Volunteer Park Sustainability Coalition


In 2012, the City of Seattle released the Volunteer Park Conservatory Financial Strategy Report, outlining ways for the Conservatory to operate sustainability in the future. The idea of sustainability sparked a notion with FOC Board Member and architect Audrey Van Horne:

“What if the Conservatory could decrease reliance upon general funds by implementing smart resource management and alternatives on the Conservatory Grounds?”

From this idea the FOC Sustainability Committee was formed.

Initially the Committee researched several projects on the Conservatory campus such as solar gain, ground source heating, and rain and gray water retention and recycling.

Along the way the realization was made that the whole of Volunteer Park could benefit from such sustainability initiatives, and invitations our Volunteer Park neighbor organizations were sent.

Three years later, the then modest FOC committee has expanded to become the Volunteer Park Sustainability Coalition.

Partners Working Toward a Sustainable Tomorrow for Volunteer Park

Today the Coalition is comprised of the Friends of the Conservatory, The Volunteer Park Trust, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum, with the goal of making the infrastructure of the Park and its institutions more efficient and environmentally sound.

To this end the Coalition commissioned Young | Architects LLC to develop a Park Sustainability Improvement Measures Report [PDF]. This study examines existing infrastructure in the park and identifies potential improvements in water and energy use that will make the Park more sustainable, reduce long term costs, and improve environmental impacts.

The goal was to develop a long term plan for running the Park much more efficiently and providing effective coordination of renovation projects in the Park.

In November 2015, the Volunteer Park Sustainability Coalition was awarded a $25,000 Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund Grant by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The funds paid for a Park-wide water capture and reuse Feasibility Study [PDF] that was completed in February 2017 as the first facet of implementation of the Improvement Measures Study.

Related: Volunteer Park Sustainability Coalition Awarded Grant

The Sustainability Coalition works closely with the Seattle Park Department, Seattle Public Utilities and conservation groups to make Volunteer Park a standard for the intelligent and cost effective use of resources.