Header photo: Barred Owl in the Arboretum (courtesy Larry Hubbell).
About the Arboretum Foundation
The Arboretum Foundation, a non-profit membership organization, has provided stewardship for Washington Park Arboretum since 1935. The Foundation raises funds, advocates, and manages membership and volunteer programs for the Arboretum. Fundraising events and programs include the annual Opening Night Party and Auction, the Arboretum’s annual plant and holiday sales, and the Arboretum Gift Shop. Foundation membership benefits range from a subscription to our quarterly magazine, the Arboretum Bulletin, invitations to guided tours, and discounts at participating retailers.
Mission & Vision
MISSION: The Arboretum Foundation promotes, protects, and enhances the Washington Park Arboretum for current and future generations by strengthening and building a diverse and engaged community of donors, volunteers, and advocates.
VISION: The Arboretum is a highly treasured, widely used community asset and a horticultural, environmental, recreational, and cultural resource for the region.
We acknowledge that the city of Seattle and its environs, including the Arboretum, are on traditional lands of the Coast Salish People. We recognize their stewardship of this land since time immemorial and thank the original caretakers—past, present, and future—of this land. This acknowledgement is a small act in the ongoing work of the Arboretum Foundation to be in good relationship with the land and the people of the land.
Founded in 1935 by a small group of impassioned advocates, the Foundation has been integral to the development and success of the Arboretum.
Meet our board and staff, learn about our partner organizations at the University of Washington and City of Seattle, and see new job opportunities.
Each June, we publish an Annual Report detailing the work we do to sustain the Arboretum and thanking our generous donors. See audited financial statements
As part of our mission to sustain and protect Washington Park Arboretum, the Foundation advocates at the local, city, and state levels.
Our quarterly Arboretum Bulletin, provides in-depth articles about the plant collections and their history, as well as general gardening information.
The Foundation is committed to stewarding a welcoming and safe nature-based haven for all in our community. Read our statement on racial and social justice.
Funding Maintenance, Education & Improvement Projects
The Foundation provides funds for essential Arboretum operations and programs, including tree care, maintenance, seasonal gardeners, environmental education, and collection restoration. We also raise money for improvement projects and to help sustain the Seattle Japanese Garden at the Arboretum. Read more.
Advocating for the Arboretum
The Foundation has expanded its core mission in recent years to include advocacy on behalf of Arboretum interests. This has been most evident in our work to minimize the environmental impacts of the SR 520 bridge replacement project, and to secure mitigation funding from the project to finance improvement to the Arboretum. Read more.
In spring 2022, the Foundation’s Board of Directors undertook a review of the organization’s bylaws, and made some updates to ensure consistency between the new Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act and our Articles of Incorporation. Changes included new language about electronic meetings and voting, consolidation to one voting class of membership, and clarifying procedures around the election of officers. Read the bylaws (PDF 0.15 MB).
A 501 (c) (3)
As a 501 (c) (3) organization, the Arboretum Foundation accepts unrestricted and restricted gifts (to special funds such as tree care and education) from individuals, corporations, and private foundations. We also accept planned gifts, such as bequests and beneficiary designations. Gifts to the Arboretum Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.