Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is partnering with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the non-profit Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group (MSFEG) to develop a floodplain reconnection project at 2318 NE 125th Street, Seattle, 98125. This project will improve Thornton Creek water quality, in-stream and riparian habitat, and on-site stormwater management, while creating an accessible natural area for the Lake City community, a heavily urbanized and underserved area.
Initial work in the area will include weed removal work set to begin on the site in April 2021. SPR’s Green Seattle Partnership is helping to lead this effort with generous assistance from the King County Noxious Weeds Program through the Healthy Lands Project. Professional crews from Dirt Corps will be active in spring and summer carrying out weed control of potentially problematic plant species, as well as soil stabilization near Thornton Creek and on steep slopes adjacent to 125th St. As construction progresses, crews and volunteers will eventually replant with a diversity of native trees and shrubs in these areas now dominated by just a few species of weeds.
This project will help to enhance and restore both ecosystem health and community health. The location of the property provides a unique opportunity to improve water quality and to reduce future flood losses. The goal of this project is to promote partnerships and enable high impact investments that will enhance water quality and salmonid habitat, help mitigate current and future climate-influenced flood flows, and provide public green space in a racially diverse and underserved urban community.
The parcel is entirely within the FEMA floodplain along 200 ft of Thornton Creek channel, while also adjacent to a designated urban village. Floodplain reconnection and additional flood storage will provide climate resiliency in the future, while reducing the impacts of stormwater runoff into the creek, including water pollution and potential flood damage to residents along this section of the creek.
The entire project still needs funding approval. A fully funded project will include a site plan, conduct community engagement, develop design solutions, and construction of the preferred design option. The designs will consist of nature-based solutions including riparian habitat, stream restoration, green stormwater infrastructure such as rain gardens or swales, and community access.
For more information about the project please visit https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/lake-city-floodplain-park-development or contact Cynthia McCoy at Cynthia.firstname.lastname@example.org.