Why These Woods Matter

IMG_1576The beautiful LBA Woods is a 150-acre forest surrounding LBA Park in southeast Olympia is one of the largest tracts of forested land within the Olympia Urban Growth Area (UGA).

In July 2015, the Olympia City Council voted unanimously to purchase the “Bentridge” parcel. In September 2016, they voted to purchase the “Trillium” parcel.  

Thanks to strong and vocal support from people like you, the importance of these woods to  our community and quality of life was made clear to our elected officials. Here are just a few of the reasons we fought to save the LBA Woods.

  • LBA Woods is Valuable Open Space: This high-quality open space helps 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/
  • 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 community gardens, playing fields, 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.