Pollinator Pathway

Seattle’s Columbia Street: The Pollinator Pathway. The first Pollinator Pathway is a mile long by 12 foot wide corridor of pollinator friendly gardens being built in planting strips on Seattle’s Columbia Street. The point of this iconic project is to connect two isolated public green spaces (Seattle University’s campus and Nora’s Woods, a pocket woods) with a corridor of native-pollinator-focused gardens, which the project designs, funds, and builds following the criteria of the project. Twenty Pollinator Pathway gardens are now in place on Columbia.

Where is it? The first Pollinator Pathway is on Columbia Street between 12th and 29th Avenues and is bookended by two existing public green spaces – Seattle University and a small park called Nora’s Woods. When fully realized, it will draw a line of plant life between these green spaces, connecting them. Seattle University has a long history with sustainable landscaping methods, and houses a pollinator friendly garden. Nora’s Woods is a tiny woods that hosts many native, pollinator friendly plants.

A Living Classroom. The Pollinator Pathway is built as a living classroom for university level students. The project is the subject of classes at Seattle University, the University of Washington, and Cornish College of the Arts; classes cover systems thinking, whole systems design, and design thinking.

Biodiversity. The Pollinator Pathway is designed for humans, birds, and pollinators, and is especially created to appeal to native pollinators.

Design. All plants on the project are carefully researched, with multiple considerations: Department of Transportation guidelines, native pollinator appeal, ease of care, drought tolerance, and human enjoyment

Monitoring. The Pollinator Pathway works with Erin Sullivan, an entomologist and collections manager at the Woodland Park Zoo, to monitor the project. Our first monitoring effort was in 2009 with Seattle University students; since 2010, Erin has monitored the project weekly for 9 months out of the year. Our primary interest is in finding out what is visiting the Pathway, and what plants they prefer; our findings in turn help inform the design.
© the Pollinator Pathway.