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Capitol Campus Grounds



Welcome to the beautiful Washington State Capitol Campus. The Department of Enterprise Services manages the 486-acre campus, which includes Sylvester, Heritage, Marathon and Centennial parks, Capitol Lake, the Capitol Lake Interpretive Center and Deschutes Parkway. The department also cares for the memorials, monuments and art work on the campus grounds.

Featured Project: Bee Pollinators

On the west campus, the Department of Enterprise Services is continuing to partner with the Olympia Beekeepers Association in 2017. In late April, the Olympia Beekeepers Association installed two new honeybee hives on the front lawn of the Governor's Mansion on the Capitol Campus. The association also provided hives at the mansion in 2016.

View information regarding the 2017 honey bee hives at the mansion.

View information regarding the 2016 honey bee hives at the mansion.

On east campus, DES grounds staff have installed three mason bee houses on the plaza. The bees will hatch from cocoons in April and will immediately begin to pollinate nearby spring blooming plants such as pears, hawthorns, crabapples and red-flowering currant. Mason bees are native to Washington. They do not produce honey but are very efficient in transferring pollen from plant-to-plant.

To learn more about past projects, view the Featured Project Archive webpage.


Featured Plant: Nemesia

Nemesia close up

Nemesia is probably not a plant you learned about from exploring your grandmother's garden. It is a relatively new bedding plant for American gardeners. Native to South Africa, it has proven itself to be a very reliable performer in most parts of the United States. Since it prefers cooler temperatures for maximum blooming, it routinely blooms from spring till the first frost in Western Washington. A member of the snapdragon family, Scrophulariaceae, it typically grows between 12 and 18 inches tall, comes in a wide variety of bright colors, including some new two-tones. and can be fragrant depending on its parentage. The gardeners on the historic West Capitol Campus have tried Nemesia for the first time this year. It is planted around the Winged Victory, which is the memorial for World War I veterans. It has proven to be a very prolific bloomer is this location and has been included in many photographs as visitors to the campus pose for pictures in front of the Winged Victory.

Questions or comments about the capitol grounds?