Bequeathed to Washington State University in 1990, the area known as Meyer’s Point includes 95 acres of undeveloped land with 2,100 feet of Puget Sound shoreline and extensive terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic habitats.
The regional context for Meyer’s Point is striking. The property is located on the shores of South Puget Sound, just a few miles north of Olympia, the state capitol, in an area that is growing and urbanizing rapidly. Understanding and managing environmental changes, such as how to balance growth and development with environmental sustainability, are immensely challenging for all communities. A host of environmental issues centered on sustainable development at the urban/rural interface apply to Puget Sound and to many other growing areas of the state and nation. Meyer’s Point could become a regional and national model for a field station dedicated to environmental research, education, and outreach focused on the urban/rural interface.
Protecting and Preserving
Since 1990, Meyer’s Point has been the site of significant activities in environmental research, training, and outreach by multiple WSU campuses and many partners. Given its proximity to the rapidly growing Puget Sound region, Meyer’s Point is well-suited for studying a range of environmental issues at the urban/rural interface. Additional or alternative research areas may emerge as part of the proposed planning activities.
In keeping with the Meyer family bequest to “promote environmental education, research, and the arts,” the University is committed to responsibly developing world-class research facilities, providing extensive educational opportunities for a wide range of students, from K-12 to undergraduate to graduate, and to offering outreach and informal educational programming for the public. Currently, the vision is to transform Meyer’s Point into a leading environmental research, education, and outreach center that will benefit the greater Puget Sound region, the state of Washington, and the nation.
Working through the state’s land-grant research university, WSU faculty and researchers have significant expertise in three important areas relevant to Meyer’s Point:
- Water science
- The interface between agriculture and ecosystems
- “People and Place” in the arts, humanities, and sciences.
Resources and facilities
For the past 26 years, in keeping with the intended uses stated in the bequest, WSU and its partners have utilized the property and its assets for a range of environmental research, education, and outreach activities.
In addition to the substantial natural resources, including extensive terrestrial, wetland and aquatic habitats, there are currently four buildings on the Meyer’s Point property:
A cinder block, A-frame building on a rough concrete slab with a total of 900 square feet of usable space on two levels. The lower floor is utilized for storage, processing of biological/ecological samples, and general operations. The upper floor can be configured for a variety of uses (office space, sample processing, and storage).
A wood-framed structure with a metal roof and a concrete slab foundation, the barn is 2,000 square feet in size, with a 300 square foot loft. The barn is used for storage and as an indoor facility for students and volunteers working on various science projects (e.g., forest restoration and oyster harvest activities).
Built in 1991, the main house is a large two-story, single family dwelling of approximately 3,350 square feet, with a daylight basement “mother-in-law” apartment. The large deck that provides views of Henderson Inlet, one of the southerly extensions of Puget Sound. The house includes its own well and septic system.
A two-car garage on a concrete slab that is connected to a concrete entry drive includes a storage area of 570 square feet.
A steering committee has been convened to chart the course forward for Meyer’s Point. The planning process is being overseen by the steering committee and reports to the dean of the WSU College of Arts and Sciences.
The steering committee members are:
- Stephen Bollens (committee chair), director of the Meyer’s Point Environmental Field Station; professor in the School of the Environment and the School of Biological Sciences; and co-director of the Aquatic Ecology Lab at WSU Vancouver.
- Colin Greer, professor in the Department of Anthropology.
- Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, associate professor in the School of the Environment; co-director of the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory at WSU Vancouver.
- John Stark, director of the State of Washington Stormwater Center at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center; professor of ecotoxicology in the Department of Entomology.
Current community partner organizations include:
- Evergreen State College
- Nisqually Indian Tribe
- Olympia High School
- Puget Sound Restoration Fund
- South Puget Sound Community College
- South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group
- South Sound Estuary Association
- South Sound GREEN, Thurston County Conservation District
- St. Martin’s University
- Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department
- Capitol Land Trust
Request for Proposals
A new RFP to encourage use of the Meyer’s Point Environmental Field Station is expected to be released in late 2022.
Have an idea?
Contact Steve Bollens, MPEFS director, at email@example.com or 360-608-6893 to discuss utilizing MPEFS for research, education or outreach.
Examples of Community Activity:
Contact Steve Bollens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-608-6893.