While technically not a park, Meadowbrook Pond is a user-friendly Seattle Public Utilities accessible area with walking paths. The Pond is on the east side of 35th Ave NE with an entrance marked by signage and boulders, directly across the street from the Meadowbrook Pool & Community Center which is at 10517 35th Ave NE.
The Thornton Creek Watershed of northeast Seattle was named for a land claimant, John Thornton, an early resident of Washington Territory. The creek system has two main branches, north and south, which converge in Meadowbrook in the block between NE 105th and 110th Streets alongside the arterial 35th Ave NE. This area is called The Confluence.
Meadowbrook Pond was created at this point in The Confluence to reduce flooding, filter the water and slow the flow of the creek to its outlet at Matthews Beach at NE 93rd Street on Lake Washington. This blog post will highlight the beauty of Meadowbrook Pond in winter, with photos taken by members of the Friends of Meadowbrook Pond.
Beginning in 1996, Meadowbrook Pond has been improved and enlarged several times as a place to accommodate flood waters. The most recent improvements completed in 2015 enlarged the pond area on its northeast corner. A new two-acre flood plain and meandering channel was created for larger capacity to hold floodwaters. Channeling the water at the pond serves to slow the flow, filter sediment out of the water and prevent downstream flooding.
In addition to reducing local flooding, ongoing work in the Confluence Project was done to help restore water quality, improve fish and wildlife habitat and make the Confluence more visible to the public to create awareness of the environment. Instead of being hidden in culverts and choked by vegetation, the south branch of the creek now flows under a bridge of 35th Ave NE with the meandering channel visible.
At all seasons Meadowbrook Pond is an oasis of nature where beavers, river otters, herons, ducks and other water birds can be seen. Even in winter the Pond is beautiful. Neighbors as well as members of volunteer groups such as Thornton Creek Alliance, monitor the Pond daily. Here are photos contributed by neighborhood residents for the Facebook page of Friends of Meadowbrook Pond.