Seattle Parks and Recreation Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent
  Parks   Centers & Pools Activities Reservations & Permits Projects & Planning A - Z Index
Parks Legacy Plan
Natural Area Greenbelt Use
Seattle Park District
Park District Oversight Committee
Community Center Strategic Plan
People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan
Parks and Green Spaces Levy
Pro Parks Levy
Community Center Levy
Major Maintenance
Neighborhood Matching Fund
Sustainable Building & Development
City-Wide Planning Documents
Plans for Individual Parks
Parks Standards
Policies and Agreements
Requests for Proposals
Requests for Qualifications
Board of Park Commissioners
Seattle Conservation Corps
Seattle Parks and Recreation

Washington Park Arboretum Loop Trail Project Information


Location: 2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle WA 98112

Project Description  Project History  Community Participation
Important Links  Restoration/Vegetation

Construction Map
Construction Map

Project Status

This website will provide updates on the project on a regular basis. To receive update emails please join the list-serve on the right.

Click for Construction Update

Pedestrian access across the Birch Lot closes August 1st.

July 2016
Crews working for Ohno Construction are opening up Arboretum Creek, building walls and installing bridges for the new trail. Construction is scheduled to run through December 2017. The Arboretum will remain open during construction. We will route users around the construction activities using notifications and signage for the project duration. We know construction can be difficult and we appreciate your patience as we construct these improvements to the Arboretum.

Project Description

Objective of the project: Move the master plan forward and provide enhanced circulation to maximize the Arboretum value to all communities of western Washington as a place of education, conservation and recreation.

Description: This project provides a multi-use/loop trail from the intersection of East Madison through the Arboretum to the intersection of Foster Island Road and Lake Washington Boulevard. The addition of the 1.2 miles of paved multi-use trail creates a “loop” with the existing Arboretum Drive providing an accessible path for all visitors. The path will offer recreation opportunities and access to new parts of the Arboretum collection for all.

The city received $7.8 million dollars from Washington State Department of Transportation. Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the Berger Partnership the design contract after an RFP and interview process was conducted.

The scope of work calls for a coordinated and phased construction of a multi-use trail system through the Washington Park Arboretum, a living museum of rare high value trees and plants. The contract work includes installation and maintenance of tree and plant protection, temporary erosion and sedimentation controls, temporary access issues and coordination for the Washington Park Arboretum, operations staff and visitors. The construction of a paved multi-use trail includes selective site demolition, specialty excavation by hand or air-spade, selective tree removal, excavation, grading, fill placement, paving, walls, bridges, storm drainage, utilities, parking, stream restoration, wetland restoration, site restoration, irrigation and planting. The work will be carefully controlled to limit the impacts.

The project will:

  • Add 1.2 miles of paved multi use trail creating a "loop" with the existing Arboretum Drive providing recreation and access to the Arboretum collection
  • Remove 132 trees greater than 6" diameter, move 13 trees and propagate over 75 trees and large woody plants
  • Plant over 800 new trees throughout the Arboretum (a ratio of over 6:1 greatly exceeding the City of Seattle 2:1 tree replacement requirements)
  • Restore over 2.5 acres of wetland
  • Restore over 2 acres of forest around Lake Washington Playfield
  • Plant over 30,000 plantings for wetland, trail restoration, rain garden, groundcover and collections

The master plan for renewing the Washington Park Arboretum was adopted by City Council and the University of Washington Board of Regents in May 2001. The University, City and the Arboretum Foundation are working together to continue implementing the master plan.

2300 Arboretum Dr E
Seattle, WA 98112
Planning funding from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy with anticipation of Washington State Department of Transportation mitigation funding ($7.8 million) for design and construction.
Planning: 2009 – 2012
Design: 2012 – 2014
Construction: 2016 – 2017

Project History

April 2016
The Contractor, Ohno Construction has mobilized to the site and started surveying, installing tree protection fencing and erosion control. Tree removals, earthwork and clearing will begin in April within the limits of the trail work.

