AerialShotUWBGBoundary_SmallestThe University of Washington Botanic Gardens has two sites: the Washington Park Arboretum and the Center for Urban Horticulture.

Our mission is sustaining managed to natural ecosystems and the human spirit through plant research, display, and education.

The 230-acre Arboretum includes a vibrant collection of more than 40,000 plants from around the world with trails to explore and programs for youth and adults.

The Center for Urban Horticulture includes demonstration gardens and natural areas, and also houses the Elisabeth C. Miller Library, Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium, and the Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation Program. The UW Botanic Gardens is a unit within the School of Environmental & Forest Sciences.

Both sites offer excellent opportunities for exercise, exploration, and wildlife viewing. Visit the Botanic Gardens to explore and enjoy on your own or join with others on guided tours, in classes or other fun programs. FACT SHEET (pdf)

Make an impact, give a gift!

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, we value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, fairness, and opportunity for all. We see implicit and explicit exclusion from green spaces like botanic gardens as an injustice that shapes our past and present and must be countered as we move into the future.

As a community, we believe that working to achieve equity and promote inclusion is both crucial and complex; we embrace the continuous commitment, the collective growth mindset, and the humility required to make meaningful transformation.

We strive to make access to employment and participation more equitable and to provide opportunities that are responsive to the goals, needs, and interests of the diverse and changing communities of Washington State.
Through this work, we seek to build an inclusive space where more people feel seen, heard, valued, and respected.

Honoring Place

The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.

Our Programs

In addition the two sites described above, the Botanic Gardens includes a variety of programs.

Academics – Through the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and the College of the Environment, faculty associated with UWBG work with students on topics such as climate impact on plants and ecological restoration.

Education and Outreach – The Botanic Gardens has one of the most extensive outreach programs at UW by providing adult education classes for home gardeners and horticulture professionals, as well as on-site tours, and events.  In addition, we have a very robust hands-on education program for school children ages preschool through high school.

Elisabeth C. Miller Library – With over 15,000 books on gardening techniques, garden design and history, native floras from around the world, and 400 magazine titles, the Miller Library has the most extensive horticulture collection in the Pacific Northwest.

Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium houses a collection of nearly 20,000 plant specimens that is primarily of those from the Washington Park Arboretum, including horticulturally significant plants and weeds.  We collect everything in fruit and flower and then mount each specimen and store it in a controlled environment at the Center for Urban Horticulture, with the goal to preserve the specimens indefinitely.

Rare Plant Care and Conservation is dedicated to conserving Washington’s native rare plants through methods including ex situ conservation, rare plant monitoring, research, reintroduction, and education.

UW Farm is a 1.5 acre, student-powered, urban vegetable market garden located on three sites at the University of Washington’s Seattle Campus.

Union Bay Natural Area is a 74-acre public wildlife area and natural restoration laboratory where more than 30 years of restoration have turned this former landfill into a diverse system of meadows, woods, and wetlands.  This area is one the best bird-watching areas in the city with over 200 species of birds calling it home throughout the year.

Our Partners

The Botanic Gardens depends on strong partnerships with local governments and organizations to carry out our mission.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is the co-manager of the Washington Park Arboretum. Seattle Parks staff maintain the park functions of the Arboretum, and the Botanic Gardens maintains the plant collections and runs the education programs. The two entities have partnered in the management of the Arboretum since 1934.

The Arboretum Foundation was established in 1935 to raise money to support the Washington Park Arboretum. Today the Foundation focuses on raising funds, promoting volunteerism, and advocating at the local and state level on issues that affect the Arboretum.

The Northwest Horticultural Society was founded in 1966 to support the establishment of the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington. The Society is a major financial supporter of the Elisabeth C. Miller Library and grants scholarships to students in horticulture at the University. The NHS Hall at the Center provides a meeting spaces for lectures and events.

Other important organizations with which we have partnerships include:

Photo Credit

Photos in this site are used with permission from photographers including Cindy Clark, Larry Howard, Stephanie Colony, Dennis Wise, Niall Dunne, Joy Spurr and others.

Back to Top