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About the EcoDistrict Project

In 1988, Karen Nelson purchased the property at 311 9th Ave and started a non-profit community center in 1999. In the decades since, the Commons at Fertile Ground has flourished as a community space in the Downtown Neighborhood and a "demonstration of urban sustainability and resilience at a neighborhood scale" (The Commons' Mission Statement). 

The City of Olympia purchased the Commons in 2018 and the community and City are exploring ways to maximize the potential for the property. Last year, a group of Evergreen students was invited to study the site and imagine ways to increase the impact of the Commons as a community space and incubator for sustainable technologies and practices. 

The Evergreen students and their instructors studied the EcoDistrict Protocol and its potential applicability to the Commons at Fertile Ground. Subsequent conversations sparked the idea of launching Olympia’s first Ecodistrict, which would include the Commons as well as the surrounding Downtown Neighborhood, and might extend south to include the Washington State Capitol Building and Campus. 

The EcoDistrict Protocol is a holistic framework used in cities across the US to advance neighborhood-scale sustainability. Grounded in local com- mitment to equity, resilience and solving climate change, it provides a framework for organizing local efforts around a variety of sustainability goals. The framework is adaptable to priorities established by local partners and encourages community ownership of local solutions.   Click Here to view the EcoDistrict Protocol Slide Show presented to the planning team on March 30, 2019.

Formerly Chris Van Daalen 2019-09-15 (Expired),
May 6, 2019, 4:30 PM