Growing Vine Street


Growing Vine Street

Since building the Belltown P-Patch in 1995 through 1998, neighborhood residents have dreamed of expanding the garden north into Vine Street. Others in Belltown-a densely populated neighborhood dominated by concrete and glass-have wanted to take the concept of “green streets” and make them real. In the mid-1990s, a diverse group of Belltown residents organized themselves as “Growing Vine Street” and began the greening of Vine Street. The plan was to treat the eight-block length of Vine Street as a watershed, turning it into a street park in the heart of Belltown. It was to bring the calming rhythm of nature to the urban setting and provide public access to the waterfront.

As the project evolves, it will provide benefits to the Seattle community. Currently, street and property runoff in Belltown is channeled into the combined sewer lines, which carry both raw sewage and relatively clean storm water to sewage treatment facilities. These combined lines operate beyond their capacity and overflow during heavy rains.

One of the principal features of the Growing Vine Street project is capturing local runoff and allowing it to follow the course of the natural watershed. Since urban runoff contains pollutants, some filtering is mandatory before this water is released into Elliott Bay. The Growing Vine Street project will clean storm water through biofiltration. This project is meant to be a test laboratory for urban neighborhoods, demonstrating the double benefit of reclaiming problem storm runoff while creating a desirable, living green space for people and habitat for wildlife.

The response from the local community has been overwhelmingly positive. Working together, Growing Vine Street, the Belltown community, and a multi-discipline team of consultants headed by Carlson Architects have produced a conceptual design. Our goal is to make Vine Street grow!

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