Located along Beach Drive in West Seattle, Me-kwa-mooks Park offers a bit more than what you see from the road. There is a small open lawn area with picnic tables and an information board. Above this area on the hillside are several acres of woodlands with a nice network of trails for leisure walks. Across the street from the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook and immediately south of Me-Kwa-Mooks Natural Area, most of the park stretches up the hillside and extends north and farther south on largely undeveloped land. The dense trees provided habitat for many birds, recently including screech owls.
Geology: Don’t let its peaceful feeling fool you, this park has known spectacular geologic upheaval. Me-Kwa-Mooks sits on the Seattle Fault, which caused a 9.0 earthquake about 300 years ago. Its hills and ravines were formed by massive landslides, the results of water filtering through deep, sandy soil onto clay and creating a slippery interface. But this unstable combination has a bright side: it produces the clear springs that flow along the base of the park.
When development was proposed for the privately-owned southern portion of Me-Kwa-Mooks in the 1990’s, citizens took action. Through the efforts of many – including Susie King, the Me-Kwa-Mooks/Jacobsen Alliance, the Alki Community Council, Peter Goldman and Martha Kongsgaard, the Cascade Land Conservancy, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and former property owners Jim and Patsy Nelson the land was preserved as the Edwin S. Nelson Addition.