Duwamish Waterway Park Activation

Updated: July 7, 2020

July 2020

Determination of Non-Significance (DNS)

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is proposing to make improvements at the park including access improvements to the existing gravel pathways and picnic areas for people of all ages and abilities consistent with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). SPR has determined that it does not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required under RCW 43.21C.030(2)(c). This decision was made after review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file with SPR. This information is available to the public on request.

This DNS is issued under 197-11-340(2); SPR will not act on this proposal for 14 days from date of publication (7/9/2020).
Comments must be submitted by July 23, 2020. The appeal period ends July 30, 2020.
Download the DNS document for additional information.

March 2020

Seattle Parks and Recreation has received the City of Seattle construction permit and we are preparing to bid the project. Construction is anticipated to start this spring and last through summer 2020.

Seattle Parks and Recreation discovered elevated levels of arsenic during the purchase from King County. We are currently working with the Washington State Department of Ecology on a cleanup plan. Seattle Parks and Recreation intends to coordinate clean up with the construction project to minimize impacts to the community.


Seattle Parks and Recreation has completed the purchase of the property and the design team is responding to the second round of City of Seattle permit comments.
View the Layout Plan here.

August 2019

The Seattle City Council approved the purchase of the property from King County. King County approval is pending August of 2019.

Permitting for the new play area and park renovations is underway. We expect to complete permitting by the end of the summer.


Seattle Parks and Recreation working with the Seattle Parks Foundation and the community, has contracted with Johnson Southerland to complete the design for Duwamish Waterway Park. Work is underway and we expect to submit for permits in early 2019.

King County has granted Seattle Parks and Recreation a special use permit that will allow this space to continue to be a publicly accessible park.

King County and Seattle will continue working together to create a set of shared commitments about the next steps for the Duwamish Waterway Park. These commitments will guide us toward the goal of eventually incorporating this park space into the Seattle Parks and Recreation system.

See Shared Vision for Duwamish Waterway Park to read the complete statement from Seattle Parks & Recreation and King County.

Thank you to everyone who provided input at the June 5 open house and to those who participated in informal discussions about the project at the August 26 Duwamish River Festival.

In June 2015 SPARC and the South Park community received a Neighborhood Matching Fund award to hire a landscape architect to engage with the community, identify ways to better 'activate' the park, and come up with a schematic plan. ELM Environment was selected as the project landscape architect. The goal to make the Duwamish Waterway Park a more exciting, safe and inviting place for everyone. 

SPARC and the South Park community, working closely with Seattle Parks and Recreation, have completed Phase 1 of the Duwamish Waterway Park Activation and are currently in the design development phase. Download the Community Scrapbook for a summary of the process and download the Concept Plan to see the proposed schematic.

During the development of the plan, the Friends of Waterway Park, SPARC and Seattle Parks and Recreation engaged the community in the schematic design phase: visioning, working together and developing schematic design. In addition to three planning sessions, there were other ways to contribute ideas at events such as:

  • Lucha Libre
  • National Night Out South Park Putz
  • Duwamish River Festival
  • South Park Fiestas Patrias 

The Friends of Duwamish Waterway, along with Seattle Parks and Recreation are planning the next stage: design development.

Riverwalk Simulation (artist concept)


Duwamish Waterway Park, 7900 10th Ave S, 98108


Schematic Plan $25,000


Planning: 2013 - 2015
Design: Summer 2019

Project Description

Recent public planning through the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition's Healthy Communities program (2013) and Seattle Parks Foundation's South Park Green Spaces Vision Plan (2014) have identified Duwamish Waterway Park as a key open space in the community in need of improvement. There is a strong interest from the community to create more amenities to draw people to the park.

Community Participation

For additional information contact: Meredith Hall - SPARC Board President at sparc.prez@gmail.com