Fun in the Sun: Seattle Children’s PlayGarden

Last week, Seattle Tree Care donated their skilled crew & specialized equipment to help beautify the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden mascot. The garden, playground and community center is located in South Seattle in the Central District just across the street from the NW African American Museum & Jimi Hendrix Park. Our crews spent the day finely manicuring the park’s iconic mascot a 100 foot long 2 story tall caterpillar topiary. If any of you have a Laurel hedge you know the serious annual growth and maintenance required to maintain the colossal green privacy screening. Shaping this massive hedge is no small undertaking but one we look forward to every year. We love that in restoring its form we are able to see the caterpillar’s smile spread to park goers throughout the summer.


Seattle Children’s Playgarden was founded in 2002 as a place for children of all abilities to play, foster friendships, and learn a thing or two about the natural world. Inspired by the Rusk Children’s Playground in New York City, founder Liz Bullard worked with Seattle Parks and Recreation to transform the South end of Coleman Playfield into an interactive garden and  inclusive playspace accessible to all. Garden designer Wendy Welch created the magical PlayGarden which features water elements, playgrounds, a sound station, a tree house, animal areas,  manicured, edible, and wild garden spaces, and a picnic area complete with an awesome old Red Truck. 



In addition to being open to the public, the space and community center hosts birthday parties, summer camps and classes throughout the year. Children learn how to grow food and play with one another, developing both their minds and bodies, and creating childhood memories to last a lifetime. With the aim of providing a public space for all children to discover the wonders of nature, Seattle Tree Care couldn’t think of a better project to lend its time. The organizations commitment to children & families, to nature, to equity, and to accessibility, is one that Seattle Tree Care is humbled by. The alignment of our company’s values and the organizational focus of the PlayGarden made the partnership all the sweeter!



Seattle Tree Care first helped the garden last year, after being introduced to the site via Wendy Welch. After the job was completed the company has been working with Wendy to adopt the caterpillar. The caterpillar is a topiary titan, and one that is sure to delight all children as they enjoy all the different plants and animals found throughout the garden. Seattle Tree Care was proud to adopt the caterpillar ensuring its welcoming smile remains a symbol of the park’s commitment to accessibility, we are thrilled to play a small part in helping inspire all children to experience the joys of nature and the imaginative spaces that open in us when we are engaged with the outdoors. 


Interested in learning about all the programs the garden offers? Follow the link here. For more photos of the caterpillar, check out the garden’s Facebook located here.

Want to see more of the cool projects Seattle Tree Care is taking on? Follow us on Instagram.




Logan Steinharter & Whitman Bouton

Seattle Tree Care Staff

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