Celebrate 27 acres of new forest and wildlife habitat at Discovery Park

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and our partners invite the community to celebrate the new trails and forest at the Capehart site in Discovery Park, 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA 98199. Please join us on May 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. This is an opportunity to celebrate the partners involved in this project and all the volunteers who have invested over 6,000 hours of volunteer time and have planted tens of thousands of plants, including native ground-cover, shrubs and trees throughout the site. The community is invited to come walk the new trails, mingle in the new forest and help us cut the ribbon. Light refreshments will be served. The celebration will be in the northeast corner of the park, just off the new crosswalk across Discovery Park Blvd. This is approximately a 20-minute walk from most parking lots.

In 1958, the military housing known as Capehart was constructed on the 27-acre site. Named after Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, who championed better housing for military families, the property was retained by the military after Discovery Park was established in 1974. In 2007, after extensive negotiations and community advocacy, the City purchased the parcel for $11.1 million. By 2010, all buildings on the site had been removed and only paved surfaces remained. With funding from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy and the Westpoint Treatment Plant mitigation funding, SPR removed the housing foundations, the road network, and other infrastructure, and regraded the property. SPR converted the property to a meadow consistent with the Discovery Park Master Plan.

Volunteers, SPR staff, non-profit and private partners, in collaboration with the Green Seattle Partnership pursued an intensive reforestation plan. Public access was restricted by the pre-existing permanent fence around the Capehart site during this work which allowed for the early establishment of a diverse forest ecosystem and wildlife sanctuary.

In 2017, The Friends of Discovery Park saw the need for official trails through the Capehart site to protect the restoration efforts and to mitigate social trails. They received a Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund award for $100,000. This funding allowed for the installation of two permanent trails and zero or low maintenance, naturally appearing, barriers that will be impediments to off-trail activities. Additionally, a new cross walk was installed at the end of one trail across Discovery Park Blvd. The Seattle Parks Foundation provided an additional $155,000 in funding for this phase of work.

Work began on building two new trails through the site in the fall of 2018, followed by the construction of a new sidewalk and crosswalk at Discovery Park Blvd. The last of the fencing was removed in early April 2018 and the trails were unofficially opened to the public.

For more information about the event contact Karen O’Connor at karen.o’connor@seattle.gov or 206-233-7929.

This park transformation could not have occurred without the involvement of many partners to find out more about the partners that helped with this project visit: