About Green Lake...

Located at 47.6730 N and -122.3434 W, a 2.8-mile path around the 323.7 acres of lake provides recreational spot for runners, bikers, skaters and walkers--it is estimated that about 1 million people visit the lake each year. Aside from the humans, this lake also serves as a natural preserve for thousands of species of plants and animals, rightfully being called "an old lake, with a living, breathing ecosystem."

Green Lake

Geologists say that this freshwater inland waterbody was formed by the Vashon Glacial Ice Sheet about 50,000 years ago. Dredgings of the lake have produced volcanic ash from an eruption of Glacier Peak that has occurred about 6,700 years ago.

In September 1855, surveyor David Phillips found this postglacial lake, and their late summer visit coincided with the appearance of seasonal algae blooms, which is probably how Green Lake got its name. Settlers started arriving to the lake around 1870s,and already by 1900s, weekend outings to Green Lake were popular among the residents.

Green Lake

This urbanization was taking its toll on the lake, as human activities, tree cutting, and elimination of the natural flushing of the lake, has hastened Green Lake’s natural geological succession to a meadowland. The algae blooms, foul odors, and swimmers’ itch, all resulting from the aging of the lake, plagued the lake visitors, prompting them to intervene with the process of aging of the lake. Various ideas and methods have been considered and tried in restoring clean water to the lake, but it seems like these efforts are only slowing down the aging process, not stopping it.