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Open Space Conservancy Trust - Minutes     
Thursday, April 08, 2010

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, Rita Moore, Fletch Waller, Elliot Newman, Tina Lanzinger and Dan Grausz; Council Liaison’ were present. Peter Guyer; Vice Chairperson, was absent.


Staff Present:


Bruce Fletcher, Parks & Recreation Director

Paul West, Parks Natural Resource Coordinator

Alaine Sommargren, Forest Steward

Deborah Alexander, Senior Administrative Assistant



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

Approve the minutes of February 11, 2010.

Motion passed 6-0




There were no public appearances.


Regular Business:


Chair Cohen mentioned that Trustees Waller’s and Moore’s terms are expiring in May and that Trustee Moore has expressed an interest in being reappointed. Trustee Waller had previously indicated he would not seek reappointment because of other significant time commitments. Deborah Alexander will work with Ali Speitz, City Clerk, to communicate details about the recruitment process to the Trust Board.



(I)             Letterboxing Update – Elliot Newman


Trustee Newman distributed copies of the page in the Spring/Summer Recreation Guide that advertises the Letterboxing event. He also pointed out that the Letterboxing Adventures will be present at the YouPowered Event at the South Island Shopping Area on 6/5/10. Trustee Newman said they will need $1,200-$1,500 to fund the program and two Trustees expressed an interest in assisting. The program will kick-off at the Leap for Green event on Saturday, April 24th.



(II)         Leap for Green Plan – Paul West


Paul West asked the Trustees if they would like to staff a table at the Leap for Green event on Saturday, April 24th. Trustee Moore said that she already has substantial commitments for the event and would not be able to contribute in another capacity. In light of this, and the letterboxing presence at Leap for Green, the Trustees did not express an interest in having a table at this event.




(III)        Herbicide Protocols (draft)Paul West


Paul West discussed the purpose of the fact sheets included in the agenda packet. These fact sheets were created as a result of the discussion last month and are intended to educate park users about the use of herbicides.


Chair Cohen suggested that a sentence or two be added about the importance of native vegetation as opposed to non-native vegetation.


There was some discussion expressing a concern that these fact sheets might be used by home owners to guide their activities on their own property. Paul West mentioned that some of these herbicides would be difficult for the lay person to acquire. The Trustees requested that a disclaimer be added to these fact sheets.


Paul West said he will develop a complete protocol package that includes the protocol and fact sheets, and present them to the Trust Board at a future meeting.


(IV)       Engstrom TransferPaul West


Paul West produced a document that addresses some of the rationale for why a transfer of the Engstrom Open Space to the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board might make sense. Trustee Cohen asked a few clarification questions, which Paul West addressed. Discussion followed.


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

The Trust Board recommends to the City Council that the Engstrom Property be transferred to the Open Space Conservancy Trust, and that the specifics of the Issue Paper be finalized by staff in consultation with the Chair.

Motion passed 6-0


(V)        North Star Update – Paul West and Dan Grausz


During the process of trail planning for the Engstrom Open Space, staff identified a desire to have the trail exit onto E Mercer Way, which would cut through a portion of property owned by The North Star Council for Alcohol and Drug Education. North Star has indicated a desire to sell the property, but Council Liaison Grausz reported that there is no indication that they would be willing to give the City a reduced price. He believes that the City is not likely to take an interest in acquiring this property for various reasons. There has been some discussion about requesting an easement for the trail; however, the Parks and Recreation Subcommittee have asked staff to look at the possibility of an alternative route.


Paul West reported that he was directed to look into some grant opportunities to keep purchase options open.


Trustee Waller raised the idea of selling carbon offsets from Pioneer Park to purchase property such as the North Star property. He asked Paul West if he had any resources that could identify the value of Pioneer Park in terms of carbon offset. Paul West said he did, and agreed to report back to the Trustees with this information. Chair Cohen suggested putting this topic under the fundraising opportunities topic for a future meeting.


It was moved by Trustee Newman, seconded by Trustee Lanzinger, to:

The Open Space Conservancy Trust Board instructs staff to create a short endorsement of the acquisition of the North Star property as part of their grant application.

Motion passed 6-0


(VI)                                  Docent Walks Plan – Rita Moore


Trustee Moore reported that there are three Docent Walks scheduled, one in April, May and June, and that she has recruited help for the May and June walks. Chair Cohen suggested that  there be more publicity for these events.t. Paul West agreed to post flyers in the kiosk at Pioneer Park, and work with City communications staff to get the news out in the Mercer Island Weekly and Quarterly. He requested that a Trustee work with the Mercer Island Reporter. Trustee Moore agreed to work with the Reporter. Trustee Lanzinger agreed to post flyers at the Saddle Club, Preschool and Starbucks.


(VII)                                 Next Meeting – Don Cohen


Deborah Alexander will e-mail the Trustees to determine if a quorum exists for the April 8th meeting. Paul West reported that Justin Howell, Trails Specialist, will present the trails work plan. Also scheduled is a presentation on uses and sources of funds for Pioneer Park.



Adjournment: 7:16 pm



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