Delridge Wetlands Design Process: Final Plan Coming Soon!

As the design process is coming to a close, the future of the Delridge Wetlands Project is bright! Here is a recap of the Delridge Wetlands and an update on all of the design work that has gone into this community gem!

Located on 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay St, the Delridge Wetlands is a grassroots project spearheaded by DNDA to protect, restore and expand the existing wetland to improve water quality in Longfellow Creek. Meanwhile developing the space as a public park, other plans for the project include an urban garden, a community orchard, and an outdoor classroom for local students to learn hands-on environmental science and wetland stewardship.

As we strive to make our collective dream of the Delridge Wetlands a reality, the first step was to gather community feedback and create a design master plan that combines our many visions. Earlier this spring, DNDA contracted with Pomegranate Center, a local community engagement consulting team, to lay out the design, technical, and building work of the Delridge Wetlands.

Kicking off the design process, our partners at Pomegranate Center began developing the first draft of their master plan in May. This process relied heavily on input from the project’s partners and included two day-long design forums as well as a third forum with local educators. Partners of the Delridge Wetlands and Stewardship Project include Seattle Green Spaces Coalition,, Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Louisa Boren STEM K-8, Duwamish Alive Coalition, National Park Service, Tilth Alliance, City Fruit, and Solid Ground.

Strengthening DNDA’s relationship with local educators, Pomegranate Center created a curriculum that would enable students at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 to contribute to the Wetlands design plan through science experiments, art projects and presenting their projects at school. A class of both fifth and third graders studied wetland water function by testing water quality and different substrates, while two other third grade classes focused on studying plants, animal habitats and human activity. These topics included science experiments such as using a homemade clinometer to measure tree heights, testing soil quality, studying plant biofiltration capacity by observing water uptake in celery stalks, and researching specific needs for local wildlife habitats.

   

After conducting their experiments, students continued to create their personal vision of the Delridge Wetlands through clay models. Students were given a map of what the Delridge Wetlands currently looks like and used clay to redesign the space using their new knowledge of water features, plants and habitats.

 

Wrapping up the experiments and activities, students were able to share their findings at Louisa Boren K-8’s school-wide Project Based Learning Night. Meanwhile, DNDA was also tabling at the event to showcase the students’ findings, provide information about the Delridge Wetlands and invite families to the community-wide design open house that took place at DNDA’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on June 15. This open house provided Delridge Wetlands partners with valuable community feedback in response to Pomegranate Center’s initial designs that consisted of 3 alternative plans. This essential community feedback, combined with input from local students and educators, will allow our design team to create a master plan for the Delridge Wetlands that encompasses all of our collective visions.

With that, the design process is coming to a close– keep your eyes peeled! The final design of the Delridge Wetlands is expected to be announced in late July. Until then, feel free to visit the wetlands site at 23rd Ave SW and SW Findlay to see our progress with your own eyes!

We are pleased to have so many community members already planning to contribute their time and energy volunteering to help clean up the site, to participate in sheet mulching the site and to participate in removal of invasive species on the perimeter of the proposed park site.  To connect to the project and to volunteer for work parties planned for summer and fall please contact Willard Brown, DNDA’s Director of Housing and Environmental Programs.