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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Call to Order:

Chairman Jim Owens called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.


Roll Call:

Jim Owens, Ira Appelman, Bill Duvall, Gail Magnuson, Marguerite Sutherland, Jim Pearman


Trustees Absent:

Rita Moore       



Paul West, Park Arborist and Stephanie Cangie, Administrative Assistant



It was moved by Trustee Appelman and seconded by Trustee Sutherland to approve the minutes of September 18, 2003 as amended:

On Page 4 under Off Agenda Items the first sentence should be changed to read: “Trustee Pearman reported that the Ivy Initiative will be on the March 2, 2004 ballot.”

The chair put the question on the motion:  Motion Passed 6-0.


Public Appearances:

Tom Richardson, 6238 84h Avenue SE, comments concerned the Pioneer Park Draft Forest Management Plan.  A summary of his opinion included the following:

  • The primary problem in Pioneer Park is the non-native plants and needs to be addressed, especially the ivy. 
  • The solution for controlling the non-native plants is too vague in the Draft Forest Management Plan.
  • The park looks great; no need to emphasize managing the canopy.
  • The draft plan needs to be discarded or put aside and a new Plan created called Non-native Eradication Plan.
  • Use the money needed for the management plan to get rid of the invasives.
  • Use the parks maintenance staff to spray Round Up on the invasives.
  • Ridding the park of invasives is a simple problem with a hard solution.  The simple problem is the ivy; the hard solution is how to get rid of it.  It will take chemicals.


Paul West commented on how the Draft Pioneer Park Forest Management Plan addresses the control of invasives:


The plan treats the control of blackberry and ivy differently.  In Appendix N project one is control ivy in trees, laurel and holly.  This is a park wide goal and is intended to systematically go from quadrant to quadrant controlling those plants.  This does not include controlling ivy on the ground.  Controlling ivy on the ground is intended in project areas where other issues are being managed.  The plan does not address controlling ivy on the ground outside of project areas where the management plan is more intensive.  The plan does not address one-half to two-thirds of the park area concerning invasives on the ground.  The plan also does not address the long-term maintenance of invasives in the park.


Another idea for controlling the invasives is to use a machine called a Red Max which works about one inch underneath the ground surface and cuts the roots and then the ivy can be pulled up in mats; however, this leaves a bare surface that needs to be planted. 


Trustee Sutherland commented that when ivy has been removed in Clise Park there are often native plants growing under it such as salal.  


Old Business

Ravine Bridge

Paul West reported that the bridge footings are in and the wood will come from Portland in approximately four weeks.   The bridge will likely be constructed in mid-November.


Forest Management Plan

Motion by Trustee Sutherland and seconded by Trustee Duvall to accept the following statement as the Trust Board’s mission statement.  Unanimously approved.



The Mercer Island Open Space Conservancy Trust is a board of citizen volunteers appointed by the City Council to oversee open space properties placed in the trust as passive, low-impact recreational open space.  The Trust manages these properties to protect, maintain and preserve them as natural, scenic and recreational resources, maintaining all their ecological, scenic, aesthetic, scientific, and educational attributes for the current and future residents of Mercer Island.


The Trust Board requested the mission statement be included in the introduction to the forest management plan. 

Open House

The Forest Management Plan open house on September 24, 2003 at Pioneer Park attracted approximately eighteen citizens.  Paul and Chairman Owens reported the highlights of the open house including some of the discussion about encroachments, burying power lines, leaving trees that blow down in the park, and managing edge areas.  


Feedback Summary to Forest Management Plan

Sixteen responses have been received.  A summary of the responses was distributed to the Board. The majority of the comments agreed with the plan or were neutral. 


As a result of the citizen responses to the Forest Management Plan, the Board discussed several key comment areas to determine if the Plan should be changed:



Trustee Duvall – The plan needs to go further in the management of invasives.  The introduction of the plan should include comments about invasives. 

Trustee Sutherland – The $5,000/a year currently budgeted for invasive control is not adequate.  Suggested using a volunteer group such as Earth Corps.  The plan needs to include serious control of invasives.  The City needs to dedicate more funds for removal of the invasives.  There needs to be a statement in the Plan that consistent, ordered removal of invasives is a high priority.  Requested that English Laurel be included as an invasive.

Chairman Owens – Suggested taking the invasive removal issue to a service club for volunteer time or for funding.  The plan needs to be strengthened on Page 9, Understory (5.5) and Page 20, Exotic Invasive Control (8.7).

Paul West - $5,000 reflects 1.5 weeks of work by a 5-person crew.  The plan needs to address the issue of invasives on a park wide basis.

Trustee Pearman – Suggested including a statement that says the City is doing a study on the logistical and budgetary impacts of eradicating invasives in the City’s open spaces which is due to City Council in 2004.


Increased Planning vs. Natural Regeneration

The Draft Forest Management Plan adequately addresses this topic.


Hazard Trees

The Draft Forest Management Plan adequately addresses this topic.



Paul will investigate whose budget the removal of roots comes from.  Otherwise the Draft Forest Management Plan adequately addresses this topic.


Off-Trail Use

Referring to Page 22, Section 8.9.  Motion made by Trustee Appelman to remove this section from the Forest Management Plan.  There was no second to the motion.  The Draft Plan will remain as it is written on the off-trail use topic.



Referring to Page 32, 33, Section 9.8   Trustee Appelman wants the Trust Board to wait until there’s a city wide plan and have the Trust Board base its plan on addressing encroachments on the city’s plan.  Motion by Trustee Appelman to remove references to encroachment in Section 9.8.  There was no second to the motion. 



The Draft Forest Management Plan adequately addresses this topic.



The protection of the Trillium is part of the off-trail use.  The Board decided to leave to the Plan as written on this topic.


Fire Plan

Paul reported that the Director of the Mercer Island Fire Department, the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Assistant City Manager met to review the fire management plan for Pioneer Park.  The result was a suggestion that the mention of purchasing a watering vehicle be removed from the draft plan.  The Board agreed.


Next Steps Redline Version

Paul will incorporate the changes suggested and have it available to the Trust Board before its November 6, 2003 meeting.  The Forest Management Plan will be presented at the December 1, 2003 City Council meeting.



New Business


Volunteer Planting Day

The Board discussed possible tasks for the half-day volunteer planting on Saturday, October 25, 2003.  Chairman Owens will be in contact with the board members to finalize the day’s activities.  One of the possibilities is salvaging plants in Seattle and bringing them to the ravine in Pioneer Park for planting with the assistance of a group of cub scouts and their parents.   Trustee Pearman and Magnuson are not available on October 25, 2003.


Levy to Support Luther Burbank

Trustee Pearman thanked Chairman Owens for volunteering to endorse the “pro” comments for the November levy for Luther Burbank.


Next Meeting

The Board agreed not to meet on October 16, 2003. 


Adjournment:   9:50 p.m.


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