Olympia, WA Master Street Tree Plan

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Olympia, WA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted in 2001; expired in 2011 and has not been updated since.

Urban Forestry

Planet Citizen Action

Source File:Olympia, Washington, tree planting model program is at Olympia Master Street Plan for Urban Forestry --



The entire Master Plan is a 41 page pdf document. Shown below is the Introductory section only. To access the full document, refer to the source file.

I. Introduction

A. Vision of Olympia ( excerpted from Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan)
“Trees of various species, ages, and sizes are growing in all parts of the city, contributing to a green and healthy community. Tall slender conifers accentuate and add beauty to the skyline. Graceful tree branches arch over busy thoroughfares and quiet residential streets. Wooded corridors weave through the city, providing for coexistence of wildlife habitat, play areas for children and recreational space for all citizens. These trees give character to the City's neighborhoods and shopping areas. Trees create streets friendly to walkers and buffer between people and the hard edges of buildings and roads. People of all ages and walks of life are active in planting and caring for trees, demonstrating their faith in, and commitment to posterity. Evergreen trees grow throughout the city, a visual reminder of the special character of the Pacific Northwest. Deciduous trees mark the seasons, connecting us visually with the passage of time. Shady areas in public places welcome citizens on a summer's day and provide shelter from the rain. These trees help ensure that this Olympia of the future will remain a most livable community.” Jay Butts, 1990

B. Purpose, Goals & Objectives
This Master Street Tree Plan is a map to the future. The purpose of this plan was to identify and analyze the street tree resources in the City of Olympia and to formulate a strategy for enhancing and managing this resource. Through the implementation of this plan, we will accomplish the following goals:

  • Create healthier and safer streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit and motorists;.
  • Make Olympia a more beautiful place to live in and visit;
  • Bring a sense of natural beauty into the Downtown and our city streets;
  • Increase residential and commercial property values;
  • Increase civic pride.

Objectives of this plan are to:

  1. Create a usable tool for the design of future street tree planting projects;
  2. Provide clear direction and priorities for the maintenance of our street trees;
  3. Identify and document our existing street tree resources so we can track and measure our implementation efforts;
  4. Estimate planting and maintenance costs to assist in the budget process;
  5. Perform as a marketing tool to solicit grants and other funding.

C. Why we need Trees
Trees save energy and reduce noise pollution. They shade buildings, cool the air, provide protection from the wind and absorb unwanted noise.

Trees improve water and air quality. They reduce erosion and filter pollutants out of the air, water and soil.

Trees beautify our community, enhance property values and provide wildlife habitat.

D. Why we need Street Trees
Besides the benefits all trees provide, street trees serve a special role in the urban environment. They help to enclose the travel corridor by defining and reinforcing a three-dimensional space around and over the street. No man-made element of the infrastructure can accomplish this effect. Simply drive up Legion Way and notice the difference when you cross Central Street.

Street trees are the most visible of public trees. When we travel, whether by foot, bike, bus or car, we experience street trees more intimately than other trees in the City.