Project Nature Blog

6 Seattle Parks off the Beaten Path

Queen Anne: Parsons Garden

A hidden oasis just down the road from the busier Kerry Park, Parsons Garden was donated to the city by the Parsons family in 1956. This tranquil spot offers plenty of shady areas for a picnic, benches, and a grassy lawn – it’s especially worth stopping by for a dose of Vitamin N (nature!) when the flowering trees are in bloom! Cross the street to tiny Marshall Park for a view of Puget Sound.


 Ballard: Kirke Park

Kirke (church in Norwegian) Park was home to the Church of the Seventh Elect in Spiritual Israel for more than 90 years, and the ruins of the church remain on the site, incorporated into the gardens and play areas.  A playset, short nature trail, and p-patch make this neighborhood park a welcome addition to the north end of Ballard.


Mount Baker: Bradner Gardens Park

This 1.6-acre park in the Mt. Baker neighborhood showcases seven ornamental theme gardens: butterfly & hummingbird, fragrance, sensory, shade, xeriscape, winter interest and northwest native. There are also 60+ p-patch plots, Seattle Tilth and Urban Food demonstration gardens, covered picnic areas, and a children’s A to Z garden with whimsical art throughout. Next to the children’s play area, you’ll find a 33-foot-tall vintage windmill that circulates water from the seasonal pond to a streambed.

West Seattle: Jack Block Park

This Port of Seattle park on Harbor Island Ave. has something for everyone – a play area, walking path, waterfront pier, and a 45-foot high observation tower. On clear days you’ll be rewarded with views of the Seattle skyline and Mt. Rainier, plus chance to see the shipping cranes at work. Parking and restrooms are available on site.


 Northgate: Mineral Springs Park

Home to one of Seattle’s two disc-golf courses, Mineral Springs is tucked away just off Northgate Way, west of I-5. Once a residential and farming area, the park has wooded paths, an art walk, small ponds and a variety of trees, including birch, redwood, aspen and dogwood. Don’t miss “Cloud Stones” – a series of stone sculptures created specifically for the park.


South Park: Marra-Desimone Park

Home to Marra Farm, an urban community farm committed to sustainable agriculture, education, and food security, the farm and park together encompass 8.7 acres of preserved farmland in South Park. Don’t miss the Children’s Garden, where Lettuce Link (a community program run by Solid Ground) hosts a series of gardening and nutrition programs for children. Many park improvements are planned for 2018, including covered picnic areas and a farm-themed play area.

Written for Project Nature by Jennifer Donahue