Open Space Trust Board members present
Jim Owens, Chairman, Ira Appelman, Vice Chairman, Bill Duvall, Gail Magnuson,
Rita Moore, Jim Pearman
Open Space Trust Board members absent
Pete Mayer, Director, Parks and Recreation, Paul West, Arborist
There were no public appearances.
The minutes of May 6, 2003 were unanimously approved with the following changes:
Jim Pearman should be added to the trustees present.
Forest Management Plan Update
Paul has been working with the GIS analysis of tree canopy. He thinks the analysis
looks accurate based on his walks through the park checking the maps he generated.
He has asked the City's GIS analyst for statistics on quadrants.
Paul presented illustrations of three management scenarios for Pioneer Park--Deep
Forest, Purely Native, Basic Canopy. He described each of these strategies.
These are prescriptions that can be applied to parts of quadrants or an entire
quadrant. The question the Board needs to answer is: What is the character of
forest that we want?
In the discussion that followed, several perspectives were expressed. Several
people thought that the Forest Management Plan should represent a vision for
the park, mapping the steps towards that vision several years in the future
that represent good stewardship. Trustee Appelman raised the question about
whether the available resources should restrict the goals. The discussion of
this was not conclusive.
Trustee Duvall clarified that the plantings along the east side of Island Crest
Way represent a Deep Forest strategy. Trustee Appelman wanted to know what the
independent variables are that we are managing for in each strategy. The variables
discussed were the type of canopy tree being planted or fostered, the amount
that invasives would be controlled, and the type of understory that would be
fostered in each scenario. Through this discussion it became evident that some
trust members felt strongly about controlling invasives thoroughly, rather than
allowing them to remain, as in the Basic Canopy strategy. Paul pointed out that
areas of the park not receiving intensive treatment still might be treated in
a cursory way to prevent further deterioration. Some felt that the Deep Forest
was too expensive and that a mixed conifer/broadleaf forest was desirable; however,
there was also the vision for the park over the longer term moving towards a
Deep Forest character. Out of the feedback given by the trustees, Paul suggested
a hybrid strategy that would be like the Purely Native scenario with some conifer
planting in areas where conifers would be viable.
There was some discussion about where to apply these strategies. Trustee Duvall
suggested that the NW quad is used the most and therefore should be high priority.
Trustee Moore proposed an opposite tactic of preserving the best habitat. Trustee
Owens suggested that Paul come back with suggestions for where to apply different
strategies. He suggested that these strategies could be implemented through
adaptive management and modified as the Trust board evaluates the results.
Ravine Trail East Mercer Way Trail Connection
Paul requested that the Trust become co-applicant with Youth and Family Services
for a proposal to Starbucks Coffee requesting a $7,000 grant for the ravine
bridge. The grant would pay for a 10% contingency for the construction and allow
the building of the connecting trails to the bridge. The trail coming in from
East Mercer Way has not been cleared or graded for a pedestrian trail. On the
south side of the ravine the trail will have to cross through the edges of a
wetland and some boardwalk or turnpike will be needed. This grant will take
care of those issues. The Voice Program, a youth community service program,
which is part of the City of Mercer Island's Youth and Family Services Department,
would be a co-applicant. The bridge contractor is specially qualified to work
with volunteers in building the bridge and is happy to do so. This is a great
opportunity for the youth of Mercer Island to work on a substantial construction
project. It is very likely that both the south Mercer Island Starbucks and the
Tabit's Square Starbucks will support this Neighborhood Grant. The Youth and
Family Services Foundation will act as fiscal agent for the grant.
Paul advised that item #2 on the application requires "A Creative
Demonstration of why your organization and neighborhood want and need this project."
Paul asked whether someone from the Board could produce this. The Board discussed
options for meeting the criteria of #2 on the application. Paul can provide
the board with a schematic of the trails. Chairman Owens, Trustee Duvall, and
Trustee Moore decided to meet at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10, to develop the
response to #2 on the Starbucks application.
Motion by Trustee Moore that the Trust Board and Youth and Family Services
apply for the Starbucks Neighborhood Park Grant. Trustee Duvall seconded the
motion. Trustee Appelman commented that he would need more time to study and
evaluate the application before he would be comfortable voting for this motion.
Motion approved with Trustee Appelman voting no.
Paul advised that he is working with the Parks Maintenance Department to get
the ravine included in their watercourse variance which is being submitted to
the Planning Commission for the bridge and in-stream work to be done this summer.
Permits have been submitted to the State of Washington for working in the watercourse.
Conservation Corps Grant
Paul advised that he and the Director are talking about applying for a grant
for Washington State Conservation Corps workers to work on Mercer Island. Washington
Conservation Corps has a grant deadline soon, and the City can get matching
grants to get a 6-month to 1-year conservation crew to work here.
Trillium Progress Report
Trustee Moore advised that there's been no progress. The deadline for information
to be submitted to the recreation guide is July 1, 2003. Chairman Owens will
re-send his information to Trustee Moore. It was agreed that the Board should
review the Trillium before it is submitted to the recreation guide or the web
Priorities Planning Discussion
The two highest priorities previously determined by the Trust Board are the
Forest Management Plan and the Ravine Trail. Both of these projects are being
worked on cooperatively between the City and the Trust Board through Paul. Chairman
Owens reminded the Board that its third priority was education programs and
developing relationships with constituencies such as Mercer Island service clubs.
He encouraged the Board to use the summer months to explore possibilities of
how to develop these goals. The Board decided to table this discussion until
its next meeting.
Summer Celebration Booth
Volunteers from the Board are needed to work shifts on July 12, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
and July 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The space will be shared with the Ivy Brigade.
Staff will print out the trails map and there are still copies of the Natural
History of Pioneer Park available to sell.
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 pm. The Board will meet at July 1, 2003 at 6 p.m. at the Marilyn Hathaway memorial
bench on SE 68th Street in the northwest quadrant of Pioneer Park. The Board agreed to meet on July 17, 2003 at the City's Council Chambers at
[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