Open Space Trust Board members present
Jim Owens, Chairman, Ira Appelman, Vice Chairman, Bill Duvall, Gail Magnuson,
Rita Moore, Marguerite Sutherland, Jim Pearman
Greg Brown, Parks and Recreation Manager , Paul West, Arborist, Stephanie Cangie,
There were no public appearances.
The minutes of March 6, 2003 were unanimously approved with one change: the
last sentence under Public Appearances should be changed to read: "The
Board also suggested that the group consider organizing a more robust constituency
for a mountain bike trail."
Forest Management Plan Update
Paul West showed the Board the results of a canopy analysis done by Marshall
and Associates, Inc. of Olympia. Canopy gaps and areas of fragmented forest
in Pioneer Park were mapped. The analysis produced three areas of information:
||There are 5 classes of canopy:
- Prone vegetation
- Shrub vegetation
- Small Trees
- Medium Trees
- Large Trees
Any areas that are prone vegetation or shrub vegetation larger
approximately 200 sq. ft. are called gaps. Gaps are a natural function
of the forest but if there are too many it encourages invasive plants.
Fragmented Forest Areas
Some of the fragmented areas are around the gap areas. This
reflects areas where there might be concerns about the health of the canopy.
Paul distributed a sample illustration for three scenarios of what Pioneer
Park could look like as the forest management plan is set in motion. Once the
pen and ink versions are approved, then color will be added. These illustrations
will be useful for the public to understand how the park will look through the
forest management plan phases.
All members of the Board volunteered to work with Paul through this summer
to help bring the Forest Management Plan to its final form. This might involve
some additional meetings.
Paul is intending to apply City Green (a software produced by American Forest)
to look at the economic values of Pioneer Park in terms of air pollution abatement
and storm run off. He hopes to show the public and the City Council how many
dollar benefits are retrieved from Pioneer Park.
Greg Brown distributed a chart showing the number of hours and frequency of
hours dedicated to various maintenance tasks in Pioneer Park. He explained that
each park on Mercer Island has been assigned a level of service-A, B, or C level--depending
on the size of the park, the type of activities, scheduled uses, etc. Pioneer
Park is a "B" level park as are most of the neighborhood parks. The
City Council used this Parks Level of Service analysis to prepare the 2001-2002
biennial budget. Council has since reaffirmed that the current level of service
is adequate taking into consideration the resources available. In the 2001-02
budget period, more emphasis was placed on maintaining Pioneer Park by hiring
two additional seasonal workers who work directly in Pioneer Park.
The budgetary allotment for Pioneer Park is not based on the $50,000 capital
improvements monies set aside for Forest Management. The budget for maintaining
Pioneer Park is part of the overall parks maintenance budget of $525,000 that
is used for general maintenance in all of the parks. Both the I-90 and athletic
field budgets are separate from the $525,000.
Trustee Appelman questioned how maintenance staff discovers fallen logs over
trails. He asked what the time requirement would be for the staff to check all
the trails on the map every month. Greg responded that anytime there is a storm
or similar phenomena, the crew checks the parks thoroughly for fallen logs or
hazards. Three or more hours would be required to check all the trails in Pioneer
Park. Weekly park checks include a cursory check of the exterior trails and
any known "hot spots". In addition to conducting parks checks, maintenance
crews depend on citizens reporting maintenance needs on the interior trails.
Trustee Magnuson asked what the plans are for maintaining the newly restored
trail surface. She questioned if some of the trails that are very soft or rutted
should be repaired now. The maintenance crew follows what the Pioneer Park Master
Plan identifies as needed which including clearances above and on both sides
of the trails. Most of this work is deferred until summer staff is brought on
board from June to September.
The Board discussed possible ways to pay for the digital preparation, printing,
and mailing of the Trillium. The approximate cost is $3,100. This publication
does not qualify for a Small Change Grant. The money in the Marilyn Hathaway
account has been spent. The Parks and Recreation Department's budget does not
have the money to cover this cost. Trustee Pearman suggested the Board approach
the Mercer Island Foundation. Trustee Appelman stated that he
believes the City should pay for this. He would also like the Board to clearly
define what the function of the Trillium is as well as examine what the potential
return might be for this expense and effort. The Trillium could be used to educate
the public about the Forest Management Plan. Trustee Pearman encouraged the
Board to do a hard copy and an all-Island mailing once it has the funds to do
a high-quality publication with substance and shelf life.
Motion made by Trustee Appelman and seconded by Trustee Sutherland to prepare
an electronic version of the Trillium compatible with the City's web site and
prepare an article for the fall recreation guide directing readers to the web
site. The Board will wait on producing a hard copy and an all-island mailing.
Motion unanimously approved.
The deadline for the recreation guide article is July 1, 2003 and should be
sent to Jennifer Berner, Recreation Supervisor for the Parks and Recreation
Assignments for preparing articles for the Trillium:
1. A brief history - Marguerite Sutherland
2. Accomplishments since 2001 - Jim Owens
3. Forest Management Plan - it will be mentioned but it won't be ready
4. Invasive plants - Rita Moore
5. Appeal for volunteers - Jim Owens - advertise the fall planting
6. Appeal for contributions - Jim Owens
7. List of Board members and staff - Rita Moore
8. Photos, line drawings - Rita Moore
9. News about Saddle Club - Gail Magnuson
These articles, in electronic form, are due to Rita Moore by May 20, 2003.
She hopes to have a rough draft by the June 5, 2003 meeting.
2003 and Beyond Priorities
Chairman Owens posted the following potential priorities, dividing them into
areas of responsibility. The Board members were given sticky dots and asked
to place their dots where they envision the Board's efforts be directed. The
results were as follows:
Funding Sources Education Programs - 6 dots
Expand Trust Properties - 5 dots
Increase Trust Constituency - 4 dots
Special Use Policies
Forest Management Plan*
Complete the Ravine Trail*
Pursue Grants for Restoration
Encroachment - 2 dots
Wildlife Survey - 2 dots
Birding Actions - 1 dot
|*These tasks are already on their way to successful
Summer Celebration Booth
The Board decided to share the Ivy Brigade's booth at Summer Celebration on
July 12 and 13, 2003. Available Board members will work shifts on each of these
Paul West informed that he has received several requests from a citizen who
wishes to work on the portion of Pioneer Park that his property abuts to get
rid of the blackberries that are growing into his yard as well as restoration
work in this portion of the park. He is very knowledgeable and knows there will
a Forest Management Plan in place in the fall. Paul will define the scope of
work and be available to answer any questions. Paul believes the man will follow
whatever limitations Paul sets forth. He will also be asked to sign the City's
volunteer waiver, and he will be required to report his hours.
Trustee Appelman asks what the policy is concerning people who want to do this
type of work on their own in Pioneer Park. He believes the Board needs to more
closely examine the ramifications of other people seeing this man doing work
in Pioneer Park alone.
Motion by Trustee Sutherland that this citizen be given permission to do the
restoration work on the park side of the property boundary under the supervision
of the City of Mercer Island. Motion seconded by Trustee Moore. Motion approved
with Trustee Appelman voting no.
A draft of the Mercer Island Parks and Open space Preservation Initiative was
distributed for information purposes only.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:11 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held
on Thursday, June 5, 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