Summers are special in downtown Olympia. More of us enjoy taking in the Farmers Market, Percival Landing, Heritage Park and our historic downtown shopping district. The Olympia Downtown Association sponsors free concerts at Sylvester Park on Wednesday evenings, and beautiful hanging floral baskets line nearly every street, thanks to the members of the Parking and Business Improvement Area (PBIA).
And now, with support from the PBIA and the City Council, we’re blessed to have year-round Olympia Downtown Ambassadors, a program of the Capital Recovery Center, making a very positive difference in the way most of us experience our downtown. The Downtown Ambassadors Program began one year ago. Every single day, the ambassadors deliver services that are clearly making our downtown friendlier and safer. They are trained in conflict resolution, mental health first aid, communication skills, social service referrals and customer service. They check in regularly with merchants and maintain a service response hot line.
Working in tandem with the Ambassadors, the Clean Team performs services ranging from graffiti removal and over-painting, weeding, alley cleanup, and trash removal. It partners with Waste Resources in the pilot stage of an ambitious downtown recycling effort. This year the Clean Team will also work its magic in areas adjacent to our Lakefair Festival grounds.
When you identify ambassadors or Clean Team members in their new, bright-red shirts, I hope you’ll pass along your appreciation and sincere thanks for their change-making public service.