Snow and Construction at Magnuson Park


January 17, 2012:  We love the way snow can transform any landscape and get us to experience a site in fresh new ways.

A few shots from Sunday’s snow at Magnuson Park.



Magnuson Shore Ponds Update

January 4, 2012:  Its official, the Magnuson Shore Ponds are now full and are looking REALLY cool.  One of the cool features is our path that cuts through a very shallow  “emergent shelf” that in time will all be emergent vegetation. If you’re wondering, the orange construction fencing will remain until plants leaf out in the spring to keep well-intentioned visitors and dogs from trampling them!


Winter Solstice at Magnuson Park

December 21, 2011:  If you’re looking for something to do for the winter solstice, perhaps head out to Magnuson Park and celebrate the solstice by watching the new shore ponds fill up… a never to be repeated occurrence! The shore ponds, isolated from the existing Phase 2 wetlands during construction by two coffer dams, are now being filled, which started on Monday and will be potentially filled by Thursday or Friday.


The coffer dams have been removed, and while perhaps less dramatic than the breaching of the Montlake Cut in the early 1900s, it is no less momentous to those of us who have been involved with this project!

Removal of Magnuson coffer dams, Dec. 2011


Magnuson Park Shore Ponds Progress

November 29, 2011:  If you haven’t been to Magnuson Park lately to see Phase 3 construction progress, things are moving fast! Ponds have been shaped, snags have been “planted,” as have real plants, and the “centerline feature” now marks the centerline of the 400-foot-wide runway that once crossed the site.

The top corner of the new overlook berm is located on the centerline of the old runway (intentional of course!) and when you stand on the top and look NW the centerline is now marked by cast-in-place “giant steps” down the berm, ringed by salvaged concrete; a linear planting of emergent vegetation down the middle of the pond (soon to be) surrounded by open water; and a jumble of placed granite stones that fade into the upland shrubs, constructed out of granite salvaged from the foundation of King Street Station.

Ponds are filling up fast with the recent rains, but will deliberately hold about 24” below their ultimate elevation until next spring to aid with establishment of emergent vegetation around the edges of the ponds.


Magnuson Park’s West Shore Ponds Take Shape

October 20, 2011:  Magnuson Park’s West Shore Ponds have taken dramatic shape over the past seven weeks. Soon the constructed wetlands to the west will connect with the eastern edges of the park. Meandering trails and peek-a-boo overlooks are perfectly placed for those interested in exploring. Snags and logs are set to go in next week before the native wetland and emergent plants are planted.


Construction Begins for Magnuson Park Phase 3

September 14, 2011:  If you’ve been to Magnuson Park in the last week, you’ve seen some changes between the east end of the phase 2 wetlands and Lake Washington…Phase 3 of Magnuson has begun! The Seattle Parks project is being constructed by Ohno Construction and started with the fencing and clearing of the site and removal of over 3 acres of asphalt that was once the runway through the heart of the peninsula. The new phase will extend the wetlands to the east, under the existing road toward Lake Washington in what we call the “shore ponds.” The ponds will not yet connect to Lake Washington (as our master plan envisions) but we still hope to realize that important ecological link in future phases! In the meantime, enjoy watching phase 3 take shape!

By late fall this view will include a new pond several hundred feet long weaving through an opening in the existing trees, around which the design was developed.

The last vestiges of the runway that once cut through the heart of the peninsula, long used as a park roadway, is being removed to expand valued habitat in the new ecological heart of the park.


Aerial photograph of the Sand Point Peninsula from 1958


Related Activity