What is the Eastside Neighborhood Association?

We are a group of local citizens working to make the Eastside Neighborhood of Olympia, Washington a better place to live. We advocate for the concerns of the neighborhood with local government and organize neighborhood events. The ENA is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The ENA Bylaws detail how the association is run.

Where is the Eastside Neighborhood?

Olympia’s Eastside neighborhood is directly east of downtown Olympia, bounded by Fourth Avenue, Interstate 5, Eastside Street Southeast, and Chambers Street Southeast.

Our neighborhood contains single-family homes, duplexes, small apartment buildings, and businesses. Houses in the neighborhood date from the turn of the 20th century through the current day.

What does the Eastside Neighborhood Association Do?

  • Encourage residents of the neighborhood to work together to improve, maintain, and protect a quality neighborhood
  • Preserve the neighborhood’s character
  • Preserve open space in the neighborhood
  • Provide safe pedestrian, bicycle and auto traffic for residents of the neighborhood
  • Maintain efforts to keep our neighborhood safe for children and free of crime
  • Support diverse cultural activities and a vital business community in downtown Olympia
  • Support adjacent neighborhood associations

Ongoing Activities:

  • Hold monthly board meetings
  • Hold quarterly general membership meetings
  • Host neighborhood-wide meetings to address important neighborhood issues
  • Distribute quarterly newsletter to the over 1,100 households in the neighborhood
  • Host annual neighborhood picnic in August in Lions Park
  • Support local nonprofit organizations and businesses in the neighborhood
  • Respond to notification from the city about planning developments; work with developers, city planners and the affected neighbors to maintain zoning that retains the residential quality of the neighborhood
  • Work with the city on traffic, zoning, development, parking and other issues
  • Help maintain the appearance of the neighborhood by encouraging enforcement of city code, and by organizing cleanups as necessary through the Neighborly Assistance Program
  • Meet and coordinate with other neighborhood associations in the city and county

Past accomplishments:

  • Revitalized Lions Park
  • Developed Madison Scenic Park
  • Performed neighborhood cleanup
  • Assisted with addition of sidewalks to many streets
  • Down-zoning of property to maintain family home setting
  • Proposed and helped pass the neighborhood recognition ordinance, which gives neighborhoods early notice of projects that may affect them
  • Keeps neighbors informed of current issues through presentations by city officials and others
  • Helps preserve and provide regular support to Madison Elementary School
  • Winner of national award for neighborhood improvement

How Can I Get Involved?

There are many ways to be involved with the neighborhood!

History of the Eastside Neighborhood

(We’re looking for more history tidbits!)

Originally separated from downtown Olympia by the waters of a tidal slough, this district was first known as “Swantown” after Scottish immigrant John Swan who settled here in 1850. Early east side development consisted mainly of small household farms and orchards. More homes and business followed, especially after electric streetcars began running up Fourth Avenue in 1892. By 1911 the Swantown Slough had been filled, connecting the east side directly to downtown.

Lions Park History
In 1942 the land was brush and debris. Lions Club president Ray Lindskog envisioned a playground for neighborhood youngsters; his idea was embraced by the Club Board and accepted by the city. Lions Club members cleared the land and installed the equipment.

The current park shelter was built in 1960, and the current playground equipment was installed in 1984. The city is currently (June 2010) developing a plan for revitalizing the park with a new shelter, playground equipment, and walking paths.

Coalition of Neighborhood Associations

The Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, or CNA, provides a forum for individuals and community organizations to discuss important topics with neighborhood association leaders, and to ask individual associations for support and help.  The Coalition also helps associations to connect with and learn from each other how to organize and advocate more effectively.  The Coalition is overseen by a Steering Committee.

Meetings are held the second Monday of each month, 6:30 pm, at City Hall.