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Capitol Hill Connections

Nearly 17,000 people live within a 10-minute walk of Cal Anderson Park, often referred to as the “front porch” of Capitol Hill. A vast majority are renters, and they rely on public parks for exercise and connection. It is essential that this park – along with other open spaces and connecting corridors – be safe, welcoming, and supportive of our health and wellness in a manner that stewards our environmental assets. 

Thoughtfully conceived open spaces have the power to support biodiversity such as birds and pollinators, to reduce heat islands through tree canopy and other vegetation, to contribute to our food supply, and to manage stormwater. The sustainable management of our public spaces is an important step in mitigating the impacts of climate change on the Pacific Northwest. 


In close collaboration with Seattle Audubon and other members of the Seattle Bird Conservation Partnership, the EcoDistrict intends to accomplish three goals:

  • Reduce pesticide use at Cal Anderson Park

  • Develop a corps of “park stewards” to support pesticide-free maintenance of the grounds

  • Engage community support and create a vegetation plan for a bird and pollinator habitat corridor along 11th Avenue, connecting Seattle University, Cal Anderson Park, Lowell Elementary School, and Volunteer Park

Timeline & project updates

Reduce herbicide use at Cal Anderson Park
  • 2020: The partners are working to sign a MOU with the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.

  • 2021: Seattle Parks and Recreation plans to pilot an alternative to toxic rodenticides in Cal Anderson Park.

Develop a corps of park stewards
  • ​2020: Due to COVID-19, it became unsafe to gather volunteers.

  • 2021: Following social distancing guidelines, we plan to develop work parties that will support not only pesticide-free maintenance at Cal Anderson Park but general park maintenance as well.

Develop a habitat corridor on 11th Ave
  • 2020: In September, we hosted a virtual workshop that shared tips for developing a wildlife garden as well as for creating liberated public spaces that welcome neighbors and visitors alike.

  • 2021: We plan to launch a monthly workshop series that will build community knowledge about pesticide-free wildlife gardening and will foster the connections needed for ongoing stewardship.

​The groundwater in Capitol Hill flows down to Lake Union, to the Puget Sound, and into the Duwamish River Valley, impacting fish, birds, and other wildlife as it goes. 

Environmental stressors most adversely impact people who are more vulnerable already: low-income people, people with existing health conditions, as well as black, indigenous, and people of color who are harmed by existing systems of oppression.

Capitol Hill is rich with possibility for better connections and healthier habitat. To see what we mean, take a virtual walk along 11th Avenue from the comfort of your own home and join us at one of our upcoming workshops.  

Special thanks to our partners:

We work closely with community, city, and state partners:

  • Cal Anderson Park Alliance

  • Community Roots Housing

  • Seattle Bird Conservation Partnership (formerly the Seattle Urban Bird Treaty Coalition) consisting of the Heron Habitat Helpers, Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle Center, Seattle City Light, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, Seattle University, Urban Raptor Conservancy, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


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