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Our History

Why This Well Matters

Environmental Education

A free-flowing artesian well located in the center of Olympia is an unrivaled resource for teaching public awareness about the artesian heritage of our community, about groundwater, and about the hydro-geological cycle. By teaching about these issues, the well's spontaneous eruption in the middle of a parking lot helps to connect urban citizens with our utter dependence on the natural world.

That's why this 85-year old well -- a well that predates every building that surrounds it -- is such a wonderful opportunity to teach the ethic of stewardship of the natural resources that have sustained human life in this area for countless centuries.

Community-building and Quality of Life

Preservation of natural resources and local history -- and the creation of parks and other gathering places for citizens -- help to create the bond of community. The bonds of community created by this well flow from of an ancient tradition: the tradition of people coming to the center of a human settlement of fill their jugs with water, and to socialize and exchange information at the central well.

Local efforts to preserve this well have already demonstrated its power to bring environmentalists, historians, artists, scientists, park designers, local business owners, and ordinary citizens of all ages and walks of life together.

Promoting Economic Growth in Downtown Olympia

Cities such as Ashland, Oregon, and Eldorado, Colorado have made artesian and community wells distinctive parts of their civic identity, and promoted them as tourist attractions. Olympia already has a historic association with artesian water -- and a well-developed "following" of people who seek it out. Creating a tiny park, and publicizing the unique history and hydro-geological nature of this artesian well could help to build tourism and the frequency of local residents' visits to the downtown area.

Next item: Seven Reasons to Support the FOA Proposal For a Public Artesian Well

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Updated 2007/03/04 11:14:14

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