Chief Sealth Trail Green Stormwater Infrastructure – Utilities


Aerial view of the Chief Sealth Trail map near Wing Luke Elementary School with new sidewalk and planned green infrastructure marked.

Project description

Reduce stormwater pollution and street flooding

Each year, more than 12 million pounds of pollution are carried into our water bodies by stormwater runoff. Stormwater that falls on rooftops, streets, and parking lots in your neighborhood can pick up harmful pollutants before flowing into Lake Washington. Pollutants can harm fish, wildlife and our ecosystems.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will construct new green stormwater infrastructure at the intersection of S. Kenyon St and Chief Sealth Trail to manage stormwater runoff in the Othello neighborhood. This project will be a green space that uses special soil and deep-rooted plants to temporarily retain and filter polluted stormwater. The project will help protect the water quality of Lake Washington by filtering stormwater from approximately 25 acres of hilltop neighborhood. It will also provide new open green space for the community and may reduce the risk of street flooding in Othello.

This project is in partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and its Safe Routes to School program. Once SDOT constructs a new sidewalk at this location, SPU will install the green stormwater infrastructure.


SPU’s stormwater management green infrastructure will be located at the intersection of S. Kenyon Street and the Chief Sealth Trail. This is the area east of Wing Luke Elementary, along 39th Ave S.

What happens now?

This project is currently in the early planning stages as we investigate design options for green stormwater infrastructure.

SPU is working closely with SDOT and its Safe Routes to School program to ensure the new green stormwater infrastructure aligns with SDOT’s sidewalk project and new segment of the Chief Sealth Trail.

Community Benefits

Green stormwater infrastructure provides multiple benefits to neighborhoods and local ecosystems, including:

  • Increased landscape diversity
  • Less risk of flooding
  • Healthier stream, lake and saltwater ecosystems
  • More tree planting

By partnering with SDOT, SPU can improve open green spaces, align with community priorities for better pedestrian safety and connections, and improve use of the Chief Sealth Trail.

Community involvement

Community input will be essential to this project alongside technical assessments at each phase of the project. There will be several opportunities for the public to engage and provide feedback throughout the project.

If you would like to learn more about the project and upcoming community engagement opportunities, please sign up to receive email updates about the project.


Early 2022

End of 2022

  • Choose the preferred project option




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