Finn Hill's Ecosystem
Finn Hill’s woodlands and watersheds have been severely degraded through deforestation and suburban development over the last 150 years. Nevertheless, the neighborhood is served by numerous large parks and most of its ravines are wooded; some of Finn Hill’s creeks and wetlands remain. Thanks to the preservation of these natural assets, Finn Hill retains some excellent examples of Puget Sound lowland native plant and tree ecosystems. Areas of Finn Hill are home to dense canopies of mature second growth Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, madrone, big leaf maple, and vine maple. Beneath these trees are native shrubs and ground cover such as osoberry, Oregon grape, salal, and huckleberry.
Finn Hill also still hosts a significant variety of wildlife that have found ways to adapt to human encroachment. Black tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, mountain beavers, squirrels, muskrats, racoons, beavers and otters live amongst us. Flying squirrels have been spotted in St. Edward Park to the immediate north of Big Finn Hill Park. Bald eagles and owls roost in Finn Hill’s Douglas firs, herons circle above Lake Washington along Finn Hill’s shoreline, ducks are ubiquitous, as are Canadian geese. Local residents, working with UW Faculty through the St. Edward Environmental Education & Research Center are tabulating evidence of wildlife activity throughout Finn Hill.
Want to learn more about Finn Hill’s flora and fauna? Check out the following:
St. Edward Environmental Education & Research Center, a new center managed by University of Washington-Bothell: UW Bothell at the EERC in Saint Edward State Park (uwbeerc.org). In particular, stop by the Native Plant Learning Garden in St. Edward Park; the garden includes 30 common species, each tagged with QR codes linking to profiles of the plant’s natural history and indigenous uses. You can also look at the Native Plant Learning Garden’s webpages hosted by the EERC: https://uwbeerc.org/programs/plant-tour.
Eastside Audubon Society: Eastside Audubon Society