Our Work

We are driven by our understanding of the intrinsic value of all creatures in our ecosystem. We are united in our value of biodiversity and believe that our human community is enriched by and defined by our relationship to the wilderness in our midst.

Protect: Advocacy

OlyEcosystems advocates for conservation-supporting legislation based on scientifically-informed land-use decisions, mostly at the state and local level. We also encourage legislation to improve water quality and the health of natural communities. These perspectives consider both immediate challenges, such as stormwater treatment, and longer-term challenges, including sea-level rise associated with climate change. OlyEcosystems has played an important role in creating a Metropolitan Parks District in Olympia and revising the City of Olympia’s Critical Areas Ordinance.

Preserve: Conservation

OlyEcosystems is focused on conserving key areas in the urban core of Olympia, Washington. Much of our work is focused on fundraising and acquiring properties that are part of our strategic plan. These efforts are essential for the ecological health of Puget Sound. Olympia is located on the Deschutes River Estuary, ecologically critical in its own right, and serves as the gateway to remote extra-urban riparian ecosystems upstream.

Restore: Stewardship

Restoration and stewardship of conserved properties are critical components of our portfolio. The condition of many undeveloped urban properties ranges from poorly managed to significantly compromised. With the help of restoration ecologists and other local scientists, as well as local colleges and universities, we re-wild conserved areas by re-establishing important communities of species. This approach transforms blighted areas into urban wilderness for future generations and supports locally important species. We have many opportunities for volunteers to work in the West Bay Woods, and learn what makes a healthy, water-wise urban ecosystem.


To achieve a vibrant and sustainable city that inspires all inhabitants, OlyEcosystems is re-thinking the Olympia of today and conceptualizing a vibrant tomorrow in the context of a changing climate. We work with neighbors, volunteers, and foundations to build residential and community-scale rain gardens and city-scale natural wetlands. To address sea-level rise, our engagement with agencies, foundations, and urban planners is re-establishing shoreline ecosystems to build climate change resiliency into the urban environment.