Join Our Green Lake History, Plant, and Bird Tour

Sunday, September 17, 2023
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Click Here to see the full invitation!

Green Lake Park serves as a natural preserve for hundreds of species of trees and plants, as well as numerous birds and waterfowl.

Friends of Green Lake invites you to join us on a walking tour around Green Lake to learn about the history of the park and facts and features of the plants and birds that inhabit one of the top ten parks in the country.

Meet at the Green Lake Park sign on the west side of the path, between the East Beach and the Community Center parking lot.

We will walk the 2.8 miles around the lake (counterclockwise) to end back at the start.

Sue Nicol is a retired horticulturist and member of the board of Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks since 2004. On this tour, she will cover the park’s history. In 1903, the Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architecture firm of Brookline, Massachusetts designed a park and boulevard system for our city.

In 1908, the City hired the Olmsted firm to design a park and parkway along the shores of Green Lake and called for lowering the lake 4 feet. In response, the City eventually lowered the lake 7 ft, reducing Ravenna Creek but adding over 100 acres to the park. Over the next several decades, the park was developed largely according to the Olmsted plan, and today it is one of the top 10 park systems in the country.

Ray Easterday has a master’s degree in Geology from The Ohio State University, and has taught natural sciences at universities, colleges, and museums for more than 20 years, including the Smithsonian, Field Museum, Burke Museum, Northeastern Illinois University, Bellevue College, and the University of Washington.

For the walking tour, Ray will focus on the plants of Green Lake, but also conduct a small scavenger hunt! Ray will point out both the common and rare plant and tree species at the lake, and how to identify them, including the cherry tree path that blooms from March – June.

Martin Muller used to live near Green Lake. For 14 years he did a weekly census of the park’s birds, giving him insight into seasonal changes in abundance and species present in the park.

During bird walks Martin likes to identify the birds, but also point out their behavior. Why are they in the park? This helps put the ecological function of the lake and surrounding parkland into perspective. People are not the only species using this resource!