Elliott Bay Connections: Seattle’s new waterfront parks

Unveiling a public-private partnership to transform Elliott Bay’s green spaces

In an extraordinary collaborative effort, the City of Seattle and the Port of Seattle have joined forces with major philanthropists and community organizations to launch Elliott Bay Connections, a comprehensive plan to invigorate and link waterfront parks. The ambitious initiative aims to achieve its mission without any additional burden on taxpayers.

Connecting Seattle’s parks with a new greenway

One of the project’s cornerstones is a pedestrian and bicycle greenway that will stretch from Waterfront Park to the Olympic Sculpture Park. This update aims to make the waterfront more accessible to walkers, cyclists, and people with mobility aids, effectively modernizing old infrastructure for a new era of sustainable transport.

Revitalizing Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks

Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks, known for their incredible vistas, will also receive significant upgrades. These improvements include modernized facilities, restored public fishing areas at Pier 86, and expanded sustainable landscaping, all geared toward enhancing the visitor experience.

Engaging the community

Community involvement will be a crucial aspect of the Elliott Bay Connections plan. A series of public consultations are slated for this fall, allowing residents to share their insights on the greenway’s design and desired park amenities.

Major backing from private donors

Philanthropists such as Melinda French Gates, MacKenzie Scott, and organizations like the Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation and the Expedia Group, have committed to covering the $45 million project cost. Their substantial contributions make this project possible and signify a robust public-private collaboration.

A look at the numbers

  • Cost: $45 million
  • Project Completion: June 2026
  • Total Acres: 50
  • Greenway Length: Nearly 1 mile
  • Donor Funding: A decade of financial support for maintenance and stewardship

What it means for the future

Elliott Bay Connections promises not only immediate enhancements but also a framework for sustainable growth and community wellbeing for decades to come. The collaboration among public entities, philanthropic organizations, and the community could serve as a template for other cities, offering a blend of urban rejuvenation, environmental stewardship, and public engagement.


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