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UW Botanic Gardens: Seward Park Walking Tour

June 10 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Originally called Bailey Peninsula, Seward Park boasts some of Seattle’s oldest-growth native forest thanks to John Charles Olmsted, who helped save it from development by encouraging the city to include its purchase in the park and boulevard system he designed in 1903.

Bailey Peninsula was far outside the City limits when Olmsted proposed including it as part of the Comprehensive Park & Boulevard System in 1903. As a 300-acre natural reserve it would form an ideal terminus of what is now Lake Washington Boulevard.

In 1911 the City purchased the peninsula. Olmsted’s 1912 preliminary plan for the park locates programmed spaces, such as a dancing pavilion, basketball and tennis courts, and a small boat harbor on the northern shore of the park. The majority of the park featured the old growth forest, which visitors could explore via several meandering trails. The design is a prime example of the Olmsted Brothers’ ecological approach to park design, with many woodland trails, an amphitheater and a shoreline trail.

Olmsted’s plan was never fully implemented, but his 1912 plan influenced later development in the park, and the forest has largely been preserved.

Cost: $30 Purchase tickets here. Financial aid slots on a first-come, first-served basis.


June 10
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Seward Park
5900 Lake Washington Blvd. South
Seattle, 98118
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University of Washington Botanic Gardens
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