Hello Neighbors - At our January Zoom membership meeting, four residents stepped up to join the board! They are Cathy Julien, Gail Sanders, Nancy Spagat and Susan Zemek. They'll introduce themselves at our Zoom BHNA general membership meeting on Tuesday evening, April 13th at 6:30pm. 

As I’ve said in every newsletter since the pandemic began, your BHNA board is active on your behalf, even when we can’t yet meet in person.  See the sidebar in this newsletter for board member contact info. We now have a full board with lots of ideas for the neighborhood. Read this newsletter and join us on April 13th to hear more detail.  Meanwhile, Spring is here for us all to enjoy!  

Melissa Allen, BHNA president.

BHNA General  Neighborhood Meeting

Time: Apr 13, 2021 06:30 PM PST

Meeting ID: 892 0933 1808

Passcode: 639467


Say “fruit trees,” and most people envision a Jane Austen country orchard, or giant commercial monocrop plantings.  Yet fruit trees do well alone or in groups in neighborhoods like Bigelow Highlands, as demonstrated by BHNA’s tiny orchard of young fruit and nut trees on Yew St., between the community garden and the Capital Vision Church.

Although happily suburban, our trees still need the same limited, but specific and correctly timed attention as trees in country orchards or production farms.  Especially enough water.  What they don’t need is competition from grass and weeds.  That’s where the “flash mob” comes in.

Exactly this type of short-notice “flash mob” work party happened on Saturday March 20.  Neighborhood tree whisperer Dale Talksabout, accompanied by BHNA president Melissa Allen, board members Bob and Jason, with a few other neighbors, graciously gave the trees some necessary pruning.

Got a bad case of ‘Lockdown Loopies’?  HAVE to get out of the house?  Then gather your COVID pod members (or text a friend or three,) toss a garden tool or two in with your mask and hand-sanitizer, and rendezvous at the tiny orchard -- 10 to 30 minutes of communal “flash mob” tree love will feel like a paid vacation!  Combine tree love and dog love and start or end the outing with a dog walk or some park play!

If you’d like to volunteer, contact Melissa Allen at to be notified when the next flash mob work party is happening!


Bob Peller wears many hats, and we are very fortunate to have him as a neighbor.  One of his many activities is overseeing the Thurston County Food Bank Green Bag Project.  Bob is constantly seeking to expand the food program with additional donors within Bigelow Highlands. 

Many residents may not be aware of the Green Bag Food Project.  It was started in 2010 in Olympia by a few volunteers that learned about it in Ashland, Oregon.  The project’s three goals are:

  • Provide a regular supply of food to hungry neighbors

  • Create new neighborhood connections and strengthen the community

  • To serve as a mold for other communities

Approximately 7500 meals are collected which will get distributed via the Food Bank as they serve around 57,000 households within Thurston County. 49% of the customers are under the age of 18 years.  In 2021 there are now 20 neighborhoods participating that include two churches and a group from Providence Hospital.  Please consider donating to this wonderful program.

Bob attends the meetings for Program Leads within the Green Bag Program for program updates and changes. Donation days are every 2 months throughout the year on the second Saturday.

One to two weeks prior to the next scheduled food donation day, Bob emails program changes to volunteers picking up the food bags within our neighborhood.  Bob is responsible for organizing the pick-up routes and maintaining the Donor List.  Any new materials and information from the Food Bank are picked up by Bob and later distributed to volunteer donors.

Bob frequently speaks on behalf of the Green Bag Project at our association meetings, encouraging others to participate.  He has been hugely instrumental in keeping the program going, and growing. You are our neighborhood hero Bob!


Olympia artist Tom Boucher’s newest walking map is now available!  This map covers the northeast Olympia neighborhoods, including Bigelow Highlands.  To create the maps, Tom walks the streets of the area, locating details from local landmarks to how friendly the dogs are.  The result is fascinating, whimsical and useful.

BHNA has 100 maps to give away to Bigelow Highlands neighbors.  The maps are first-come first-serve.  To get a map, attend the next BHNA meeting on Zoom, or contact board president Melissa Allen at!

If you're interested in other maps like this of Olympia, practically every neighborhood is available at Tom's Etsy shop, ScienceArtifacts. 

Welcome to the Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood Association Website

The Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood Association strengthens ties among the people in our neighborhood, and between our neighborhood and the city of Olympia. We welcome all residents and business owners in our area as members of this non-profit organization; renters and property owners are welcome.

BHNA does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, election of board members and accepting of volunteers. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all BHNA Neighbors.