children's Garden shortly after a local Eagle Scout Troop constructed the arch from logs remaining from the construction of the Amphitheater Arbor. Pictured below is the vine covered garden entrance as it appears today. The whale tale appears in the background
Children's garden entrance Children's garden entrance today
Magnuson Community Garden, Warren G. Magnuson Park - 6344 N.E. 74th St., Suite 104 - Seattle, WA 98115