Who We Are

We are volunteers working in cooperation with park visitors and Seattle Parks and Recreation to preserve, protect, and enhance:

Solitary pursuits and active recreation,

Environmental education and park stewardship,

Forest and lake habitats for wildlife diversity and human enjoyment,

Park history and cultural legacy, including celebrating the diversity of park users.


Paul Talbert (President) is a geneticist researching chromatin structure for Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, former boardmember of Audubon Washington, and the principle author of Cherries, Lantern, and Gates and of Wild Isle in the City.

Paul Shannon (Vice President) is a researcher and bioinformatics engineer at the Institute for Systems Biology, where he works principally on Alzheimer’s Disease. He is a Green Seattle Partnership Forest Steward for Seward Park. He has led our efforts to understand the sword fern die-off in the park and recently led a program to engage at-risk youth in monitoring and documenting hemlock decline in Seward Park’s Magnificent Forest, described here.

Ted Weinberg (Secretary) is an information technologist for the City of Seattle and a Councilmember of the Mercer Island City Council. He grew up in the Seward Park area and recently led the fundraising effort for the Seward Park Torii.

Lizabeth Coller (Treasurer) is a software tester at Nanostring Technologies, a knitter, and served on the Torii Committee.

Patricia Killam (email correspondent, first FoSP president and former boardmember) is a retired nurse, community volunteer, an author and collector of community stories for Wild Isle, and serves on the Andrews Bay interest group.


Partnered with youth from Choose 180 to monitor the hemlock decline in the Magnificent Forest.

Worked with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Your Voice, Your Choice program to make the Fairy Tree loop trail for strollers and wheelchairs. The trail does not meet ADA standards, but may be suitable for strong unassisted wheelchair users or wheelchair users with assistance.

Replaced the historic Japanese torii at the park entrance with a new community-based design of natural basalt columns and red cedar crossbeams to honor the original gift of one of Seattle’s first immigrant communities and to serve as a sign of welcome to all park users.

Worked with volunteer scientists for nine years to understand and bring attention to the severe sword fern die-off occurring in the park and elsewhere in the Puget Lowlands.

Published Wild Isle in the City: Tales of Seward Park’s First 100 Years, a comprehensive introduction to the history and natural history of the park that received the 2019 Virginia Marie Folkins Award for outstanding historical publication in King County.

Conducted outreach at neighborhood and ethnic festivals, and on Bicycle Sundays.

Were historical consultants for Seattle Public Utilities and 3 Square Blocks to make the historical signs by the tennis courts.

Celebrated Setsubun (Japanese bean-throwing holiday) with the local community.

Worked with the Filipino American National Historical Society to develop a historical presentation on Pinoy Hill in Seward Park.

Published Cherries, Lantern, and Gates: Japanese and Japanese-American Gifts in Seattle’s Parks, a history of Seattle’s Japanese-American community through the lens of Japanese cultural gifts in Seattle’s park system.

Led the Seward Park Centennial Celebration in 2011, with tree planting, trail dedication, educational walks, art, poetry, music, a classic car show, food, contests, hydroplanes, a tweed bike ride, garden tour, and more.

Completed the Comprehensive Trail Plan, installed trail markers, and helped with trail maintenance and invasive plant removal.

Received a grant from the Washington Native Plant Society to restore some of the understory of the Garry oak ecosystem (Clark’s Prairie).

Were fiscal sponsors, donors, and supporters of the Seward Park Playground Improvement Fund, that built the current playground.

Have worked with the Seward Park Audubon Center in a mutually beneficial relationship since before the Center opened.

Consulted on the Vegetation Management Plans for Seward Park and Lake Washington Boulevard.

Installed stone mile markers in response to organizations spray painting lines on the lower loop asphalt.

Wrote grants for, and planted hundreds of trees and shrubs at Seward Park and along Lake Washington Boulevard.

Supplied Teens for Recreation and Environmental Conservation (“TREC”) with $1,000 to train teens to conduct nature programs in the park.

Sponsored Holiday Hayrides to help foster a sense of community.

Raised funds for our programs through occasional plant sales.

Received a $10,000 grant to hire EarthCorps to lead volunteer work parties to remove English Ivy, an invasive plant that threatens the Magnificent Forest. This effort was a forerunner to the Green Seattle Partnership.

Worked with the Washington Native Plant Society to remove ivy in Seward Park and reach out to nurseries about its invasive properties.

We have provided a voice for park-related concerns and a forum for discussion at our monthly meetings for 23 years.