duwamish hill preserve

The Duwamish Hill Preserve is a 10.5-acre parcel of historical, cultural and ecological significant land in Tukwila. In 2001, Forterra, the City of Tukwila and local citizen group Friends of the Hill formed a partnership to work towards the preservation of this land slated for industrial development. The parcel was successfully acquired in 2004 by Forterra (then Cascade Land Conservancy) and the City of Tukwila. After many years of hard work by volunteers, the Duwamish Hill Preserve was officially opened to the public in 2010.

cultural history

The Preserve now includes an outdoor classroom area, the Cultural Garden, an enhanced trail system and continued restoration opportunities for volunteers. The Duwamish Hill Preserve is managed as a public open space preserve dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of its rich Native American cultural history, ecological importance and community impact.
Due to its elevated position above the Duwamish River, the Hill offered a vantage point from which Native Americans could watch for incoming groups and communicate with fellow tribe members along the Duwamish River Valley. Additionally, the hill is associated with the southern Puget Sound Salish oral tradition in the stories collectively known as the “Epic of the Winds,” as told by Roger Fernandes.

Natural History

The hill is a glacial remnant that is older than Mount Rainier. Within the Preserve are several unique microclimates, including the rare Rocky Bald habitat. Rocky Balds feature many species of flora and fauna that are rarely seen along the banks of the Duwamish River. As restoration work continues you can enjoy the natural history of this place by visiting during different seasons. Listen for the first croaking frogs announcing the end of winter in February. Come back in May to see beautiful blue camas blooms. Return again in late summer and fall to look for hazelnuts and acorns ripening.

puget sound salish cultural garden

The Cultural Garden at the base of the hill features restored habitats with native plants important to the Puget Sound Salish People. The cultural and natural history of the Preserve is artistically presented through etched bench backs on the Hill and illustrated signs throughout the Cultural Garden created by local artist, Mette Hanson. A focal point for the Garden is the “Journey Through the Seasonal Rounds” installation on the northwest side of Hill. This large granite etching highlights traditional uses of native plants by the Puget Sound Salish people and serves as a gathering place for classes and storytelling.

educational opportunties

The Hill is an excellent outdoor classroom. In collaboration with local teachers, administrators and community members, Forterra is working to encourage and facilitate educational programming by hosting field trips and creating curriculum centered around the unique features of the hill.
Forterra has worked with Tukwila School District teachers to develop lesson plans for students to use on field trips to the Hill, along with pre-visit and post-visit classroom activities. We invite teachers throughout the Puget Sound region to bring school groups to the Hill for exploration of this unique property and hands-on experience with restoring native plants.


The 10.5-acre parcel in Tukwila, the Duwamish Hill Preserve is managed as a public open space preserve dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of its rich Native American cultural history, ecological importance and community impact.


get involved

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visiting duwamish hill preserve

Education Opportunities –
Explore the curriculum links below which include environmental science, social studies, the arts, and many other topics. If you would like to learn more about getting a school or youth group involved, please contact us below.

Curriculum Information:

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