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University of Washington Botanic Gardens


Washington Park Arboretum
Center for Urban Horticulture

About Us

The University of Washington Botanic Gardens was established in 2005 to unite the gardens and programs of the Washington Park Arboretum and Center for Urban Horticulture. As part of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and College of the Environment, UW Botanic Gardens is an international hub for plant science and ecosystem research, teaching, and stewardship. The nationally renowned living plant collection contains over 10,000 specimens. It's located around the shoreline of Union Bay on Lake Washington. If you’re looking for a place to walk, study, express your artistic talents, purchase a nature-inspired gift, or schedule a meeting or wedding, we invite you to visit both locations. You’ll find many opportunities for individual enjoyment and learning, as well as guided tours, classes and other programs.

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

The Sites of UW Botanic Gardens:

Center for Urban Horticulture

The Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH) consists of Merrill Hall, Merrill Commons, Isaacson Hall, Northwest Horticultural Society (NHS) Hall and the Douglas Classroom and Research Conservatory. Housed in these buildings are the Miller Library, Hyde Herbarium, staff and faculty offices, laboratories, and the King County Master Gardener Foundation. Surrounding the buildings are demonstration gardens and the Union Bay Natural Area.

Street address:
3501 NE 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98105 (map)

Mailing address:
UW Botanic Gardens
Box 354115
Seattle, WA 98195-4115

Phone: 206-543-8616
Fax: 206-685-2692
Email: uwbg@uw.edu
Facility rentals: uwbgfac@uw.edu
Miller Library: 206-543-0415 or hortlib@uw.edu

Washington Park Arboretum

The Arboretum is a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Washington. Jointly managed by UW and the City of Seattle, its 230 acres are a dynamic assortment of plants found nowhere else. The City owns the land and the University owns all of the trees and plant collections. In terms of care, maintenance and management, the City takes care of the park-like functions (trails, benches, garbage) and the UW Botanic Gardens takes care of the gardens, trees, and plant collections. The Graham Visitors Center contains an information desk and a gift shop managed by the Arboretum Foundation. The Japanese Garden, located at the south end of the Arboretum, has an entrance fee and is managed by the City of Seattle.

Street address
2300 Arboretum Drive E
Seattle, WA 98112 (map)

Mailing address
UW Botanic Gardens
Box 358010
Seattle, WA 98195-8010

Phone: 206-543-8800
Fax: 206-616-2871
Email: uwbg@uw.edu
Facility rentals:uwbgfac@uw.edu
School programs: 206-543-8801or uwbgeduc@uw.edu

Our Programs

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

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

Education and Outreach – UW Botanic Gardens has one of the most extensive outreach programs on the UW campus 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 14,000 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.  They 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 Program is dedicated to conserving Washington's native rare plants through methods including ex situ conservation, rare plant monitoring, research, reintroduction, and education. 

Orin and Ally Soest Herbaceous Garden was created to help local gardeners select plants appropriate to a variety of site conditions commonly found in Pacific Northwest urban gardens. This showcase garden delights visitors throughout the year with color and texture that evolves from season to season.

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. 

Last modified:
Thursday, 07-Jan-2016 14:11:45 PST