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Thursday, March 06, 2003

Open Space Trust Board members present
Jim Owens, Chairman, Ira Appelman, Vice Chairman, Bill Duvall, Gail Magnuson, Rita Moore, Marguerite Sutherland

Open Space Trust Board members absent
Jim Pearman

Pete Mayer, Director, Parks and Recreation, Paul West, Arborist, Stephanie Cangie, Administrative Assistant


Dan McCarthy
8230 84th Avenue SE 3058
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Nicholas Count 61st Avenue SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Citizens Dan McCarthy and Nicholas Count separately expressed their desire for the Trust Board to consider a new trail in Pioneer Park oriented to mountain bike use. Dan and Nicholas are students at Mercer Island High School. They personally know 15-20 youth who would use this type of trail. They are hoping for a challenging trail that would allow an opportunity to practice stunts. They believe such a trail could co-exist with hikers and walkers. They are willing to help in the creation and maintenance of such a trail. Although Dan has tried to mountain bike on the ravine trail, he reported that it is too steep. Continuing to mountain bike will cause too much erosion. Also, the staircase on the ravine trail is not good for mountain biking. There are no other trails on Mercer Island for mountain bike use. Trustee Moore questioned if the students had tried Mercerdale Hillside or south Luther Burbank Park. Their response was no.

The Board suggested that they work with the Director of Parks and Recreation, Pete Mayer, to try and find a trail on Mercer Island that might be used by mountain bikers. The Board also suggested that the group consider organizing a more robust constituency for a mountain bike trail.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of February 6, 2003 were unanimously approved

Old Business

Annual Report 2001, 2002
Two drafts of a proposed annual report for 2001 and 2002 were distributed to Board members. The Board agreed on using components from both drafts and discussed a few minor changes in preparation for the report being brought to City Council at its March 17, 2003 meeting. Paul West will prepare Agenda Bill 3750 with the annual report as an exhibit to the agenda bill. (Copy of Agenda Bill 3750 attached to these minutes.)

Motion by Trustee Sutherland and seconded by Trustee Duvall to accept the annual report for presentation to City Council at its March 17, 2003 meeting, allowing flexibility for the Chairman, Jim Owens, or staff to make minor changes as needed. Motion was unanimously approved.

Trustee Sutherland reviewed the outline of articles for the Trillium. The outline is as follows:
  1. A brief history
  2. Accomplishments since 2001
  3. Forest Management Plan
  4. Invasive plants
  5. Appeal for volunteers
  6. Appeal for contributions
  7. List of Board members and staff
  8. Calendar of events
  9. Photos, line drawings
  10. Sayings
  11. News about Saddle Club

The Trust Board discussed possible sources of money to pay for the printer's composition set up, printing, and mailing of the Trillium to all Mercer Island residents. Staff will seek the price for a stand-alone printing plus mailing and another cost for including the four-page newsletter in the fall 2003 recreation guide. Trustee Appelman suggested that the cost of the Trillium might come from either the Capital Improvement Projects budget, which is $50,000, or the Operating Budget for Pioneer Park.

Director Mayer will investigate with the City's Finance Department if there still is a Marilyn Hathaway Trust Fund used by the Trust Board in the past to fund the Trillium. He will also talk to Greg Brown, Park and Recreation Manager, as to how much might be available in the Operating Budget to pay for the Trillium. However, Director Mayer was not optimistic that there are any extra funds available for this expense. Paul West suggested that this issue of the Trillium be written in the form of a public education piece around the Forest Management Plan and have it published as part of the Fall Recreation Guide advertising a public meeting where the Forest Management Plan will be presented in the Fall of 2003.

Trustee Moore suggested seeking a Small Change Grant from King County. She asked that staff investigate the availability of this grant.

New Business

2003 Priorities
Chairman Owens presented the following list as issues of importance for future consideration as expressed by the Trust Board and documented in past meeting minutes. He suggested that the Trust Board think about what's important to the members and bring those ideas to the April meeting in order to facilitate a discussion of OSCT priorities for 2003.

The list includes but is not limited to:
  • Wildlife survey of Pioneer Park
  • Oral History of Park
  • Republish and update Natural History of Park
  • Develop funding source(s) for Trillium
  • Work with teachers and Mercer Island school district on educational projects/outreach/curriculum connected with Pioneer Park
  • Expand Open Space Conservancy Trust Board properties, including conservation easements and open space on the Island
  • Develop/enlarge park's constituencies with service organizations, churches, recreation groups, school clubs, and other similar organizations.
  • Pursue Washington State DNR grants for urban and community forestry projects in Pioneer Park.
  • Managing of encroachments into Pioneer Park
  • What special purpose arrangements is the Board willing to allow in the Park
  • Identify birding groups
  • State grants for urban reforesting projects
  • Implementation of the Forest Management Plan

Off Agenda Items

Trustee Appelman questioned what mechanism is in place for the maintenance of the trails in Pioneer Park. His question was prompted by concern for a downed tree across one of the primary trails in the SE quad, near the crosswalk, that had not been removed. Trustee Appelman mentioned that the Master Plan called for all debris to be removed from primary trails. Director Mayer will direct the following questions to Greg Brown, Parks and Recreation Manager, and ask him to attend the April 3, 2003 meeting to further answer any of the Trust Board's questions:

1) What's the City's current routine maintenance plan at Pioneer Park?

2) When do seasonals employees come on board and what are their duties in Pioneer Park?

3) What is the frequency of park checks in the winter/summer and what actually occurs during a park check (i.e. trail inspections for downed debris?)

4) What's the City's maintenance/operations budget for Pioneer Park?


The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2003, at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

[Important Note: The proceedings of the Open Space Trust Board meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the Parks & Rec Department. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the Parks & Rec Department.]


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