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Woodard Bay Natural Conservation Area

Shoreline restoration, interpretive signage & trails in thurston county, wa

Woodard Bay NRCA was designated by the legislature in 1987, the first in the state. A wildlife sanctuary that is just minutes from downtown Olympia, this 800 acres site protects habitat ranging from marine shoreline and wetlands to mature second growth forest. Our team was hired by the Department of Natural Resources to develop a low impact design that preserves this habitat, reveals the unique and rich history of the site through interpretive centers, while providing recreational opportunities. Work included the design of an off-grid educational shelter, estuary overlooks, re-purposing of existing structures, kayak launch, parking lot improvements, native plantings, and interpretive design elements inspired by the sites social, cultural and economic history. Our team has coordinated extensively with the local Squaxin tribe in the design of interpretive cultural design elements.

This project was designed by Barker Landscape Architects (now with Environmental Works).


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