Hamm Creek, Point  Rediscovery 

10080 Des Moines Memorial Dr S, Burien, WA  98168

Owner: King County

Hamm Creek Estuary is located just south of South Park along the Duwamish River and is one of the two only salmon spawning creeks in the Duwamish River. Today, the native vegetation here provides food for juvenile salmonids, in the form of bugs living on the plants as ready themselves for their journey to the Puget Sound. Surrounded by urbanization, Hamm Creek is a pocket of natural estuarine habitat.  Hamm Creek is a legacy site where the first effort to recognize that the Duwamish Waterway was a river that needed saving from the industrial uses of the past by John Beal.  John started this effort as one person volunteering his time and efforts, growing it into not only a local but a national concern and effort to improve the health of the river.
Over the years, many volunteer groups have worked informally at the site to improve the health of the environment along its banks, including the Veterans Conservation Corps, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and students. Liana Beal reached out to DIRT Corps in 2016 to develop a work plan to ensure that her dad’s legacy at the site was not forgotten, and that consistent monitoring and maintenance continued. DIRT Corps provides on-the-job training for young adult workers, specifically encouraging women, people of color and un/underemployed adults to join and then lead. The program provides hands-on training with a focus on vegetation management and ecological restoration, urban forestry, and rain garden and cistern design/build.
The lower portion of Hamm Creek formerly flowed through a roadside ditch and a culvert to the river. ­The creek was daylighted (brought to the surface) and a new channel was created with a more natural series of pools and riffles. It navigates through the outskirts of Seattle City Light property, and meanders through a brackish marsh where it empties into the Duwamish River.

Hamm Creek is the site where John Beale, a veteran of the Viet Nam War became the first steward of the tributary and of the Duwamish River working tirelessly to reclaim the waters from heavy industrial use and value them as part of our region’s ecosystem. As John restored the health of the creek, re-introducing native vegetation, salmon, insects and other species he started the movement to restore the river’s health. One man’s endeavor began the effort in bringing back our Duwamish River.

A short, flat walk provides access to the river’s edge for viewing the various activities on the river.
  • Blue Herons
  • Bald Eagles
  • Osprey, with a nesting pole on site
  • Salmon spawn in the creek with juveniles utilizing it as a resting and feeding area
  • Beavers live in the upper part of the creek
  • River Otters have been found to inhabit the creek

DIRT Corps

Website: Urbansystemsdesign.com