Everett's Secret Garden: the Evergreen Arboretum

Editors note: Originally published August 30, 2018.

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At the tippy top of Everett, past the Port of Everett and the beginning of the Mill Town Trail, there hides a secret garden filled with lush greenery, abstract stone artwork, and trees of all sizes. Follow the entrance to American Legion Memorial Park, take a sneaky turn onto 2nd off of Alverson Boulevard, and there it is: the Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens.


The entrance is marked by bright blue columns, designed by Bainbridge Island’s Little and Lewis, which guide you to a path offering two points of direction. Do you turn left, or right? Each leads to its own horticultural adventure.

Abundant in greenery and color during the summer, each of the ten different gardens features something special. Sit by the Viewing Mound to watch the water cascade down the black edges of the fountain, contemplating life and the beauty of nature.

Wander through the Northwest Native Plant Trail, yearning to know each plants’ history.

Hide in the shady Japanese Maple Grove, marveling at the intricate leaves and the journey this species once made ages ago.


Run by a faithful group of volunteers, city of Everett staff and Arboretum staff, the gardens are free to enter from dawn to dusk. If the serenity of gardening is a passion of yours, you can become an annual member of the arboretum for as low as $25. Membership allows you to participate in arboretum workshops free of charge, otherwise costing $10 per person.

Workshops and events happen frequently in the summer, and are available to all levels of gardeners. Help the Arboretum workers get ready for next season by helping them plant spring bulbs at Bulb Fest October 19. 

Now that you have some new relaxing plans for the weekend, here are a few FAQ’s to know before getting lost in the garden.


Yes you can walk around the arboretum at your own pace, but stay on the paved pathways. There are plenty to follow, so choose your own adventure.

Yes you can bike, board, skate, or jetpack to the gardens, but leave all forms of wheeled transportation in the parking lot. Of course, wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs are welcome.

Yes you may take pictures (obviously), but do not pick anything. These are tailored gardens, not a corner flower shop.

Yes you may bring your dog inside, but they are not allowed off leash. Also, there is a trash can outside the entrance, but no doggie poop stations, so be ready to haul in your own poop bags. If you don’t, your dog will sense your bag-less-ness and poop just to see you panic. It makes them giggle inside.


Want an in depth history of the Evergreen Arboretum? Watch the video below.


Anna is an Everett-based graphic designer who loves dogs. Let her pet your dog.