Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden - A Top Destination in the Heart of Seattle

Booking Your Special Event

Follow these steps to request your event space at any one of our five locations in the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden:

  •  Click the link (above) and search for “Lake Washington Ship Canal.” From there, you can view need-to-know information, see recreation use fee pricing and submit your request for event space.
  • Once your request for event space has been submitted through, Lake Washington Ship Canal staff will receive and respond to your request with a Special Use Permit application within 3 business days.
  • Park Ranger staff will work with you through the permit process. Please allow at least 14 days from submitting your request to the date of your event, for permit processing.

Only Special Use Permit requests for weddings and other organized gatherings within the botanical garden are currently available for request through

To request a Special Use Permit for filming or photography, please email us at:

Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden

The Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden is a tribute to the devotion of our first horticulturist, Carl S. English Jr.                       

During his 43 years working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, English transformed the barren lawn, left after the construction of the locks, into a garden worthy of serious study.

Through his travels and correspondence with prominent botanists and with the assistance of ship captains returning through the Locks, English collected specimens of trees and flowers from around the world. He brought about an amazing homecoming, the Dawn Redwood. Previously known only as a fossil, it was discovered growing in China. English arranged to receive some of the first seeds ever shipped to the United States.

Eight specimens grow in the Botanical Garden today.

These lovely grounds are a masterpiece of horticultural splendor, combining the elegant lines and vistas of the romantic English landscape style with the original character of more than 570 species and 1,500 varieties from around the world.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum awarded the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden Level II Accreditation, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. It also earned recognition as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.  

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism, according to a set of professional standards. Those standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting and conservation.

The Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden offers color, fragrance, and open spaces to awaken your senses all year long. 

It remains one of Seattle's best-kept secrets for visitors to enjoy.


Botanical Beauties

Special Event Permits

What's a Special Event Permit?

A special event permit is "an organized use of project resources for a specific purpose and limited duration, beyond the normal day-to-day use engaged individuals or groups engage in."

These events are more involved than an activity and can affect the public's use of project lands and waters.

Special event permits may grant special privileges to a person or group beyond those granted to the general public, and may also require oversight or monitoring by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel, for safety and regulatory purposes.

Check out our 'Booking Your Special Event" section on how to submit your Special Event Permit request.