The north creek wetlands boardwalk

The North Creek Wetlands

The University of Washington Bothell campus boasts an impressive 58 acres of restored wetlands surrounding North Creek. UW Bothell houses one of the largest and most complex floodplain restoration Washington State. 

History & Design

This project began in 1997 with the construction of campus, formerly an active cattle ranch, and was led in partnership with many professors who work and perform research on campus. This ecological restoration was a bold attempt to restore the lower part of the North Creek stream channel and 58 acres of pastureland to a sustainable, functioning floodplain ecosystem within an urbanizing watershed.

The project is unique in the degree to which fundamental theories of ecosystem and restoration ecology were utilized in the design and are being employed in the management of the site. 


The university maintains two full-time staff positions (plus additional seasonal workers in the summer) to continually and intentionally maintain the area, including replanting, removing invasive species, monitoring and gathering data, and adaptive management. The wetlands are maintained without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers.


The wetlands have created a thriving habitat for salmon and many other animal species, while simultaneously creating natural filtration for storm water run-off before the water ultimately reaches the Puget Sound. This natural feature is regionally recognized and is one of the proudest achievements on our campus. The wetlands attracts an incredible refuge for biodiversity in an increasingly urbanized corridor extending from Seattle to the Cascades. 

Visit the wetlands

The wetlands are not to be missed at University of Washington Bothell. There are many ways to visit and participate in wetlands activities, please visit the wetlands page for info on how you can get involved. 

In addition to the tours and labor that take place in the wetlands, they provide a unique and excellent resource for researchers, academics, and students. See the Research tab for information on doing research or class visits in the wetlands.