Thornton Creek is 18 miles (29 km) of urban creeks and tributaries from southeast Shoreline through northeast Seattle to
Lake Washington. The creek is the largest watershed in Seattle, draining a 12-square-mile region of relatively dense biodiversity for an urban setting,Brokaw] home to frogs, newts, ducks, other birds an occasional beaver, in addition to over 200,000 people.Dolan & True, p. 223] From west of Jackson Park Golf Course in Shoreline,Hodson] from Sunny Walter-Pillings PondWalter] in Licton Springs–North College Park, [Bowditch, Wang, & Wilson] and north Northgate [Boyer] Thornton creek flows through Maple Leaf and Lake City including Meadowbrook and Matthews Beach neighborhoods, emptying into the lake at [http://www.cityofseattle.net/parks/parkspaces/matthews.htm Matthews Beach Park] .
Habitat and stewardship
Thornton creek flows through [http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/About_SPU/Drainage_&_Sewer_System/Projects/MEADOWBROO_200312031215033.asp Meadowbrook Pond] , visited by migratory birds and an occasional transient
beaveror coyote. Prior to European settlement, Native Americans lived around Lake Washington. One of the eighteen historic home sites was identified near the mouth of Thornton Creek. cite web | title=Thornton Creek (Site 0434) | url=http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/waterres/streamsdata/Thornton.htm| accessdate=2007-12-24 ] Early in the 1900s the creek was a spawning ground for fish (at least five species of Pacific salmon and trout), as well as habitat for insects, amphibians, muskrats, bats, coyotes, and birds. The areas surrounding the creek were developed without regard for the importance of maintaining habitat and a ripariancorridor; species diversity declined, and the creek became a typical, significantly degraded urban watershed.citation | last = Mapes | first = Lynda | title = Urban streams in sad shape, report finds | newspaper= The Seattle Times| year=2007 |date = December 28, 2007 | url=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004095922_streams28m.html] Storm water retention, sites restoration, an Environmental Learning Center adjacent to a school, and a fish ladder contributed to restoration and the return of native plants and wildlife. [Seattle Public Utilities staff, "Thornton Creek"]
For many decades much of the stream has run through
culverts, notably under the car park of Northgate Mall. Building on gradual successes in restoration, [cite news
title =Otter and Spawning Salmon Sighted in Thornton Creek
work =Archive of 'The Seattle Press'
publisher =The Seattle Press
accessdate =2006-04-21] activist neighbors initiated [Thornton Creek Alliance] and have had some success working with the City of Seattle and developers toward daylighting parts of the buried creek. [Mulady] Organizations of citizens have cleaned up adjacent wetlands, educated the public about stream health and quality of neighborhood life, and rallied to bring more of the creek to daylight. Many restoration projects in Seattle have been in some way connected to or inspired by Thornton Creek.
Neighborhoods of the Thornton Creek watershed
*Southeast neighborhoods of the city of Shoreline, north fork headwaters
*Lake City neighborhoods
**Meadowbrook, confluence of forks
**Licton Springs–North College Park, south fork headwaters
* Neighborhoods of Ravenna Creek
Elise Bowditch, Teaching Assistant; Man Wang, Teaching Assistant; Matthew W. Wilson, Research Associate.
Was [http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=4015776&date=20000416&query=Northgate+creeks] , NF.
* cite news | first = | last = | author = | coauthors = | url=http://archive.seattlepressonline.com/article-8811.html | title =Otter and Spawning Salmon Sighted in Thornton Creek | work = | publisher =The Seattle Press | pages = | page = | date =2000-10-18 | accessdate =2006-04-21
Archive of "The Seattle Press".
History excerpted from Morgan, Brandt. "Enjoying Seattle's parks". Seattle: Greenwood Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-933576-01-3
* cite web | last = | first = | date =n.d. | year = | month = | url=http://www.scn.org/earth/tca/tcarestor.htm | title ="Restoration Activities: A Few of Our Accomplishments" | work = | publisher =Thornton Creek Alliance, Seattle Community Network
Viewing locations only; the book has walks, hikes, wildlife, and natural wonders.
Walter excerpted from
** cite book | last=Dolan | first=Maria | authorlink= | coauthors=True, Kathryn | year=2003 | title=Nature in the city: Seattle | accessdate=2006-04-21 | publisher=Mountaineers Books | location=Seattle | id=ISBN 0-89886-879-3 (paperback | pages= | chapter=
"with additions by Sunny Walter and local Audubon chapters." See "Northeast Seattle" section, bullet points "Meadowbrook", "Paramount Park Open Space", "North Seattle Community College Wetlands", and "Sunny Walter -- Twin Ponds".
* [http://www.scn.org/earth/tca/index.htm "Thornton Creek Alliance"]
* [http://www.homewatersproject.org "Homewaters Project"]
* [http://www.homewatersproject.org/pages/Resources/thornton_creek.html "Thornton Creek Watershed"] , the Homewaters Project
* Thornton Creek Watershed [http://northonline.sccd.ctc.edu/cl/librarycat/libcat.html "Community Library"]
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