Glimpse into the past – What a difference a day makes!

Aerial view of University of Washington Campus, 1940

There is a song which I used to sing all the time, “What a Difference a Day Makes”! Every day, the news is filled with stories about new plans to increase density and building heights in the city of Seattle, and especially in the University District. The University of Washington has just released a new Campus Master Plan which also increases building density and height. 

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Participate in a Seattle Parks Study

Seattle Parks and Recreation is undertaking a project to learn of ways to improve the specialty gardens in the Park system, including the Washington Park Arboretum. The project is funded by the Specialty Gardens division of the Seattle Parks Department and is being conducted by HR2 Research and Analytics. HR2 Research and Analytics are conducting focus groups, with a $25 compensation (participants must confirm attendance with Haley Brown at hbrown@hr2researchandanalytics.com or 425-777-6718 -to receive compensation and ensure seating). 

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March 2017 Plant Profile: Corokia cotoneaster

Corokia cotoneaster may not be the first plant that you notice in the landscape, but it might be the plant keeps your attention the longest. This plant’s divaricate branching (having branches of wide angles) and its tiny dark evergreen leaves give it a sparse and angular look which is not a common sight among the green gardens in the Pacific Northwest. 

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Glimpse into the past - Tree Care Then and Now

The Washington Park Arboretum has long been known as a “tree place.” In fact, two sister volunteers from Mercer Island (Lee Clark and Marion “Nukie” Fellows) were instrumental in getting bumper stickers printed in the 1990s which said “Tree Cheers for the Arboretum”. The Arboretum, as with every park in Seattle, has a matrix of native plants composed of the four primary Pacific Northwest forest trees: Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and Big-leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). 

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Progress on the new Arboretum Loop Trail

If you’ve recently visited the Washington Park Arboretum, you may have noticed the new Arboretum Loop Trail is taking shape. Crews have continued to make progress through a very wet fall and cold winter, and they hope to open the first section in mid-February. Part of the Arboretum’s long-term Master Plan, the project creates 1.2 miles of new trail, completing a 2.5 mile loop. 

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Helping Gardens Grow: How volunteers nurture new plants to support the Arboretum Foundation

If you’ve ever wandered the Washington Park Arboretum delighting in the year-round plant displays and wishing you could take a piece of the experience home, then be sure to explore the Pat Calvert Greenhouse on your next visit. The greenhouse—and the volunteer effort behind it—were established by its namesake in 1959. Pat Calvert was inspired to create a space for Arboretum Foundation members to practice propagation, and she worked with the Foundation to secure funds to build the structure and start the program. 

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A glimpse into the past – a Volunteer Thank You

University of Washington Botanic Gardens staff preparing and serving the food.

All non-profit organizations live and breathe with volunteers. The University of Washington Botanic Gardens counts on hundreds of volunteers and has prospered with their help for over 75 years. The major support group for the Washington Park Arboretum is the Arboretum Foundation, and the Northwest Horticultural Society supports many aspects of the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Elisabeth C. Miller Library. 

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Happy Holidays from the Washington Park Arboretum!

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (12/20/16 - 1/3/17)

1)   Calocedrus decurrens                Incense Cedar This native of Oregon and south to Baja California was first described by Colonel John C. Fremont in 1846. Incense cedar is often confused with Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), but is distinguished by its branchlets being held vertically, its narrow pyramidal habit, and by the lack of white stomata on the leaf undersides. Located north of the Wilcox Bridge (marked by a sign) and east of the Pinetum Loop Trail. 

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A glimpse into the past - the Director’s Holiday Open House

For 13 years, the Director’s Holiday Open House was a tradition for all University of Washington Botanic Gardens staff (from the Center for Urban Horticulture and Washington Park Arboretum), Arboretum staff from the City of Seattle, all volunteers, Arboretum Foundation board members, and other friends and dignitaries. It began when John A. Wott moved to the Washington Park Arboretum in 1993 to become the first on-site director in many years. 

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2016 Wott Fellowship Winner Named

Pictured are Dr. John A. Wott, Director emeritus, UW Botanic Gardens; Kelsey Taylor, recipient; and Fred Hoyt, Interim Director, UW Botanic Gardens.

The winner of the John A. Wott Botanic Gardens Endowed Fellowship for 2016 is Kelsey Taylor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences M.S. candidate.  Kelsey was selected earlier this year through the leadership of the late Dr. Sarah Reichard, Director UW Botanic Gardens.  Kelsey is a Washington native who has enjoyed an outdoor education since her formative years. Her interest in research began as an undergraduate, where she worked on stream-side restoration and renewal of salt water marshes in coastal Virginia. 

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