North College Park, also known as Licton Springs, is a neighborhood in the informal Northgate district of North Seattle. It is bounded by Interstate 5 to the east, beyond which is the Northgate Mall, Aurora Avenue N (State Route 99) to the west, N 85th Street to the south, and N 105th Street and N Northgate Way to the north.
North College Park is both a residential neighborhood and a small remaining fragment of what was once a vast system of wetlands that covered much of Western Washington. The neighborhood has a long history as both a unique recreational spot and a commercial crossroads. The neighborhood, wedged between the busy corridors of Interstate 5 and Aurora Avenue, takes its name from Liq’tid (LEEK-teed) or Licton, the Lushootseed (Whulshootseed) Coast Salish word for the reddish mud of the springs.
North College Park became defined with the Licton Springs neighborhood with the establishment of North Seattle Community College.
Licton Springs and the Sunny Walter Pillings Pond are part of the Densmore Drainage Basin. The springs at the North Police Precinct and North Seattle Community College are headwaters of the south fork of Thornton Creek. This fork flows through culverts under Interstate 5 and the south lot of Northgate Mall development. These neighborhoods are natural extensions of Maple Leaf downstream. Activists and North Seattle Community College (NSCC) have been promoting habitat restoration in support. NSCC grounds have a nationally-recognized native habitat, a pentimento of restored native species on a palimpsest of a former 1940s suburb, a former dairy farm, and a former bog where native Dkhw’Duw’Absh harvested cranberries.