Important Olympia City Council Meeting: November 18 City Hall, 7:00 pm
Sign in to speak by 6:45; wear LBA t-shirt or blue, LBA signs will be available to hold)
Council Members may soon be making decisions on which parcels to target for park acquisition as a result of the Community Parks Site Suitability Study to be released on November 18.
We are asking all LBA Woods supporters to come to the 7:00 pm November 18, City Council meeting to show the community’s support and, if willing, speak to Council during open mic. The limit is 3 minutes, but you can make your point in much less time. While eloquence is great, it takes more time than you’d think to craft a 3-minute comment. Why not consider making your point succinctly in 30 seconds? Here are some ideas for short, punchy talking points (and some background).
If you are a walker or hiker: Describe a particular experience you had walking through these woods. Remind the City that if it does not acquire LBA Woods, it will have no additional accessible high quality open space for trails and habitat to meet the demand of the 25,000 new residents that the City is projected to gain in the next 25 years.
If you are a nature lover: Describe your experience visiting LBA Woods and why it was different from your experiences in other City Parks. 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 work enthusiasm, improved sleep. Forest health benefits.
If you prefer easy-grade walking paths (e.g. not Watershed, not Priest Point): LBA Woods offers 4+ miles of wide trails and footpaths that are gently graded are suitable for people needed or preferring such trails. Tell the City Council that easy-grade nature trails are important to you and will help make Olympia a livable city in the future.
If you are a runner: Please let the City Council know how important it is to have 4+ miles of trail for your personal or team training and how valuable it is to have those trails accessible by sidewalks from your school, neighborhood, or home. Describe why trails you may have run in other Olympia Parks are less suitable.
If you are a birdwatcher: LBA Woods currently provides important habitat to at least 58 bird species; that habitat supports the birds seen it backyards and at feeders for miles around. Mention some of your favorite birds: Here’s the full LBA birdlist,
In September, National Audubon Society’s scientists published a report on Birds and Climate Change. The report lists 314 birds likely to be seriously impacted by changing climate in the United States. Of those 314 birds, 21 occur in LBA Woods. LBA Woods is a refuge for these species and will become increasingly important to them in the future. Here are those twenty-one birds:
Pacific Slope Flycatcher
Violet Green Swallow
Black-throated Gray Warbler
If you wonder where your tax money is going: In 2004, Olympia voters passed a 2% utility tax that made Open Space, Natural Areas, and Wildlife Habitat a priority Need. This Voted Utility Tax (VUT) appears on your monthly PSE bill as part of “Effect of Olympia City Tax.” This tax was levied to help the City acquire over 500 acres for parks by 2024. So far the City has only acquired 63 acres and spent over $7 million of the $20 million collected on non-acquisition related purposes. Voted Utility Tax Info
The City has sufficient funds from the 2% voted utility tax to purchase the 72 acre Bentridge parcel now, which is currently on the market for a favorable price of $6.5 million. Alternatively, depending on price, they could buy the Trillium parcel (the second parcel comprising LBA Woods). The City needs to honor its promise to use the money to acquire Open Space before it is lost. If you voted for the 2004 VUT, tell the Council. Look at your latest PSE bill—you are not getting what you’re paying for!
If you are concerned about ecosystem health: The 150 acres of woods surrounding LBA Park are the last large forested area within Olympia and its UGA that is not already a park. The City Council needs to protect these woods to help provide the City with clear air, clean water, flood protection, biodiversity, erosion control, nutrient cycling, natural pollination, Thurston Regional Planning Council predicts Olympia will add over 25,000 residents and Thurston County over 120,000 by 2035. Even assuming growth rates will slow after 2035, Olympia and Thurston’s population will double in about 50 years. Population data
If you signed the petition: Remind City Council that you are one of the 5,200 people who have signed the petition asking the Olympia City Council to purchase the woods for a park. Thousands of people from all over the city and Thurston County have signed the petition showing they support LBA Woods as a priority need. This is not pet project of the people living around LBA Woods. If you have not signed the petition, do so here LBA Petition
If you are a commuter between Olympia and Lacey: Please encourage the City Council to re-examine the option of expanding Morse-Merryman Road instead of relying on the future Log Cabin Extension Rd. to relieve current and future traffic congestion between Lacey and Olympia. The addition of 1000 homes on the LBA Woods parcels will not alleviate traffic problems, but will make them worse.
If you value environmental education opportunities for our students: Tell the City Council that the LBA Woods offers an unparalleled outdoor classroom for learning about nature and for connecting our children to the natural word. Children who spend time in nature show significant increases in their ability to delay gratification and concentrate. They have higher ratings of perceived self-worth and decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, anger and conduct disorders.
If you play soccer: Speak about the City’s long-standing need for dedicated rectangular playing fields (there are none within the city limits!). A large portion of the Bentridge property is flat, covered in invasive Scotsbroom, directly adjacent to Boulevard Road, and are therefore highly suitable for these much-needed playing fields. Adding soccer fields will not compromise the existing woods and walking trails.
If you love dogs: Describe your experience walking your dog on the trials and the benefits of socializing with other dog walkers in your community. LBA Woods can also accommodate a dog park without compromising the existing woods and wlaking trails. Especially with the loss of the dog park at Sunrise Park on Olympia’s west side, the need is great for an off-leash dog park.
Council members indicate that heartfelt and thoughtful emails and letters are the most persuasive. Please write the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or support documents, go to LBAWoodsPark.org