As part of the mitigation plan for the expansion of 520, the State will fund the creation of five new wetland sites on Lake Washington, one of which being the WSDOT Peninsula and its ambling lagoons next to the Washington Park Arboretum. The City of Seattle has provisionally approved a plan to create five acres of wetlands along the peninsula by regrading 28,000 cubic yards of earth and replanting native species. Regrading one wetland to make yet another leads to the question: just what is a wetland anyway?
UW student Todd Yingling presents an interesting answer in a Landscape Architecture studio that addressed this issue for the WSDOT Peninsula site. His Lily Pads project uses floating platforms to grow plants and create walking paths out over the water. The floating “lily pads” take a common plant found in the area and reuses their form at the urban scale. The “natural” shoreline is consciously left alone – natural since its creation when 520 was built in the 1960s – and keeps remnants of the freeway ramps as viewpoints and reminders of the man-made history of the site.
Thanks Todd, for sharing your project!