Visit the Washington State Capitol

Campus Color Initiative


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Campus Color InitiativeA hanging basket of flowers is suspended from a lamp post with the Capitol Building in the background.

Status: Underway, planting complete late summer 2021

Throughout the spring and summer, DES crews are been busy improving the campus "curb appeal" as well as pollinator habitat with a mix of perennials, annuals and wildflowers that bring color to both East and West Campus and Parks.

Flower beds are annually updated with intricate flower designs – including layering different types of plants – and transplanting plants from the West to the East Campus and Parks. Transplanting keeps flowerbeds from becoming overgrown, and also allows DES to save plants in construction areas.

Latest updates

Renovation of the historical Sunken Garden finishes in September. The updates include new ADA access and a reconfiguration of the planting beds to extend seasonal interest and increase sustainability.

View photos of the 2021 renovation of the Sunken Garden here

Completed this year

  • Seasonal color plantings added to campus memorials – WWII, Vietnam, Korean, Medal of Honor, Winged Victory
  • Seasonal color plantings added to key public west campus areas  - Sundial, South Legislative Building Portico, flag circle
  • Planting of new perennials as part of the renovation of the historic sunken garden
  • Planting of wildflowers on East Plaza over the 14th Avenue tunnel


While visiting the Capitol, check out the banners that reflect the diversity of eastern and western Washington on 20 light posts along the north and south diagonals on the Capitol Campus.

Buildings & Grounds staff proposed the addition of the colorful hanging banners as a way to infuse more color on the campus in a way that is more durable, in place year-round and that requires less daily maintenance. The designs for the banners were chosen to promote civic education and represent state symbols (flower, fish, fruit, tree, bird).

Select a banner to see a larger image.

Thumbnail of state fruit (apple) banner Thumbnail of state fish (steelhead trout) banner Thumbnail of state flower (Coast Rhododendron) banner Thumbnail of state bird (Goldfinsh) banner Thumbnail of state tree (Western Hemlock) banner