Seattle Parks and Recreation invites community input for renovation of Discovery Park play area

Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the community to provide input on play area equipment for the Discovery Park play area on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Seattle Parks and Recreation staff and Harrison Design Consultants are hosting an Open House from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd.

This project will replace play equipment, provide access for people of all abilities and improve safety and other features at the play area. The Discovery Park play area is located near the Environmental Learning Center, behind the tennis courts.  The community is encouraged to participate in a short play area survey

Funding for the project is provided by the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy and the Seattle Park District.  Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites. 2016 is the first full year of implementation and will include funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog; and will fund the improvement and rehabilitation of community centers; preservation of urban forests; major maintenance at the Aquarium and Zoo; day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities; more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities, programs for young people, people with disabilities, and older adults; development of new parks; and acquisition of new park land.

For more information on this project please visit or contact Karimah Edwards at or 206-233-0063. The Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center will be offering other family fun activities on April 23.  Pre-registration if required for the bird tour, tidepool trek and Earth Day Beach clean-up.  For more information on these programs visit or call 206-386-4237.

Mowing scheduled in Discovery Park, other parks due to brush fire danger

Beginning, Saturday, July 11, Seattle Parks and Recreation crews will mow areas of high grass in the north and central parts of Discovery Park in Magnolia due to concerns over potential brushfires.

Unusually dry, hot weather in Seattle this summer has created potential fire hazards in parks and natural areas throughout the city.

The grass in these areas of Discovery Park has not been mowed from March 15 through mid-July to accommodate ground-nesting bird species. Because the nesting season started earlier this year due to warm weather, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff believe the birds may have completed their nesting early. [Read more…]

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s parks and programs named top picks for family recreation

Kids and nature docent on beach in Discovery Park

A Seattle Parks docent teaches kids about marine life on the beach at Discovery Park.

When it comes to making good impressions, moms and dads can be the toughest critics. That’s why we were honored to hear that Seattle parents named Discovery Park the best Urban Nature Experience for a second year in a row.

Every year ParentMap magazine’s editorial team surveys its readers to discover the best family resources in Seattle as part of its Golden Teddy Awards.

This year Discovery Park took first in the Urban Nature Experience category with Carkeerk Park, Seward Park and the Washington Park Arboretum listed as finalists. [Read more…]

Help Seattle Parks create a future forest in Discovery Park


Naturalist and restoration volunteer David Hutchinson stands at the site of a future forest in Discovery Park.

Naturalist and restoration volunteer David Hutchinson stands at the site of a future forest in Discovery Park.

Joni Mitchell once lamented, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” At Seattle Parks and Recreation we’re trying to do just the opposite. But we need your cooperation.

In 2010, the City of Seattle purchased the Capehart Parcel in Discovery Park for $11.1 million when the Navy decided to move its military personnel closer to its Everett base. There were 66 houses on the site which totaled nearly 30 acres.  Untitled

Discovery Park restoration volunteers had been eyeing the site for a long time. “There were few remaining native conifers in the park and the bulk of the forest trees were deciduous, like Red Alder and Big-leaf Maple,” Naturalist and restoration volunteer David Hutchinson said. “Most of them were in the last stages of their life. We felt it would be good to start a new coniferous old-growth native forest, some place where a Marbled Murrelet would be happy to nest in about 500 years.”  [Read more…]

An insider’s guide to Discovery Park


Seattle Parks and Recreation Naturalist Anne Bentley has been working in Discovery Park for more than 25 years, and knows the area better than most. We interviewed Anne to learn her expert tips for getting the most out of a visit.

 Q. Many visitors to Discovery Park head straight to West Point Lighthouse, but what are some other lesser-known places of interest?

In the northwest corner of the park, just off the north parking lot, there is a half-mile loop trail called the Wolf Tree Nature Trail. It has the largest collection of native plants in the park. The trail includes two beautiful streams, forested wetlands and some fairly large conifers and big leaf maples. It is a trail used in environmental learning classes and quiet contemplation, so we discourage jogging and dogs are not allowed. It is a great place for a walk anytime of the year.

The Wolf Tree Nature Trail has a spur trail to three reflecting ponds. These are human-made ponds retaining stream water from the hillside. The last pond or the lowest pond is largest with places to sit and picnic, birdwatch or enjoy the quiet. [Read more…]

Three Seattle parks named top picks for family recreation

We know how spectacular our park system is, and it turns out, some of the city’s most concerned customers do too – parents.

Every year ParentMap magazine’s editorial team surveys its readers to discover the best family resources in Seattle as part of its Golden Teddy Awards.


Discovery Park


This year, Discovery Park was voted the best Urban Nature Experience.

On the Golden Teddy Awards winners page it reads, “[Discovery Park] in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood has literally everything: Stroller-friendly loop trails, forested hiking trails, beachfront, a lighthouse and an environmental educational center with engaging programs year-round.”

