Lake City Floodplain Park Development

Updated: December 20, 2023

Winter 2023

The project has finalized options analysis and is kicking off the design phase. Mid Sound, DCG/Watershed and the City are combining information from the engagement workshops and technical requirements into a preliminary preferred schematic design. We anticipate showing the preferred schematic in Spring 2024. 

The City of Seattle would like to thank everyone who participated in our first three community workshops on March 3, July 20, and December 14, 2022. The recordings of the presentations from these online meetings can be viewed anytime at:

Community input is critical in designing the proposed Lake City Floodplain Park. We appreciate your feedback on how to make this new park an accessible green space that supports a healthier creek and serves the needs of the Lake City community. The creation of a truly inclusive park is only possible if the needs and visions of our diverse community are represented throughout the entire project!

Weed removal and native planting began on the site in April 2021. Seattle Parks and Recreation's Green Seattle Partnership is helping to lead this effort with generous assistance from the King County Noxious Weeds Program through the Healthy Lands Project. As the larger project progresses, crews and volunteers will eventually replant with a diversity of native trees and shrubs in these areas now dominated by just a few species of weeds.


2318 NE 125th Street, Seattle 98125


A project cost estimate will be shared at the preferred schematic design meeting in Spring 2024.  

The site was jointly acquired between SPR and SPU, and with grant funding from King County Conservation Futures.
SPR has $600,000 secured through the Seattle Park District for planning, design and construction. We will seek additional funding through various grant opportunities.


Planning & Design: 2021 - 2024
2025 - 2026

Project Description

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is partnering with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the non-profit Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group (MSFEG) to develop a floodplain reconnection project benefiting water quality, in-stream, and riparian habitat, managing on-site stormwater, and creating an accessible natural area for the Lake City community, a heavily urbanized and underserved area.

The location of the property provides a unique opportunity for water quality and to reduce future flood losses. The goal of this project is to promote partnerships and enable high impact investments that will enhance water quality and wildlife habitat, help mitigate current and future climate-influenced flood flows and provide public green space in a racially diverse and underserved urban community. 

The parcel is entirely within the FEMA floodplain along 200ft of Thornton Creek channel, while also adjacent to a designated urban village. Floodplain reconnection and additional flood storage will provide climate resiliency in the future, while reducing the impacts of stormwater runoff into the creek, including water pollution and potential flood damage to residents along this section of the creek.

Restoring a stream with the goal of decreasing flooding often involves widening the stream and increasing its complexity. Stream complexity can be achieved by adding bends to the stream channel, as well as by adding wood and other obstacles. Stream complexity slows water and creates pools where stream insects and fish can gather to rest and shelter from predators. Widening and increasing complexity slows the flow of water, decreasing erosion, and allows a stream to hold more water, decreasing flooding.

Site Description

Thornton Creek is made up of 18 miles of urban waterways running through southeast Shoreline through northeast Seattle where it enters Lake Washington. The Thornton Creek watershed is the largest in Seattle, covering approximately 12 square miles. Most of the water (including rainfall that picks up pollutants when it falls on roofs, streets, and parking lots) in those 12 square miles drains into Thornton Creek and its tributaries. As Seattle has grown and developed, Thornton Creek has been altered from its original path. Much of the creek and its tributaries have been straightened and its surrounding wetlands filled. A few sections of Thornton Creek have even been redirected through pipes underground. As a result of these changes, the creek's natural capacity to store water has been greatly decreased and it now suffers from frequent flooding and poor water quality. Over the years, this flooding has caused damage to public infrastructure such as roads and private property. In addition, decreased water quality has negatively impacted the health of the fish, birds, and other wildlife who live in the Thornton Creek watershed. Climate change is predicted to cause increasingly larger rain events, meaning even more water in Thornton Creek during storms and even more frequent flooding.

The land where the upcoming park will be, was previously privately-owned property, listed for sale in 2018. The community recognized it as an opportunity to create more green space in the Lake City community and to restore and protect Thornton Creek. In response to strong community advocacy and support, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities jointly purchased the property to create a public park and restore the natural area.

Community Participation

For more information on this project, and to learn how you can contribute ideas, please visit We look forward to hearing from you!

We are committed to engaging the Lake City community as an active participant and collaborator in the design of public access to the new park. We will be back in the community Spring 2024 and are excited to share the design for additional feedback.  

Continue to check this website for updated project information and details about feedback opportunities!

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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