LONGFELLOW CREEK HABITAT IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
“The Longfellow Creek Habitat Improvement Project” is an urban creek restoration in West Seattle and is part of a larger effort to restore and protect Seattle’s creeks as backyard natural resources. The art project consists of earthworks, waterwise gardens, an overlook, a bridge and a pavilion. These are situated to allow people to discover the creek’s environment while maintaining protection of wildlife habitat. The restored watershed serves as an outdoor classroom that illuminates the wonders of the urban creek habitat. It also allows people to learn about bringing salmon back to the city, waterwise gardening and other sustainable strategies. The project is a cooperative effort of Seattle Public Utilities, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, and the Seattle Mayor’s office.
“Salmon Bone Bridge” Down by the creek, an old bridge was replaced with a new, longer one to accommodate flood stages. The “Salmon Bone Bridge” brings the underwater experience of fish to land. The forms abstractly refer to the skeletal structure of a fish. The decking is recycled cedar timbers arranged in a herringbone pattern. Stream improvements include the restoration of fish spawning habitat, timber step-ups that enable the fish to swim upstream, and lunkers that allow the fish to rest.
“Dragonfly Garden” Situated on a hillside above the creek and along a neighborhood street, The “Dragonfly Garden” provides a dramatic entry to the Longfellow Creek watershed. A pavilion in the middle of the garden appears ready to take flight—offering vistas of the watershed’s rolling topography. The wings are traced both in steel overhead and in the garden/earthworks that surround the pavilion. A vibrantly colored, textured mosaic of drought-tolerant plants inspires streamside
PROJECT CREDITS: Lorna Jordan, Design Leader for Outdoor Rooms In association with URS Corp, Hough Beck & Baird, The Portico Group, Winterbottom Design, Stenn Design, MKA Engineering, & RL Boggess
A project of the Seattle Arts Commission with Seattle Public Utilities, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and the Seattle Mayor’s Office