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Graffiti Busters

Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood Association (BHNA) Graffiti Busters


Report tags to

The Problems

  • Tags and graffiti are being left on private property for many months, often a year or more.  These tags detract from the neighborhood, attract additional tagging to these sites and neighboring properties, and create a large backlog of unsightly tags.  They are also illegal.  
  • These tags are found on buildings and fences; signs and light poles; retaining walls and sidewalks to the building; landscaping rocks, commercial dumpsters, residential trash, recycling, and yard waste bins; parking lots; etc.
  • An accumulation of tags on private property contributes to higher crime levels in our neighborhood including car prowls, residential break-ins, and residential and commercial burglaries.
  • Leaving tags on ones property demonstrates a lack of respect and concern for one’s neighbors and the neighborhood in general.

The Goals

  • Involve more businesses, property owners, and tenants to address the tagging problem in the Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood.
  • Educate neighborhood residents and businesses about the benefits of promptly removing tags on private property.
  • Inform businesses and residents that their private property has been tagged and options to quickly address the problem.
  • Help enforce the City of Olympia’s Anti-Graffiti Ordinance.
  • Reduce crimes of all kinds in the Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood.

Important Facts

  • Graffiti Busters volunteers spent 1400 hours of their private time in 2012 cleaning up a huge backlog and new inventory of tags on public facilities and properties in the Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood!  They also spent considerable additional time encouraging businesses and residential property owners and tenants to remove tags on their properties.
  • Graffiti Busters remove tags from public facilities and properties.  These include Bigelow Park, traffic signs and signals, utility poles, pedestals and cabinets for various utilities, etc.  
  • Graffiti Busters volunteers do not remove tags from private property, including trash, recycling and yard waste bins.  Those are the responsibility of the owners and tenants.

The Process
  • Involve and educate
    • Provide information and updates at the regular Neighborhood Association Meetings and annual picnic
    • Include regular articles in the BHNA Newsletter
    • Volunteers distribute handout cards to the public they encounter when out cleaning tags
  • Inform when tags are found on private property
    • Report tags found on private property to our email address ( with the specific location and a couple photos (must be taken from public street or sidewalk - no trespassing).
    • Send out “You’ve Been Tagged!” postcards to private properties which have been tagged with tag(s) location/description and process information.  Ask owner or tenant to please email us when their tag is removed.
    • “You’ve Been Tagged!” card and photographs are also scanned and emailed to all BHNA Board members and the OPD Graffiti Abatement Coordinator.
    • Wait four weeks from the date the card was mailed for the owner or tenant to remove the tag(s).
    • Those notified of tags on their property can refer to the City’s website for tips about how to - and how not to - remove tags from the property (
  • Refer and enforce
    • Tags that remain on private property after notification and the waiting period can be referred to the City of Olympia Code Enforcement Officer for official action.