One reader commented that the park, “feels like an out-of-the-city retreat while still being close to home.”

Carkeek Park

Carkeek Park


Carkeek Park was a finalist in the same category with a reader commenting that “It has everything — beachfront, forest, wetland, and a salmon-spawning creek in the autumn!”


Green Lake Park


Green Lake Park, which ParentMap deemed a “recreation paradise,” was a finalist in the Water Playparks and Pools category.

Do you know your neighbor is a heron? Come learn about Project HeronWatch on Jan. 18

Heron Helpers Event-page-001

Learn about Seattle’s official City bird, the Great Blue Heron during a free fun family event at Discover Park Visitor Center on Saturday January 18 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

View the new live streaming heron display and enjoy kids crafts, interactive exploring stations, habitat walks, and light refreshments. 

At 1 p.m., Chris Anderson, Washington State wildlife biologist, will offer an information session about the local heron colony, offering fun facts about this great bird and ways you can help protect this species for generations to come.

Community meeting on Discovery Park security gate proposal set for Dec. 11

Public feedback on the initial proposal to be discussed; people invited to ask questions, learn about the project’s next steps

People seeking updates on a proposed security gate in Discovery Park are invited to a meeting hosted by King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Parks and Recreation.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Discovery Park Visitors Center, 3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle. King County and city staff will answer questions and share feedback received to date after the proposal was presented to the public at an open house on Aug. 21. People were also invited to submit comments by phone, email or through the project website. 

The security gate is being proposed to address safety concerns in Discovery Park related to uncontrolled vehicle access to the beach, lighthouse, and West Point Treatment Plant.

Over the past several years, employees with both King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Parks and Recreation have responded to numerous incidents of trespassing, illegal driftwood fires, and vehicles blocking the entrance to the treatment plant.

King County needs to maintain a safe, secure environment at the West Point Treatment Plant, a facility critical to protecting water quality and public health in the greater Seattle area.

The proposed project would only affect a segment of Discovery Park Boulevard west of Kansas Street. Bicyclists would be allowed around the gate, and parking permits for people with disabilities, people over 62, or families with small children would still be available at the Discovery Park Visitors Center.

Pedestrians would be able to access the beach and lighthouse via the South Beach Trail, the Hidden Valley Trail or the North Beach Trail.

For more information about the meeting or the gate proposal, please visit or contact Adair Muth at 206-477-5505.



West Point beach area in Discovery Park to close for restoration work

On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, Seattle Parks and Recreation will begin work to protect the West Point beach and historic lighthouse in Discovery Park. The work involves adding riprap and additional shoreline protection. The majority of the beach will remain open to the public during the construction. Only the immediate area around the lighthouse, where the construction activities are focused, will be closed to the public. Parks expects to complete the construction by the week of October 14, 2013.

West Point is the westerly-most point in Discovery Park. This area is the site of a King County Metro sewage treatment plant and historic lighthouse.  In 2012, storms and high tides caused extensive beach erosion to the area. 

There are currently two distinct systems of riprap armoring at West Point; one was placed at the beach by the Coast Guard and another was placed by King County slightly inland during the expansion of the sewage treatment plant. The systems are separate and the lack of connectivity exacerbated the 2012 storm damage and threatened the integrity of the area adjacent to the lighthouse. 

Portions of the existing riprap segments will be removed and new riprap section will be created to connect both structures.  The alignment of the new riprap has been chosen to minimize encroachment onto the existing beach and the majority of the new structure will be placed above the current mean higher high water (MHHW) elevation. In addition to the added riprap, the eroded beach will be cut back at a gentle slope and beach grass will be planted in sand at the top of the slope and along the West Point beach.

The West Point Light house, originally established in 1881, is both a City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.  Parks recently completed renovations of this historic site, which included reroofing and exterior restoration.  The Coast Guard continues to operate the navigational aide on the lighthouse, though the lighthouse is owned by Parks.

 For more information about the project, contact David Graves, Senior Planner Seattle Parks and Recreation. 206-684-7048 or


Student Conservation Association and volunteers mark National Public Lands Day

Student Conservation Association (SCA), Seattle Parks and Recreation and 30 volunteers will significantly rehabilitate the North Beach trail at Discovery to mark National Public Lands Day. The trail reconstruction project takes place this Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Discovery Park is located in Magnolia at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, 98199. 

Together this group will commemorate the 20th annual National Public Lands Day by accomplishing this important conservation work and trail project. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

The North Beach trail connects the beach to the interior trail system of Discovery Park.

For directions to the park please visit At the Discovery Park Visitor Center, follow posted signs and drive another 1.5 miles to the project location. Note that there will be a small hike up and down stairs to get to the work site.

For more information, contact Evan Escamilla, SCA: 269-569-3552 or  For more information on SCA visit