The Delridge Wetlands look a lot different these days.


Delridge Wetlands following the cutting of several large cottonwoods that had been deemed hazardous. Photo: Willard Brown

In late March, the upper portions of several large cottonwood trees were removed from the wetland by crews from Seattle City Light. The removal left behind snags 9- to 18-feet in height that will support wildlife and provide habitat for a number of species over the coming years.

The Delridge Wetlands and Stewardship Project is an ongoing community effort led by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) to restore and protect the wetlands at 23rd Avenue SW and SW Findlay Street in West Seattle. DNDA is the parent organization of Nature Consortium.

The site was once used by Seattle City Light as an electrical substation, but was designated as a surplus property in 2015 and sold in 2016 to DNDA, which transferred it to the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. The cottonwoods had been deemed hazardous and their removal was a condition of the sale. The Rose Foundation provided a grant to DNDA to support the purchase and restoration, as well as to provide for development of an outdoor classroom for students from the nearby Louisa Boren K-8 STEM school.

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Delridge Wetlands prior to the tree removal. Plans are under way for restoration of the site and establishment of an outdoor learning space. Photo: Willard Brown

Staff, teachers and 4th and 5th graders from Louisa Boren K-8 will make multiple site visits and conduct classroom activities throughout the spring. The school is working with consultant Jason Medeiros of Outdoor Classroom Design to develop a master plan for the site’s experimental education elements. Students will present their recommendations to their parents at the school’s Spring Project-Based Learning Night on May 25th.

Seattle Tilth Alliance, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition and Solid Ground (Lettuce Link) and the Duwamish Alive Coalition are also partners on the project.

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