It would be a very sad day to see the woods behind LBA park developed. If Olympia plans for higher population density, the existing 22.5 acre park will no longer be “an appropriate size” for the neighborhood.
The history of that open space is rich and valuable to the quality of life of many Olympia residents, not just folks in the neighborhood. The trails have hosted countless high school cross country races, are rich in native plants and provide a needed buffer to the traffic noise on Boulevard Road as well as Morse Merryman and and Wiggins roads.
Furthermore, a 150-acre park within the city limits is not huge. Considering that Priest Point Park is 314 acres, the proposed LBA park could actually rival Priest Point in the amount of trail mileage available, and provide a place in town to ride bicycles off road, which Priest Point doesn’t allow.
Lastly, if funding the park is the biggest issue, I know the city is more than capable of sourcing state and federal grant money to cover some of the costs. With the large volunteer interest in preserving the space behind LBA park, I have no doubt constructing the park could be done largely with volunteer efforts.
As a 10+year resident of Olympia, I hope my city can find a way to add this wonderful forest to the already beautiful parks we have.