City of Olympia News

FREE Parking on Columbus Day; Free Leaves Available for Composting; Conversion to LED Streetlights to Lead to Significant Savings

FREE Parking on Columbus Day
Free parking at parking meters on Monday, October 14, 2013. Time limits at meters and expired meters will not be enforced on this day. Columbus Day is not a recognized City of Olympia or state holiday and City offices and services will be operating on normal schedule. Parking Services will be enforcing restricted (safety) parking violations that day as usual.

Free Leaves Available for Composting
It’s that time of year again. Public Works crews have been sweeping up leaves which are now available free of charge. For information or to be put on the delivery schedule, contact Kevin at 360.753.8151 or Randy at 360.753.8210. Please leave a message, including your name, address, phone number and the amount of leaves you would like (5-yard minimum). Local delivery available. Names will be placed on the list on a first-come-first-served basis. Staff will contact you prior to delivery.

Conversion to LED Streetlights to Lead to Significant Savings
On Monday, October 14, 2013, a contractor will begin work to replace 3,200 City-owned streetlights with new Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Work is expected to be complete by the end of January 2014. This project will cost the City approximately $2.8 million, which will come from a combination of funding sources, including a Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency Grant. We predict it will save approximately $174,000 annually in power costs. The benefits of LED technology include:

  • Increased reliability - extremely low failure rate, which means less outages and reduced maintenance costs
  • Better light quality - colors are more identifiable
  • Light is directed at the ground

The City has contracted with the Light Doctor to perform the work. Watch for them in your neighborhood soon. The tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Westside: October
  • Southeast: November
  • Northeast: December
  • Downtown: January

The Urban Forestry Restoration Project

The project is administered by the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban and Community Forestry Program, is an exciting opportunity to enhance the capacity of urban forests to manage stormwater and improve air and water quality by improving the health and functionality of trees and forested sites in urban settings. Even more exciting is our opportunity to participate in this program here in Olympia.

A Puget SoundCorps team will work with City staff starting in October to help maintain downtown street trees, plant new trees, eradicate invasive non-native vegetation and replant with native species.  Site locations include Capitol Way, Grass Lake Nature Park, Evergreen Park, Harry Fain’s Legion Park, Watershed Park and Mission Creek Nature Park. Invasive non-native plants prevent forested areas from providing our community the full benefits and services of healthy forests by competing for water and nutrients, and in some cases even killing trees. Many undesirable plants that grow in dense thickets also harbor rats and other vermin, creating a public safety hazard as well. Once the unwelcome plants are gone, native vegetation will be planted in its place.

Volunteers will help maintain the restoration sites, monitoring and eradicating any new invasive threats and caring for the newly planted native vegetation. To learn more about how you can help keep City of Olympia parks healthy in the future, contact Sylvana Niehuser, Park Ranger at (360) 753-8365.

For more information about the Urban Forestry Restoration Project, visit the Project online or contact Micki McNaughton at (360) 902-1637 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service. Puget SoundCorps is part of the broader Washington Conservation Corps program administered by Washington Dept. of Ecology. PSC crews work on projects that help restore and protect water quality in Puget Sound. The Washington Conservation Corps is supported through grant funding and Education Awards provided by AmeriCorps.

October 10, 2013/City of Olympia News Release

New Classes At Harmony Hill

Join Denise Carrico, Certified Integral Yoga Teacher at Harmony Hill
UNION – New classes offered both online and in person at Harmony Hill Retreat Center. Join Denise Carrico each Wednesday afternoon for her new Yoga class. Classes will be held from 4:00 to 5:00pm at Harmony Hill Retreat Center on Hood Canal between October 16 and December 18. Appropriate for all skill levels. Learn and practice basic Yoga techniques, including breathing, stretches and Yoga postures. The class is designed to increase flexibility, strength and the ability to relax. Mats are provided. Wear comfortable clothing. Classes are held in the Elmer & Katharine Nordstrom Great Hall on the beautiful grounds of Harmony Hill on Hood Canal. All Yoga classes are offered at $12 per class. Multiple-class discounts available.


Computer Software for Students/Teachers

OLYMPIA — State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced Wednesday that the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Microsoft Corp. are teaming together to provide many Washington state students and teachers with computer software at a low cost.
Developed by Microsoft, the program will help students gain the technology experience and skills they need to be successful in college or the workforce.
The program consists of two main components. First, the Windows operating system preinstalled on new devices purchased by schools and districts will be discounted. Second, Microsoft will provide services back to OSPI. The services will include professional development for educators, as directed by OSPI and in line with their broader goals of student achievement.
“This is another great example of how working together really benefits our students,” Dorn said. “It’s pretty well established that students with computer access get better grades than those without. So we want to try to get that access for every student.