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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Call To Order:


Chairperson Don Cohen called the meeting to order at 6:06 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.


Roll Call:


Don Cohen; Chairperson, Liz Sanderson; Secretary, Fletch Waller; Vice Chairperson, Rita Moore and Dan Grausz; Council Liaison were present. Tina Lanzinger and Elliot Newman had excused absences.


Staff Present:


Keith Kerner, Parks Superintendent

Deborah Alexander, Senior Admin. Assistant

Alaine Sommargren, Forest Steward, were present.




(1)           It was moved by Trustee Waller, seconded by Trustee Moore, to:

Approve the minutes of January 8, 2009.

Motion passed 5-0




There were no public appearances.


Regular Business:


(I)         PSE Reliability Project Update – Don Cohen & Dan Grausz


Chair Cohen reported that the City Council rejected the portion of the PSE Reliability Project that would affect Pioneer Park, consistent with the recommendation of the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board. The City Council requested that PSE bring back alternatives to the original proposal.


(II)         Horse Waste Update – Keith Kerner


Keith Kerner reported that he has made several attempts to contact Mrs. Hood, the person who raised this issue with staff, but has not been successful in reaching her. He stated that he walked the portion of the trail and it looked clean, so he feels the Saddle Club is doing an excellent job of maintaining the trail.


(III)        2008 Annual Report Finalization – Don Cohen


Chair Cohen summarized a few suggestions to the draft report. Trustee Waller suggested that the second paragraph on page 2 was redundant. It was suggested that the first sentence remain and the paragraph be concluded with “This is discussed elsewhere in this report.” Chair Cohen requested that the names of all of the Trustees be added to the end of the report and the 2009 work plan be attached.


It was moved by Trustee Sanderson, seconded by Trustee Moore to:

Approve the proposed Annual Report with the amendments as stated.


Motion passed 5-0


(IV)       Herbicide protocol next steps – Alaine Sommargren


Forest Steward, Alaine Sommargren, gave a presentation of Paul West’s proposal for additional herbicide trials. Their research indicated that the surfactant present in the herbicide used in the trial last year has a history of a negative impact on amphibians. Paul is therefore recommending another trial using a similar herbicide which does not contain this surfactant to see if it will be effective in killing the invasives. They will continue to do research on various surfactants which help to bind the herbicide to leaves, but will not have any adverse effects on amphibian life.


Paul West has also been doing research on using native fungi as a way of targeting non-native species as an alternative to herbicide use. Paul is requesting the Board’s permission to conduct a trial in which the fungi would be injected into the trunk of the invasive (English Holly and Cherry Laurel) to see if it results in the death of the plant.


It was moved by Trustee Moore, seconded by Trustee Sanderson to:

Approve staff conducting trials of Aquamaster herbicide and other glyphosate based herbicides with amphibian safe surfactants on ground ivy with precautions and restrictions as stated in the February 12, 2009 staff report.


Motion passed 5-0


It was moved by Trustee Moore, seconded by Trustee Sanderson to:

Approve staff conducting a trial of injecting native saprophytic fungi on holly and laurel trees with the precautions and restrictions as stated in the February 12, 2009 staff report.


Motion passed 3-1-1 [Note:  This motion was later rescinded.]


There was further discussion of the research and experiential basis, and timing considerations, relating to injecting native saprophytic fungi to control invasives.  Forest Steward, Alaine Sommargren noted that Paul West is the most knowledgeable staff person on this subject and was unable to attend the meeting.  She also commented that timing was not critical on this issue and that a decision could be deferred until a subsequent meeting when Paul was present.


It was moved by Trustee Sanderson, seconded by Council Liaison Grausz to:

Rescind the vote on the previous passed motion (regarding fungi injection).


Motion passed 5-0


(V)        Docent Walks – Rita Moore


Deborah Alexander, Senior Administrative Assistant, reported to the Trustees that the Spring/Summer Recreation Guide deadline for including a Docent Walk schedule is tomorrow (2/13).


Chair Cohen suggested that Trustee Moore set up one or two Docent Walks and see how they are received by the public. Trustee Moore responded that she thinks it would be a good idea. Trustee Waller posed the question of how to generate interest in the program. Trustee Moore said they have been advertised in the Reporter in the past, and there is the possibility of publishing them in the City weekly and quarterly newsletters. Chair Cohen suggested the City website and park kiosks.


It was suggested that the first Docent Walk be held in May with a focus on trillium and other spring flowers. Trustee Waller offered to put together a column with pictures for submission to the Mercer Island Reporter about the Docent Walk. Trustee Moore agreed to move forward with setting this up and providing staff with the details, including suggested language for publicity.


(VI)       Interpretation/Wayfinding Pilot Project – Keith Kerner


Keith Kerner provided the Trustees with photos of the Kiosk that staff is proposing be placed in Pioneer Park. He also provided the map that was developed for the Pioneer Park Kiosk. Trustee Waller agreed to work with Keith Kerner on the placement of the kiosk in the NW Quadrant.


Trustee Waller suggested perhaps putting a second kiosk in the Northwest Quadrant.


            It was moved by Trustee Moore, seconded by Vice Chair Waller, to:

Direct staff to include a park standard kiosk and park map as part of an interpretation/wayfinding pilot program in the Northwest Quadrant at the junction of Island Crest Way and SE 68th Street.


Motion passed 5-0


(VII)         Next Meeting – Don Cohen


The next meeting will take place on March 12, 2009.




Adjournment: 6:58 pm


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