Council members indicate that heartfelt and thoughtful comments, emails, and letters are the most persuasive. Please contact the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org Your e-mail will be forwarded to each council member) or write Olympia City Council, PO Box 1967, Olympia, WA 98507-1967
- LBA Woods is Valuable Open Space: If the City does not acquire the LBA Woods, there will be no high-quality open space to meet the demand of Olympia’s increasing population. The Thurston Regional Planning Council predicts that by 2035 Olympia will add over 25,000 new residents.
- Saving LBA Woods is Popular: More than 5,200 people have now signed a recent petition asking the Olympia City Council to purchase the LBA Woods. Surveys and polls conducted by Olympia’s Parks Department shows that buying the LBA Woods is a top priority among Olympians.
- LBA Woods is Important for Recreation. There are nearly four miles of existing walking trails and foot paths through the LBA Woods—many gently graded for easy accessibility. LBA Woods includes flat areas along its borders that could accommodate much-needed rectangular sport fields (soccer) and an off-leash dog park.
- LBA Woods is Good for Our Health: Recent medical studies show that larger forest tracts provide special health benefits to users, including immune system boost, lower blood pressure, reduced stress, accelerated recovery from surgery or illness, increased energy level, and improved sleep.
- LBA Woods is Good for our Kids: Children who spend time in nature have higher ratings of perceived self-worth and decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, anger and conduct disorders. These woods are close to many of Olympia’s elementary, middle, and high schools.
- LBA Woods is Good for the Environment: The mature mixed forest of Douglas-firs, hemlocks, maples, and alders helps keep our air cool, and clean. The understory of shrubs and plants helps prevent soil erosion. The wetlands reduce flooding and stormwater surges.
- LBA Woods is Important Bird Habitat. LBA Woods currently provides important habitat to at least 58 bird species. The National Audubon Society scientists predict that 21 of these species will lose a significant portion of their habitat by 2050 due to climactic changes by 2050.
- LBA Woods is Important for Salmon: LBA Woods is an important part of the Chambers Lake Basin. The eastern parcel of the woods is upstream of Chambers Creek, which has been identified as an important area for coho salmon.
- LBA Woods Meets Voters’ Expectations: In 2004, Olympia residents approved the Voted Utility Tax to raise about $2 million a year to meet the City’s goal of acquiring 500 acres of parkland b 2024. To date, the City has acquired only 63 acres. Acquiring 150 acres of LBA Woods would get us nearly halfway to the 500-acre goal.
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Dear City Council Member: The 150-acre woods surrounding LBA Park is a true gem. It is one of the largest remaining privately owned wooded parcels within the Olympia city limits. Both owners of these parcels have expressed their willingness to sell. Its upland trails are unique to the Olympia area and provide aspecial place that hundreds of people in our community have used for decades, walking with friends and dogs, run, jog and mountain bike. Youth from the local neighborhoods frequently play there. Over 5,200 residents have already signed a petition requesting the City acquire the Woods as a park. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/cityof-olympia-conserve-nature-trails-and-forest-next.html The LBA Woods lands can address the Olympia Park Plan’s longstanding goals for rectangular fields, a dog park, and a BMX park. Flat areas along both Boulevard and Morse Merryman roads could be used for those purposes without compromising the wooded trails. The LBA Woods would provide a great benefit to the City and the surrounding City UGA because of their size and proximity to large neighborhoods. Residents can enjoy them daily without having to drive long distances. Children need nearby nature, places where they can romp and roam, get exercise, and cultivate an affinity for the outdoors naturally and spontaneously. In 20 years, where will our children play? LBA Woods will contribute immeasurably to Olympia’s quality of life as its population increases in both numbers and density. While density is necessary to limit sprawl, access to nearby green spaces mitigates the impact of density on quality of life. To secure this legacy park, we ask that the Olympia City Council direct the City staff to conduct a conceptual feasibility study of alternative park uses (including sports fields, dog park, and BMX park) that could be located in the LBA Woods in a manner compatible with maintaining a high quality nature preserve and trail system.