Patrick Robinson
The pathway past the Roxhill Bog is on S.W. Barton Street. The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council is seeking the community's help in compiling information about the bog with a goal of preserving and protecting this local wetland.

West Seattle Bog needs your help; Wetlands require a study and remedial work

Thinking globally and acting locally usually means doing your best to recycle, dispose of chemicals properly and keeping your drains clear. But acting locally to preserve and protect the environment also means a level of public stewardship over local land including wetlands.

Wetlands prevent flooding by holding water much like a sponge. By doing so, wetlands help keep water levels normal and filter and purify the surface water in rivers, streams and in West Seattle specifically, Longfellow Creek.

The headwaters of the creek actually begin in Roxhill Park, in a wetland that is literally a bog.

But according to the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, the Roxhill Bog is in trouble.

In a well researched and in depth project report, the council says:
• The bog’s water levels are too low.
• The bog’s water levels fluctuate too much.
• The reduced water levels could eventually cause the destruction of the natural peat base, which may be irreversible.
• The most likely cause: a storm water drainage system which may be acting as a French drain surrounding the park that is draining the bog.
• We can’t be positive without a full hydrological study, but it’s highly likely that this is the cause.
• The current condition of the bog and park may be contributing to periodic flooding north along the Delridge corridor, all the way to the North Delridge neighborhood.

They say that a so called “coffer dam” is required to protect and restore the bog but that a hydrology study is required to be certain. But that means money in the form of a grant, or other source. Some estimates according to the council put that figure at over a million dollars.

Once all information is available and they have a completed history of all events and work done to the Roxhill Bog, they will be able to coordinate a proposal for the following four steps:

  • Develop a new park hydrology model
  • Design hardware to go into the ground to keep the water in the bog
  • The building and installation of it all
  • Follow up study to make sure it’s working
  • It will need to go through Seattle City Parks, Seattle Public Utilities, the King County Department of Natural Resources, and their Waste Water group.

The project authors are asking for anyone with any missing knowledge or pieces of information related to this to email to . You might have anecdotes, photos, or memories of the bog's condition that would help complete the picture of its history and impact in the community.

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