Duwamish Hill Preserve


The Duwamish Hill Preserve is a 10.5 acre parcel of historical, cultural and ecological significant land in Tukwila. Thanks to the actions of many partners including the Friends of the Hill, Forterra and City of Tukwila, the property was purchased in 2004 and has been in active restoration ever since. The Duwamish Hill Preserve serves as an outdoor classroom for students, a gathering place for restoration volunteers, a culturally significant location for Native Americans and an example of a successful partnership between community members and public and private partners.

Creation of the Preserve

In 2001, Forterra, the City of Tukwila and local citizen group Friends of the Hill formed a partnership to work towards the preservation of a 10.5 acre parcel slated for industrial development. The land was successfully acquired in 2004 by the Forterra (then Cascade Land Conservancy) and the City of Tukwila. In September 2010, after many years of hard work by volunteers, the Duwamish Hill Preserve was officially opened to the public. The preserve now includes an outdoor classroom area, established trail and continued restoration opportunities for volunteers. The Duwamish Hill Preserve is managed as a public open space preserve dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of its rich Native American cultural history, ecological importance and community impact. Funding for acquisition and restoration of this property has been supported by grants from many generous contributors.

Natural and Cultural History

Due to its elevated position above the Duwamish River, the Hill offered a vantage point from which Native Americans could watch for incoming groups and communicate with fellow tribe members along the Duwamish River Valley. Additionally, the Hill is associated with the southern Puget Sound Salish oral tradition as the key location in the stories collectively known as the “Epic of the Winds.”

The hill from which the preserve gets its name is a glacial remnant and within the preserve many species of flora and fauna that are rarely seen along the banks of the Duwamish River can be found.


Thousands of volunteers have contributed countless hours of work removing invasive weed and planting native trees and shrubs. The Friends of the Hill make up a core group of dedicated volunteers that host monthly restoration work parties at the Hill and offer local community members a chance to contribute to the restoration of this amazing preserve. For more information on when these restoration volunteer opportunities take place, please visit our events page. For more information or questions please email volunteer@forterra.org.

Educational Opportunities

The Hill is an excellent outdoor classroom. In collaboration with local teachers, administrators and community members, Forterra is working to encourage and facilitate educational programming by hosting field trips and creating curriculum centered around the unique features of the hill.

Forterra is working with Tukwila School District teachers to develop lesson plans for students of all ages to use on field trips to the Hill, along with pre-visit and post-visit classroom activities. 

Teachers throughout the Puget Sound region are welcome to bring school groups to the Hill for exploration of this unique property and hands-on experience with restoring native plants.  Curriculum links include environmental science, social studies, the arts, and many other topics.

If you would like to learn more about getting a school or youth group involved please contact us at volunteer@forterra.org.


Duwamish Hill Preserve Contributors

Acquisition and restoration of the Hill has been supported by many generous contributors. 

The 10.5 acre property was acquired in 2004 with support from:
•     4Culture (King County Lodging Tax) 
•     City of Tukwila
•     Foster High School Drama Club – Proceeds from Duwamish Hill Play
•     Individual donors
•     Interagency Committee for Outdoor Research, Land Conservation Fund (now the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office)
•     King Conservation District
•     King County Conservation Futures Fund
•     King County Landmarks & Heritage Commission
•     Muckleshoot Community Charity Fund
•     SAFECO
•     Seattle Police Athletic Association
•     The Boeing Company
•     Washington State Legislature – Capital Budget Fund

In addition to a tremendous amount of in-kind work by the Friends of the Hill, Forterra, Tukwila Parks & Recreation Department, and many other volunteers, Phase I restoration and development has been supported by:
•     4 Culture (King County Lodging Tax) 
•     Alaska Copper
•     City of Tukwila
•     Ex Officio
•     King County Department of Natural Resources Waterworks Program
•     National Trust for Historic Preservation
•     REI
•     Sound Transit
•     Washington State Heritage Capital Projects Fund

If you would like to make a contribution to this project, contact us.