A walk in nature and time in a garden provide a serene and healing environment for many. With that aim in mind, the Sammamish Botanical Garden Society (SBGS) is proposing to the city the creation of a botanical garden at Big Rock Park South.
SBGS currently maintains the Heritage Garden at Big Rock Park Central. The Heritage Garden educates visitors on the utilitarian gardening of 19th century Sammamish plateau settlers.
In contrast, the new botanical garden would help educate visitors on a diverse range of plants that complement today’s local environments and needs. This would expand the society’s educational programing for the community.
SBGS president Janelle Deutsch said gardening education events are “very helpful for people who are new to our area and want to grow something successfully in Sammamish’s microclimate.” She added that the proposed botanical garden would feature a “great picks garden” that demonstrates which plants grow best in local backyard environments with various soil and sun conditions.
The botanical garden also addresses equity by providing garden experiences for residents who may not have access to garden space of their own.
“It’s plant equity for everybody because even if you don’t have a yard you [could] go through this garden and learn about different plants,” Deutsch said.
SBGS wants to create the botanical garden on the 14.87 acres of land that was recently donated by Mary Pigott, which is known formally as Big Rock Park South. Rather than creating one central garden, SBGS proposes disbursing the garden throughout the park to support a multipurpose vision for the land.
This is the second time SBGS members have asked the city to create a botanical garden. Deutsch, along with two other current members of SBGS, Sarah Cheng and Lena Wegner, were members of the Pine Lake Garden Club when they first requested the garden in 2018. However, that request was denied. The city offered them the opportunity to create the Heritage Garden instead.
Most recently, Deutsch spoke briefly with the Sammamish City Council regarding a potential botanical garden in April. Additionally, she and Wegner gave a presentation to the Parks and Recreation Commission in May. Overall, they received positive feedback from the commission.
The city is currently asking for the community’s input on how to develop the park through this survey.
Deutsch requested those who are interested in their botanical garden idea to please take the survey and make the suggestion in the additional comments box.
To learn more about the Sammamish Botanical Garden Society, please visit their website.