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Rhody Ridge Arboretum

Take a video tour

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Features

  1. Botanical Garden
  2. Trails

Description

A unique botanical park, Rhody Ridge offers visitors an 11-acre showcase of flowering beauty. Deeded to Snohomish County by Fir and Merlin Butler, their dream was to provide a space for the community to come to and get lost in nature. Rhody Ridge’s landscape includes some of the largest mature species and hybrid rhododendrons in the Seattle area. In addition to around 300 rhododendrons, the developed 5 acres of the garden is filled with a wide variety of evergreen and deciduous plants and trees – ranging from Stewartia, Carolina silverbells, maples, pines, birches, magnolias, dogwoods, witch hazels, osmanthus, viburnums, mountain laurels, redbuds, katsuras, yews, and much more. In the undeveloped 6 acres, a ‘nature trail’ has been created where salal, oregon grape, ferns, and native blackberries can be easily spotted.

Watch the wonderful history behind Snohomish County Park Rhody Ridge in Washington State.

Site Access

Site access is open daily from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Please park outside of the garden gate on Clover Road. Tours available upon request by appointment only, please email Diana Riley: dc.riley@frontier.com to schedule your tour.

History

In 1954, Fir and Merlin Butler moved to Washington from Texas where they desired to create their own personal sanctuary on their property in Bothell. They planted and tended to many trees, rhododendrons and plants on the property throughout the years. In 1970, Fir and Merlin decided to deed the property to Snohomish County so that Rhody Ridge would live on long after them as a park. Desiring to create an enduring greenspace that was an asset to the community, Fir and Merlin deeded their 5 acres to the Snohomish County Parks Department as a life estate in 1970 – enabling the couple to live out their lives on the property, caring for the garden.  The County purchased an additional 6 acres, increasing the garden size to 11.37 acres. Primary care of the park is facilitated by members of the Rhody Ridge Foundation. The vision of the park is to feel like you are walking through the North Cascades with an ornamental feel.

Volunteers Needed

Please help maintain a beautiful Rhododendron arboretum. Help with deadheading hundreds of Rhododendrons at Rhody Ridge Arboretum Park is needed. Deadheading is important so that the plant's energy goes to flower production for the coming year, improves the appearance of the plant and helps reduce disease and pest infestations. To volunteer, please email Diana Riley: dc.riley@frontier.com 

Driving Directions

  • Take 164th St SW exit off I-5
  • Drive east and turn right onto North Road
  • Turn left onto Gravenstein Road (174th Street Southeast)
  • Then immediately turn right onto Clover Road
  • Park is on left
  • Parking: Please park outside of the garden gate on Clover Road