Duwamish River Park opens after decades of redevelopment

Jul 15, 2022, 12:29 PM | Updated: May 8, 2023, 9:40 am

(Photo courtesy of the Port of Seattle)...

(Photo courtesy of the Port of Seattle)

(Photo courtesy of the Port of Seattle)

Duwamish River is one of the country’s most polluted bodies of water, and it’s been undergoing extensive cleanup for decades.

This Saturday, the Duwamish River People’s Park and Shoreline Habitat will be inaugurated with a party to celebrate the work that’s been accomplished so far.

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The focus of the project was to embrace the diversity of the area of South Seattle with both the residents and the flora and fauna of the region, according to the Port of Seattle Commission.

“The Grand Opening will highlight the diversity of the Duwamish Valley and the South Park neighborhood, which is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse in the city,” the Port of Seattle website for the new park read. “It will celebrate the victories of the community partnerships that have formed the backbone of this project for the past two decades and the innovations in conservation science that this site represents.”

The Duwamish River Coalition’s Paulina Lopez tells KIRO Newsradio the community has played a huge part.

“We have been bringing our youth to the Duwamish Valley Youth Corp to plant some of the new trees, the new habitats, including the native plants,” Lopez said. “These have all been done in an effort to bring youth voices to be represented in the project.”

The last five miles of the Duwamish River is considered one of the most polluted waterways in the country and was declared a Superfund site 21 years ago. This means that the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology have designated it a toxic site that needs to be addressed, and the park clean-up process was one step on that journey,

At the event, there will be performances, speeches, activities, tours, booths, food, and more celebrating the local community that made the project possible.

The celebration of the project will be held on Saturday, July 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in South Park at the new Duwamish River People’s Park and Shoreline Habitat.

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Duwamish River Park opens after decades of redevelopment