January March 2016
The re-bid project was awarded to Ohno Construction. The notice to proceed was issued to the contractor on March 7, 2016.

November December 2015
Seattle Parks and Recreation is re bidding the Multi-Use/Loop Trail in the Arboretum . The project Advertised November 23, 2015 and bids will open December 16, 2015.

July August 2015
Seattle Parks and Recreation advertised Multi-Use/Loop Trail in the Arboretum for public bid July 29 2015, Bid opening is scheduled for August 19, 2015. Seattle Parks encourages all interested parties to visit the electronic bidding website to view the complete plans and specifications. Together with our partners the University of Washington and the Arboretum Foundation, we look forward to the bid openings.

May June 2015
Parks, the Green Seattle Partnership and contractor Applied Ecology are working to remove invasive plants around Lake Washington Playfield at the south end of the Arboretum to prepare the area for tree planting this fall. Two trees will be planted for every tree removed as part of the Multi-use/Loop Trail project.

March April 2015
Thank you to all who attended the meeting in January. Please see the notes below. Parks and the design team are working to complete permitting and finalize the construction documents. Parks and the University Of Washington are working to begin moving and propagating collection plantings.

January 2015
Parks and the design team are working to complete permitting and finalize the construction documents. Parks and the University Of Washington are working to begin moving and propagating collection plantings.

October 2014
The design team is working with our partners at the University of Washington to complete construction documents for bidding this winter.

The final design development plan was presented at the Multi-Use Trail project's final public meeting on February 27, 2014. (See presentation below.) Thank you to those who have participated in the public process for the project.

The multi-use trail was identified in the Arboretum master plan that was adopted in 2000. The trail was identified as a way to enhance the visitor experience of Washington Park Arboretum. Intended for use by both pedestrians and bicyclists, the curving path is designed to preserve vegetation and control speed.

The Berger Partnership was awarded the design contract after Parks conducted a Request for Proposal (RFP) and interview process. Construction is anticipated to commence in 2015.

This project initially provided scoping and conceptual design for a redeveloped North Entry to Washington Park Arboretum and a multi-use trail from the intersection of East Madison to the North Entry and the Montlake and University neighborhoods beyond. The Consultant Selection Committee recommended that the Berger Partnership be hired to provide design services for the project and Parks moved forward with that recommendation.

Meetings for the design of the North Entry and Multi-use Trail were held in 2011. The community provided input to assist the designers in developing a preferred alternative. For meeting presentations and notes please see below.

In June 2013 City Council approved $7.8 million from WSDOT to fund implementation of the multi-use trail, which does not include the North Entry Project. The Arboretum Botanical Gardens Committee held a well attended press conference to announce this funding in January 2013. Final design and permitting will take place in 2014 and construction is expected to start in 2015.

Community Participation

Public Process Through June 2015 You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document.

Public Meeting 01/13/2010

Public Tour 03/10/2010

Public Meeting for North Entry and Multi-use Trail 06/8/2011

Public Meeting for Master Plan 06/29/2011

Public Meeting for North Entry and Multi-use Trail 08/31/2011

Arboretum and WSDOT Reach Ground Breaking $7.8 Million Agreement — Media Advisory Meeting 01/24/2013

Final Public Meeting 2/27/2014

Meeting 3/6/2014

Public Meeting for Multi-use Trail 1/28/2015

Open House 4/23/2016

Important Links

*Note: To view a PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download it for free at

Updated July 28, 2016

Stay up to date with the project

Arboretum Loop Trail
E-News Updates
Add or remove your e-mail address from our distribution list.
E-mail address:  

Add Remove

For More Information

Garrett Farrell
800 Maynard Ave S,
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98134

Bridge Concept
Bridge Concept

Trail Concept
Trail Concept

Photos from Final Public Meeting
Photos from Final Public Meeting
You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document.

Select image to enlarge

 Home | Partnerships | Park Board | Volunteer | FAQ | Parkways Parkways Icon | Facebook Facebook Icon | @SeattleParks Twitter Icon | Flickr Flickr Icon