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Get ready for 'Ravine Experience' | 150-foot-long suspension bridge set to open at Bellevue Botanical Gardens

Lisa Scott, volunteer coordinator at Bellevue Botanical Garden, at the soon-to-be-completed suspension bridge over a ravine. - Nat Levy, Bellevue Reporter
Lisa Scott, volunteer coordinator at Bellevue Botanical Garden, at the soon-to-be-completed suspension bridge over a ravine.
— image credit: Nat Levy, Bellevue Reporter

The Bellevue Botanical Gardens has become famous for its annual illuminated initiation during the holiday season – Garden D Lights. For many that's all they see of the gardens.

Now, an attraction opening next month may bring back these once-a-year visitors and give regulars another reason to spend a sunny day walking along the winding trials.

Starting in May, The Ravine Experience will give garden guests the ability to traverse a 150-foot-long suspension bridge, approximately 40 feet above a breathtaking view of the gardens. It's part of a 1/3 mile nature trail will cross a deep ravine into the most pristine of the gardens' wild spaces.

"It's such an experience to be so deep in the woods," said Botanical Gardens Volunteer Program Manager Lisa Scott. "You can't even tell you are in the middle of a big city."

This new addition to the woodsy getaway has been in the park's plans for sometime. The $650,000 project was funded primarily through contributions, with the PJA Foundation responsible for a $500,000 naming rights gift last year.

The foundation, which promotes a love of horticulture, has been a longstanding donor to the garden. Its grants over 14 years have supported the garden’s education and outreach activities, as well as garden development including the Alpine Rock Garden and the waterfall and ponds in the Shorts Ground Cover Garden.

"We have had a wonderful long-term relationship with the garden and are very proud that the garden has become an important institution in the region and nationally," said foundation President David Ketter. "We believe that the Growing a Living Legacy capital campaign will result in garden improvements that enhance an already distinguished public resource."

The construction of the ravine project is in its final phases, with planting going on around the structure. The new bridge will open May 13, in conjunction with the garden's annual Mother's Day Social.

 

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