Washington Park Arboretum Community Survey and Engagement

Seattle, WA / 2023

Seva Workshop led this community engagement effort to help the Arboretum Foundation better understand its user and non-user needs and better integrate equity into future planning and programming.

In collaboration with the Arboretum Foundation and University of Washington Botanical Gardens, Seva crafted and implemented an engagement plan to reach both existing Arboretum users as well as non-users, including communities typically underrepresented in parks planning. Over the summer of 2023 the Seva team engaged nearly 6,000 community members about the future of the Arboretum through an online survey, on-site intercept surveys of Arboretum and Japanese Garden users, tabling at community events throughout Seattle, and interviewing representatives from underserved communities.

Our analysis of these survey responses, conversations, and interviews sought to understand how people use and value the Arboretum, the distinct needs and desires of users and non-users, and what an equitable and inclusive future for the Arboretum could encompass. Our final report details key findings and recommendations for the Japanese Garden, North End Parcel, and Arboretum. Informed by this report, future improvements to the Arboretum facilities and programming will strive to rectify the long-entrenched inequities in the history of botany and public gardens.

Learn more about the Community Survey. 

Illustrations by Natalie Dupille; photos by Ulysses Curry.

Photo: Jason Morse

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