Duwamish Waterway Park Expansion

Updated: February 8, 2024

Early 2024


1024 S Elmgrove Street, 98108

Aerial neighborhood view of new parcel location, outlined in red, along the Duwamish River


Acquisition: Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) funded the acquisition using the Parks Fund, with the expectation that the site planning process will identify a mix of grants and other sources to reimburse the Parks Fund. 

  • The city and community were approved for a Conservation Future Tax (CFT) grant for open space purposes.

Design: The Duwamish Valley Program secured $45,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions: Cities Taking Action to Address Health, Equity, and Climate Change to support this work. This funds the development of a site plan and, if funding allows, a conceptual design that reflects a community-led, decision-making process.

$100,000 is allocated through the Parks Fund (a revenue stream from scheduling and reservation fees) to support preliminary planning and design for the site.

Development: Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) allocated $1M to the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition (DVAHC) to support elements of the site (acquisition and/or development) that advance the shared goals of the EDI Program and the DVAHC. 

This project has been identified as a likely candidate for funding from the Metropolitan Park District later in the current 2023-2028 cycle. The final budget will depend on project timing and the result of site planning. Potential additional sources include King County Parks Levy, the EDI and funds raised by partner organizations, including philanthropy. 


Site Planning: 2021 - 2024
Design: 2025
Agreed Order - Site Clean up:
TBD to occur after the Agreed order is complete - at the earliest, 2029.

Project Description

In early 2019, community members learned that the property owner was possibly interested in selling a site, next to Duwamish Waterway Park on the river at 1024 S Elmgrove Street. The Duwamish Valley Program, working with SPR, the Duwamish Rowing Club, the South Park Area Redevelopment Committee, and the Seattle Parks Foundation submitted a grant request to King County to buy the property.

The community saw the potential to improve Duwamish Waterway Park, increase access to the waterfront and create a River Walk of connected open spaces along the Duwamish River, and to build community-supportive spaces currently lacking in the neighborhood. In August 2021, Seattle Parks and Recreation purchased this property.

Through an agreement with SPR, the Office of Planning and Community Development is working with community and agency partners including SPR, to lead site planning for this 1-acre site next to Duwamish Waterway Park. The goals of planning are to advance neighborhood priorities for developing open space and community-supportive non-profit spaces, increasing access to the Duwamish River, restoring aquatic habitat, creating a network of connected open spaces along the Duwamish River, and expanding opportunities for cultural activities and uses for the site.   

The project will be also a learning opportunity for project partners to identify and learn about best practices for creating a community-led Duwamish Valley Resilience District, including shared funding; processes (e.g. shared decision-making, multisector collaboration); science (e.g. habitat); health equity; and anti-displacement. These will serve as a model for upcoming multimillion-dollar capital investments in the Duwamish Valley.

Community Participation

The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) worked with the South Park Capacity Building Group, through which leaders from South Park community organizations collaborate and coordinate efforts to advance community priorities, to help guide community engagement and collaborate with agencies for the site planning. 

Photo of booth presentation taking place. Presenter and community participants in front of presentation board.

Where are we now:

SPR and OPCD are reviewing the site plans. In addition, SPR is complying with the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Agreed Order that has been placed on the site and the neighboring Duwamish Waterway Park. While we will be able to move forward with Site Planning, the Agreed Order will last through at least 2028. Once a review of the site plans is complete and we understand the implications of the Agreed Order, we will bring these designs back to the South Park community to gather feedback.  

What has happened:

The site planning team wrapped up its first round of engagement in June 2023. The purpose was to educate the community about the project and gather general input on the full site. During this engagement, we connected with the following organizations that represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. 80 community members responded to a multi-lingual survey that included English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, and Khmer. 

  • Duwamish Valley Youth Corps
  • Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association  
  • Duwamish River Community Hub 
  • Vietnamese and other elders at a Senior Center Karaoke night
  • Duwamish River Community Coalition  
  • Duwamish Tribal members and council
  • South Park Neighborhood Association meetings

The landscape architecture (site planning) and architecture (multipurpose building) firms compiled information into common themes. The landscape architect and architecture teams used this information to develop several alternative site plans. 

What is happening in the future: 

We anticipate producing a final site plan and report in 2024. This will be a map showing the general location and extent/size of uses, and a document summarizing input, design inspirations, environmental remediation strategy, and identifying implementation steps. The eventual development of park spaces would require future funding and more detailed engagement and design processes. 

Parks and Recreation

AP Diaz, Superintendent
Mailing Address: 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
Phone: (206) 684-4075
Fax: (206) 615-1813

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