Email your letter to editor@fedwaymirror.com. File photo

Email your letter to editor@fedwaymirror.com. File photo

Rhododendron garden plans to remain and flourish in Federal Way

There appears to be a misconception that the garden will cease to exist with the development of the former Weyerhaeuser campus.

The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, incorporated in 1964, established itself on 24 acres of the magnificent Weyerhaeuser Campus in Federal Way in 1974. This parcel of land was allocated by the Weyerhaeuser Company to the RSBG for the purpose of collecting and growing species rhododendrons and their companion plants. Today this garden boasts the largest collection of species rhododendrons in the world and is a national treasure.

The Weyerhaeuser Company sold their corporate campus to the Industrial Realty Group in 2016 and IRG plans to invest in building office space and warehouses.

There appears to be a misconception in some quarters that the RSBG will cease to exist with the development of the former Weyerhaeuser campus, now named Woodbridge Corporate Park. However, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden plans to remain and flourish where it is still situated.

We at the garden have been in extensive consultation with Woodbridge, who has confirmed that they are not only committed to preserving the RSBG but have responded favorably to our wishes for our garden’s future.

WCP plans to build several buildings on the campus comprising 1.5 million square feet of space. These buildings will be built with care and attention and be complementary to the existing, overall aesthetic of the campus. The buildings will occupy approximately 21% of the sum and substance of the land. Overwhelming care has been taken to manage the sightlines of each building with a cloak of trees and shrubbery. Eleven miles of nature trails will continue to exist and be enjoyed by the public.

The Rhododendron Species Foundation has carefully considered the WCP proposals for developing the former Weyerhaeuser land and offer our full support for their plans. We wish them an expeditious and successful completion of their sweeping design.

Sean Rafferty

Rhododendron Species Foundation president

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