Safety Improved Around Graham Visitors Center
Responding to a request from the Arboretum Foundation, our partners at UW Botanic Gardens and Seattle Parks and Recreation recently took steps to improve safety and security around the main building and parking lot of the Graham Visitors Center.
In the past couple of weeks, UW horticulture staff removed some of the katsura trees from the parking lot and pruned others back, for two reasons: 1) because the trees were overcrowded and they needed more space for healthy growth; and 2) because the vegetation was so dense that it was blocking the light from adjacent poles from reaching the ground.
University hort staff also removed an overgrown swathe of salal from the north side of the Visitors Center and limbed up shrubs and trees there in order to reestablish safety view corridors. This will eliminate potential hide-outs for illicit activities and homeless encampments. It will also reduce the rat population by decreasing the amount of vegetation available to them to make their dens.
Finally, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff relamped the poles in the parking lot with new LED light bulbs.
The overall effect has been to create a much brighter, safer, and more comfortable experience for visitors and Arboretum staff using the parking lot in the evening and during night events.
New plantings: UW Botanic Gardens Curator of Living Collections Ray Larson has drawing up plans for new, low-growing plants to be installed in the north bed and parking lot median. The plant palette is inspired by the Pacific Connections Garden, and planting will begin soon!