State seeks input on landscape for historic campus

The state has removed 25 large trees from the historic grounds of the west Capitol Campus since 2001 due to...

The state has removed 25 large trees from the historic grounds of the west Capitol Campus since 2001 due to age, poor health and safety concerns. Nearly half of the remaining trees are in poor or fair condition.

The Department of General Administration is developing a plan for managing the accelerating tree loss and addressing other landscape issues affecting the historic 51-acre west campus.

The public is invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. March 4 at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, in downtown Olympia to learn about the plan and comment on it.

The plan describes what the state should do to preserve and gradually renew the historic 1930 landscape design for the capitol, while incorporating more environment-friendly grounds management practices. The original landscaping plan was developed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts.

The draft plan includes the following recommendations:

— Reduce lawn areas and plant more trees, shrubs and perennial flowers;

— Add more diversity of tree types;

— Plant more native and drought-tolerant species;

— Reduce water and chemical use;

— Mow less and incorporate composting strategies;

— And gradually reintroduce Olmsted-planned shrub layers.

While the landscape master plan will create a long-term vision, a companion plan to manage vegetation will offer recommendations for immediate care of aging trees and for improving grounds practices.

If you cannot attend the public meeting, General Administration would still like to receive your comments. To view the plan and comment, visit http://www.ga.wa.gov/MasterPlan/ .

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