North Creek Wetlands Overview
The University of Washington, Bothell – Cascadia Community College campus houses one of the largest and most complex floodplain restorations in Washington State. Begun in 1997 with the construction of campus, this ecological restoration is a bold attempt to restore the lower part of the North Creek stream channel and 58 acres of pastureland to a sustainable, functioning floodplain ecosystem within an urbanizing watershed. The project is unique in the degree to which fundamental theories of ecosystem and restoration ecology were utilized in the design and are being employed in the management of the site.
Diligent maintenance combined with thoughtful design has helped make this wetland a regionally-recognized success story. Just seven years after finishing planting, the wetland met 100% of the ten-year project objectives. It is already home to a rich mosaic of plants and animals, providing a living laboratory for the study of wetland ecosystems and restoration. K-12 and college classes from around the Puget Sound region have visited, while local scientists use the site to study nature and its recovery.
Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory
The Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory (SSGC) was completed in the summer of 2013. This complex on the western edge of the wetlands houses a greenhouse, classroom, and support space for education and research. Surrounding the SSGC are raised beds for demonstration of native plantings and experimental plots, as well as facilities for raising native plants for ongoing management of the wetlands. The SSGC provides a dynamic center for environmental learning and a portal to the campus wetlands.
Visit the Wetlands
We invite you to come experience the wetlands from the paved trail around the edge or the boardwalk that leads to the banks of North Creek. Further access into the campus wetlands is carefully regulated and balanced with protection of this recovering ecosystem. Follow the links on this page to read about the wetlands in more detail and learn how you can visit in general, experience the wetlands as a student, use the wetlands in teaching a class, or do research in the wetlands. You may also wish to browse the Wetlands Electronic Archive that houses over 1,000 wetlands photographs (available for academic use), videos about the wetlands, and detailed technical documents on the design, construction, and monitoring of the wetlands.