Help the Art Crossings Program get to know our neighborhood!

The goal of City of Olympia’s Art Crossings program is to place public art into Olympia’s neighborhoods, contribute to a sense of community identity, and introduce place making elements that help to define and bring together different areas of our community.  Having worked through the process to design approval on West Bay Drive, we are now starting the process for Eastside Street at the bridge over I-5. Arts Program Manager Stephanie Johnson was at the ENA Annual meeting on August 25 to set the foundation for the new project by asking 4 questions:

-What do you value about your neighborhood? 
-What do you want people to know about your neighborhood? 
-How is the neighborhood connected to Olympia? 
-What else should the artist know?

This was a great exercise to do with neighbors, but if you didn’t make the annual picnic, we’d still like to hear from you!  Please complete the survey – – by September 9.

More information is available at or by contacting at Stephanie at or 360.709.2678.

Neighborhood Meeting Minutes July 2019

7/17/19 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm


Board members – Nathan Allan, Sherry Chilcutt, Jim Sweeney, Amy Hill, Jim Rioux, Roger Horn, Sheena Pietzold

Treasurer’s Report

  • Checking: $473
  • Savings: $1059
  • Signs: $1302
  • Legion Way Trees: $152
  • Community beautification: $408

Neighborhood picnic – There was a miscommunication when trying to reserve the shelter at Lions Park and we didn’t get it reserved for 8/17 from 4-7 like we’d planned. Brian booked it for the only available day, 8/25 from 4-7. Jim R. will follow up with the City tomorrow to see if any other times are available for 8/17 or earlier times available on 8/25. We still have to pay for reservation but won’t have to pay for insurance this year.

Block Parties – We discussed how the marketing wasn’t on point this year, and will try to improve it in the future. We talked about some pros and cons of having the block parties on multiple nights/weekends, and agreed that we liked doing it this way because it allows for more people to host because it’s more convenient for them and people can go to several of the block parties easier. The block party on 5th between Fairview and Edison had 60 or so people attend (two hosts combined). The block party on Lybarger between 10th and Union only had 10-15 attendees on the same day. More block parties are coming up on 7/19, so it’ll be interesting to see how those go. Perhaps we can invite block party hosts to the board meeting prior to the block parties (either May or June) to organize/coordinate efforts next year. Perhaps some could combine with neighborhood garage sales in the future. 

Neighborhood policing seems to be working well – we had a brief discussion on how it seems they’ve had good response times and are focussing on and addressing problem houses very well.

Cider press event – Not really considering doing it again this year unless we can find a volunteer to run it.

Plum street village – The first Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Plum Street Village happened. Nathan and Brad attended and plan to attend the future monthly meetings. They are scheduled for  an hour, but perhaps could benefit from being longer. There are 30 or so houses and 29 residents. While they didn’t have stats on how many have been kicked out, we do know that 6 people have already successfully transitioned out. According to the surrounding businesses, people who live at the village are doing just fine, but periphery people are more of a nuisance. In general, the village seems to be doing really well. They’re providing more social services to the folks who transition out. One discussion point was regarding how the advisory committee can help interface between the village and the community/neighborhood? They’re trying to figure that out still. We discussed how we think It should be two-way street, if we see problems, we can say something and if they need help with something specific, they can let us know. We want them to feel like they’re part of the community because that’s going to help them be more successful. One of the first things the village does for the residents is help them get identification, jobs, and healthcare. Someone pointed out that the city has a weekly newsletter related to homelessness but we’re not sure it gets out very well.

Candidate forum – Roger reserved Wednesday, Oct. 9th from 6:30 or 7 for an hour and a half at the Elks Lodge. We will be partnering with 3 other neighborhoods and will finalize who to invite after the primary on 8/6. There may be another forum getting organized for the westside.

Variety show follow-up – Merging with Bigelow Highlands really helped and it was a really good show. We’re planning on doing it again next year, possibly in March instead of June. The Salvation Army welcomes it back again. Some of the performers said they’re interested again too.

CNA update: Jim R – it was a very packed agenda and had good neighborhood repsresenation.

  • A number of things are going before Land Use and Environment Committee in Aug/Sept, including the airbnb/short term rentals issue, and affordable low income and market rate housing issues.
  • There was an overview of the water rates.
  • Lydia Morehead filled a position for supporting neighborhoods generally and staffing the CNA. She is the new main contact for sub area plans.
  • The city said the multi-unit tax incentive has been helping downtown, but was not seen favorably by folks in the room. They also spoke on a few items related to housing including the old Bailey’s hotel, the next village on Martin, and low income housing. There is a meeting at the VFW hall (on Martin) on July 22nd at 6pm for community outreach.
  • They discussed waste resources and how Olympia is one of few communities that collects its own wastes.  The recyclables, which get sold, have subsidized the program in the past, but now we are paying people to take it away. There has been a lot of market shake up and no one is sure where it’s going to end up. We will probably see changes in what is accepted sometime soon.

