“Magical Old Growth Forest”
Schmitz Preserve was donated to the city in pieces between 1908 and 1912. The most generous chunk came from a German immigrant/pioneer/banker/realtor named Ferdinand Schmitz, who served on the park commission during those years. It was Schmitz's idea, as he saw how rapidly the great forest was disappearing, to preserve part of it in its natural state. Even Schmitz's land had not been completely untouched by logging, though. Some huge stumps in the park still show deep notches hacked high above the ground for the "spring-boards" on which axe men would stand to avoid having to chop through the lower root crown, the thickest and hardest part of the tree. After 1908, however, the new park rapidly gained popularity as a quiet complement to the West Seattle park complex. Except for the paved entrance and a parking lot at the northwest corner, the park has remained essentially unchanged ever since.
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Schmitz Preserve Park
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
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