The Dirt Works Demonstration Garden and Composting Site was established in 1989 for the purpose of teaching home composting to the public. The newly renovated garden was expanded to include a variety of themed gardens that exhibit a wide range of planting possibilities conducive to the Pacific Northwest.
Volunteers from the WSU Thurston County Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter Programs not only maintain the garden but also educate the public about sustainable gardening practices, water wise irrigation methods and home composting by holding free workshops. The site also hosts the Master Gardener Foundation’s annual Spring Plant Sale that is held the third Saturday in May.
The City of Olympia owns the site on which Dirt Works sits near Yauger Park, and sponsors the garden by providing our location and support from the City’s Public Works Dept.
- Yard waste and worm compost area
- Children’s garden
- Rain garden
- Rose garden
- Vegetable garden
- Fruit trees and small fruits
- Rock garden
- Adaptive garden
- Turf grass
- Mixed border featuring non-invasive, low pollen, and water wise plants and provides year-round interest
- Home landscape – featuring native plants and hybrids for shade areas
Schedule of Activities – Workshops
Composting workshops are held at Dirt Works for both Yard Waste and Worms/Kitchen Waste. Click on composting workshop link to find the current composting workshop schedule.
Location and Directions
Dirt Works is in west Olympia on Alta Street off of Capital Mall Drive, behind Apple Park Apartments and Yauger Park. Go to the middle of the parking lot to park near to the garden entrance. Walk down the Nature Trail by the kiosk with the green roof and the garden entrance will be on your left. [map]
Dirt Works is open March – October to the public while Master Gardeners and Master Recycler Composters are working in the garden.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p. m.
Plant Sale area:
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.