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See for Yourself: Demonstration Projects on Lakes Washington and Sammamish

Beer Sheva Park - Seattle

Beer Sheva Park before Mapes Creek Daylighting Beer Sheva Park with dalighted Mapes Creek
Illustrations: City of Seattle

In 2014, the City of Seattle re-established 440 feet of natural stream channel through Beer Sheva Park and reconnected Mapes Creek to Lake Washington. Growing salmon need shallow shorelines and small creek mouths for rearing, but many historic creeks have vanished or been directed to drainage pipes. The newly-restored creek mouth is now one of a series of "rest stops" recreated for juvenile Chinook along the Lake Washington shoreline. By replacing the piped creek outlet with a daylighted connection to Lake Washington, the multi-purpose project will also reduce stormwater overflows. Other improvements made to this park in one of Seattle's most diverse and historically underserved neighborhoods include adding native plants along the creek, enhancing drainage, and adding new walkways and artwork. Map to Site.

Lake Sammamish State Park - near Issaquah

Restored shoreline at Sunset Beak at Lake Sammamish State Park
Design and photo: The Watershed Company

Washington State Parks and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust restored 665 feet of shoreline on Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park in 2008-2009. The project enhanced salmon habitat and fish passage while preserving access for recreation. Spillover crowding from an adjacent day-use beach area and heavy powerboat and personal watercraft traffic had contributed to a loss of shoreline habitat and erosion. Work included placing 34 pieces of large woody debris along or near the shoreline.

Chinook Beach Park - Seattle

Newly restored slope at Chinook Beach Park
Photo: City of Seattle

The City of Seattle removed an old marina and bulkhead and graded the shoreline to a gentle slope. Invasive Black locust, clematis, and Himalayan blackberry were removed and the area was replanted with 1,150 native plants including ferns, ground cover, shrubs, and trees. Juvenile Chinook salmon have been found using the site since restoration began in 2006. Map to Site.

Denny Blaine Park - Seattle

Restored beach at Denny Blaine Park
Photos: City of Seattle

By setting back the existing bulkhead, this project at Denny Blaine Park converted a grassy field that was disconnected from the lakeshore, into a useable beach with wading access. The gradual sloping shoreline will improve rearing opportunities for juvenile Chinook salmon. Map to Site.

Lid Park West - Mercer Island

In 2010 the City of Mercer Island restored about 150 feet of shoreline under the west end of the I-90 bridge, west of the Park on the Lid. The city removed quarry rocks that had hardened the shoreline.

Lid Park West before restoration
Photo: Vanir Construction Management

It created a beach using fish mix and spawning gravel, and added large boulders to form a softer shoreline. Rocks steps and split rail fence were used to create a single pathway to the beach. Mercer Island removed invasive plants along the shoreline and replanted using native plants. The project was completed as part of a sewer line replacement project. Map to Site.

Lid Park West before restoration
Photo: Vanir Construction Management

Luther Burbank Park - Mercer Island

Man playing fetch with dog at Luther Burbank Park
Design and Photos: Barker Landscape Architects

This project, completed in 2009, transformed steep, inaccessible shorelines into more gradual sloping shores at distinct access points.

Large wood along shoreline at Luther Burbank Park
Design and Photos: Barker Landscape Architects

Instead of using a concrete bulkhead or rip rap, large wood was added to the shoreline to minimize erosion. Many native trees and shrubs were planted along the shoreline, and they provide visual interest and habitat for native fish and wildlife. Map to Site.

Madrona Park - Seattle

Beach cove restoration at Madrona Park
Photo: Peggy Gaynor, GAYNOR, Inc.

The Friends of Madrona Woods used grant funds from the city, county, and federal government and a community foundation to restore Madrona Creek from an underground pipe to a small stream leading to a new wetland cove along Lake Washington. Studies have found that juvenile Chinook salmon congregate near small creek mouths along the shoreline, so the project will provide valuable rearing and refuge habitat for young salmon. Map to Site.

Martha Washington Park - Seattle

New plantings at Martha Washington Park Woman and child on beach at Martha Washington Park
Photo: City of Seattle Photo: WRIA 8

The City of Seattle converted a shoreline armored with rip rap to a more natural gravel beach. Large wood was placed in four areas and the restored area was planted with native ground cover, trees, and shrubs, including vegetation that will overhang the water during summer. The end result should be a user friendly shoreline that provides valuable shallow water habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon. Map to Site.

Seward Park - Seattle

A 2001 study found that extensive rock debris from failed rip rap walls, as well as concrete slab bulkheads, had compromised potentially valuable salmon rearing habitat around Seward Park.

Photo: City of Seattle

Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted two demonstration projects along 1,000 ft of the 2001 northeastern shoreline in 2001 and another 1,500 ft of the northwestern shoreline in 2004. Together, the projects installed 3,400 tons of gravels along the northern shoreline of Seward Park from a depth of 1' from the shore to approximately 30' into the lake. Additionally, invasive vegetation was removed and native trees and shrubs were planted along the shoreline. Large wood was anchored into the beach, to reduce erosion potential.

Photo: City of Seattle

In 2003 Seattle Parks removed a bulkhead along a portion of the south shoreline of Seward Park. The project removed concrete slabs, regraded the shoreline, installed large wood and beach gravels, and planted native vegetation. Seattle Parks continues ongoing invasive vegetation removal and shoreline plantings at the site. Map to Site.

Do you know of another publicly accessible demonstration project? Let us know!

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