Katherine emailed to ask what we could find out about “all the tree cutting that happened along Schmitz Park Boulevard between the entrance at Whale Tail Park and the bridge? They cut down about 5 or 6 big trees.” We took the question to Seattle Parks and Recreation, since Schmitz Preserve Park is a city park, 51 forested acres between west Admiral and Alki, donated to the city more than a decade ago.
A Parks spokesperson explained that the tree-cutting is part of the Olmsted Parks and Boulevards Restoration Project, one of three sites around the city, the only one in West Seattle. The project overview says the specific goal is “to make permanent an informal pathway up a steep hillside for safety.” Specifically, Parks told us in response to our inquiry, their crews are “in the process of removing eleven Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Sycamore maples’ along Schmitz Boulevard. The trees being removed were assessed as being in poor condition and host to a number of fungal pathogens. These trees are being replaced two for one through a generous donation by the Friends of Olmsted Parks.” The project has its roots in a study and survey we featured two years ago.