The Greenbelt

The city’s largest remaining contiguous forest, the West Duwamish Greenbelt, covers over 500 acres and spans over four miles north to south and west to east from a steep slope in the elridge area in West Seattle to the Duwamish Waterway. The West Duwamish Greenbelt provides a habitat for wildlife such as herons, bald eagles, hawks, owls, foxes, salamander, and frogs. It also allows people the opportunity to experience the great outdoors inside the city.  The West Duwamish Greenbelt is an underutilized public space that could be more fully used ford recreation, connecting points of interest, forest restoration, and environmental education activities.  There is a large community of current and potential users that would like to see greater use of this urban forest, including developing an enhanced network of trails in the West Duwamish Greenbelt.  The West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group (WDGT) has come together to promote the use of the greenbelt and identify commong goals for the greenbelt to develop a unified strategy that will beneit the surrounding neighborhood and the larger Seattle community.  

Wildlife in the Greenbelt

Barred Owl PP 20 5-6-21
Adult barred owl in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Photo by Leo Shaw.

This spring barred owls have been active in the northern section of the greenbelt.  The two fledglings spotted here

were probably born in May (the owls usually nest in the hollows of trees). 

Owl fledglings
Fledgling barred owls

Fathers may do the hunting for food, but the mother tears prey into bite-size pieces with her beak and claws for the


Barred Owl feeding fledglings PP 24ac 5-27-21

The owls do most of their hunting at dawn or dusk.  During the day they roost on branches unless the fledglings

squawk their hunger loudly enough to send parents hunting.  They have begun to catch their own food.  For more

information about barred owls, check this website.  

There are also three Coopers Hawk nests, one in Pigeon Point Park, one in Puget Park and one in the Greenbelt near

14th Ave. SW and SW Holly St.  

CA ooper's Hawks fledglings LP 7-27-20 (149)

One is shown feasting on a mouse, or is it a rat?

Cooper's Hawk adult with mouse MW 7-1-20

Photos are by Leo “Buzz” Shaw.