Sub-area plan – We went over the details of a timeline with Lydia (the new City staff and point of contact) at the last core team meeting. We are trying to pull it all together and make time for lots of reviews from many different groups including the ENA board, City Committees, etc. The timeline is looking like October now, but there will be a draft for the board to reveiw next month hopefully. We narrowed it down to about 10 action items for each of 4 topic areas, but we don’t want to lose all the ideas that came up. We talked about potential ways to keep that information somehow, like in an excel table, etc.

Neighborhood Meeting Minutes May 2019

5/15/19 Swantown Inn 7-8:30 pm


Board members – Nathan Allan, Sherry Chilcutt, Jim Sweeney, Amy Hill, Jim Rioux, Roger Horn, Brian Brannies, Sheena Pietzold

  1. Treasurer’s Report:
    • Checking: $444.11
    • Savings: $1059.24
    • Neighborhood Signs: $1301.84
    • Legion Way Trees: $152.37
    • Community Beautification: $407.85
    • Expenditures coming up – picnic (about $150), block parties (none expected), variety show ($150), survey monkey 6/13 is the start of the next billing cycle
  2. CNA update: Jim S. –
    • Presentation from Evergreen Students for their capstone project – what would improve the CNA website and make it more dynamic, timely, and get more interest from folks?
    • Olympia Planning Commission’s public notice process: Before public hearings they send 2 emails to recognized neighborhood associations (RNAs). They are looking at this process and how to keep it up to date and maybe come up with a better system. They have been hearing concerns from constituents about the lack of notice ahead of time.
    • Candidate forums – they like the idea and are supportive of one happening on the Eastside. They would like to see one on the Westside too.
    • Jim S. will be gone later this summer, Jim R. will act as a backup for CNA.
  3. Variety show update: Roger – Roger got the vinyl sign updated for the correct dates. Right now we have seven performers confirmed, maybe eight. There will be a rehearsal night to bring them to the space and see what their needs are, etc. Roger posted a Nextdoor event, and will do a follow up post next Wednesday. Nathan will put it up on the ENA website and Facebook after Roger sends him the info. We are looking for volunteers/refreshment providers. Angie from Bigelow Highlands is making half-sheet fliers to hand out and will probably provide most of the food. We’ll bring the plates/cups/napkins, etc. Still looking for emcee, but might have someone interested from Bigelow Highlands.
  4. Charlie from SWONA wants to come to our next Board meeting to talk about a climate change letter pushing Council to do something.
  5. Sub-area plan update – On 6/8 we are hosting a Town Hall meeting from 9:30-12 at FUMCO. MaryGrace Goddu (from the City) and the Core Team will facilitate. We’ll have easels set up to take notes and help with the demonstration to help folks talk about the plan. We’d like to see public participation in going over each main item (almost item by item) basically following the surveys, but prioritizing all the actions with a short, mid, and long-term focus. We would like to have refreshments, coffee etc. Jim R. has a big coffee maker, board voted to spend $50 on refreshments. The 4th survey still out, this Sunday is the deadline but we could extend it. We’ll just want to cancel Survey Monkey by June 12th to save the next month’s fee.
  6. Block parties – Not everyone who is volunteering to host is available on 7/12. If moved to 7/19, not better for other volunteers. We agreed that we could do them on different weekends and maybe we could even add one or two other volunteers. Amy is interested in hosting as well.
  7. Armory Letter – Jim S. sent the letter about preserving/reusing the armory to everyone it was addressed to. Denny Heck’s office said he would follow up. Jim also had a discussion with Chris Woods, (new) President of the Boys and Girls Club of Thurston County who said he would take it to his board to reconsider using the building.
  8. We have a neighbor trying to make a garden in one of the empty lots on Union. Perhaps if they can provide a vision to the Board and it sounds reasonable, we might be able to support her in some way. Maybe we could invite her to a meeting to discuss.
  9. Meeting minutes from April were approved

Plum Street Village – Community Advisory Committee – August Minutes

Another good meeting for the Plum Street Village , CAC. The biggest take away for me was the fact that the PSV needs internet. I have offered to donate equipment if the city gets Comcast to install Cable Internet service. The social workers currently use a mobile hot spot, and residents are limited to their cell phone plans, often going to McDonalds to use the free WiFi. Both could be solved with a small shift in the way internet is provided, maybe even being cheaper (if not donated) for the PSV.

The other take away was when villagers exit the village for more permanent housing they are often in need of items that go beyond the essentials. I pointed out that their local Buy Nothing group could be a great resource for them.

Here are the minutes.