The Burke Meadow is located adjacent to the Burke Museum and the primary campus entrance from the University District light rail station from NE 43rd St. The ~10,000 s.f. meadow is planted with a diverse mix of prairie plants native to the region, many of which are important food and medicinal species relevant to indigenous cultural needs and practices. Since 2020, an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students have collaborated on developing and implementing plans to monitor and manage this unique habitat in an urban area to support the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture mission to “care for and share natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal.”
More specifically, the team works together to coordinate volunteer work parties and public events, study plant community changes, and communicate the importance of the meadow as a living exhibit on campus. The work has been supported, financially and through in-kind donations, by the Campus Sustainability Fund, the Burke Museum, UW Grounds, Urban@UW, and the Departments of Biology and Landscape Architecture with advice and contributions from external partners including members of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center, and the design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.