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Improving Seattle One Street End at a Time

Seattle is surrounded by water – Lake Washington, Lake Union, Puget Sound, and other waterways – resulting in more than 200 miles of magnificent shoreline.


That much shoreline also means that 149 public streets in Seattle end on waterfronts.  These “shoreline street ends” are precious community assets that should be preserved for public use – that’s where SDOT’S Shoreline Street Ends program comes in.

Our latest project began in late 2015, when community members approached the City of Seattle hoping to organize a cleanup and restoration of the E Highland shoreline street end in Madison Park. The result has been an ongoing collaboration between community members, our Shoreline Street Ends program, Seattle Public Utilities’ Tree Ambassador program, and SDOT Urban Forestry – and the results have been amazing!

As you can see in the before-and-after photos below, their work has truly transformed the space.

Highland SSE before after

So far, volunteers have held two official work parties, one in February and one in March, and with 21 volunteers on hand at the first party, and 28 at the next, the volunteers have accomplished quite an impressive amount.  In roughly six hours of worktime they have managed to, among other improvements, remove 15 cubic yards of weeds and invasive plants such as Himalayan blackberry and English ivy, spread 10 cubic yards of mulch for weed suppression and erosion control, and recover seven full trash bags of garbage from the site!

Highland work party

Additional  improvements are coming soon, and a third work party is scheduled for May 8th at which volunteers plan to finish blackberry removal and spread additional mulch. You can expect more updates to be posted here as this exciting project progresses.

Interested in helping improve this street end or one in your neighborhood? Please contact Diane Walsh at

Would you like to learn more about the Tree Ambassador volunteer program? Please feel free to email the program organizers at