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Thursday, December 04, 2003

Call To Order:

Chair Jim Owens called the meeting to order at 7:31 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.


Roll Call:

Members Jim Owens, Ira Appelman, Bill Duvall, Gail Magnuson and Marguerite Sutherland. Rita Moore and Jim Pearman arrived at 7:34 p.m. and 7:35 p.m., respectively. Staff present were Pete Mayer, Director,   Paul West, Arborist, and Stephanie Cangie, Administrative Assistant



There were no public appearances.



It was moved by Member Appelman and seconded by Member Duvall to approve the November 6, 2003 minutes with the following changes:  on page 1, under Old Business: Volunteer Work Day the last word of the third line should be totaling rather than totally.  Motion passed.


Old Business:


Ravine Bridge Update

The beams have been set and bolted.  The sides will be installed over the next week.  Staff will contact the Mercer Island Reporter to feature an article about the new bridge. 


Forest Management Plan

Paul distributed a map showing canopy conditions and management areas.   In the Plan adopted at the November 6, 2003 Trust Board meeting, Area 21 consisted of two smaller projects.   However, Area 21 needs to be considered as one larger project because of the number of trees that have fallen down in that area since the LIDAR was taken.  In order to fit this larger project into the project timeline, a few projects in the NE quadrant have been delayed.  Paul asked for the Trust Board’s approval on this change.   Paul assured the Board that the Plan is just a guide and the Board will be consulted when it comes to approving specific projects.  The Board may choose to change the priority of projects in the future.  The Board agreed to make this change in the Plan.


Trustee Moore asked if the trail coming off of East Mercer Way into the ravine trail is owned by the Board. Director Mayer advised that the property is owned by the City and is being managed consistent with the Pioneer Park Master Plan. 


Trustee Pearman will take a “straw” poll of the City Council members on their opinion about this property being transferred to the Trust Board and report back to the Trust Board at its next meeting.


Discussion was held regarding the wording on Page 4 of the Forest Management Plan under Introduction.  All Board members agreed to change the wording on Page 4 under Introduction to read:  Pioneer Park is a 113-acre park consisting of three 40-acre blocks of second-growth western-hemlock forest situated on the south-central spine of Mercer Island.


Motion by Trustee Sutherland and seconded by Trustee Duvall to adopt the Forest Management Plan as revised.  Motion passed 6-0 with Trustee Appelman voting no.


The Forest Management Plan will be presented to City Council on December 15, 2003 at 7:30 p.m.   Trustee Moore will attend the Council meeting as the Board’s representative.  Prior to the City Council meeting, staff will provide each Trust Board member with a copy of the agenda bill that will include a finalized copy of the Forest Management Plan.


Trustee Sutherland pointed out that only $5,000 a year is budgeted for the control of invasives.  She asked if the Parks Department is willing to ask for more funds to control invasives.  Paul is preparing a status report on invasives that will be presented to City Council in January 2004.  Paul advised that the $5,000 a year is for invasive control outside of the forest management plan project areas.


Paul has selected seven projects from the Forest Management Plan that he believes should be considered by the Board as its highest priority beginning in 2004.  A handout defining the projects was distributed to the Board as follows:

§         Project #7 – This project is in the northwest corner of the northwest quadrant and visible from the north loop trail and a very deforested area.  It’s a five acre area to the south and east of the trailhead on 84th and would be cleared of invasives and planted with conifers. This would be primarily accomplished by a contractor with some maintenance by Parks and Recreation seasonals.  Eagle Scout candidates may adopt an area for a year under staff guidance. 

§         Project #21 – SE Quadrant - A two acre area along the southern boundary of the park would be cleared of invasives and recruit native trees. This area has a lot of root rot and a bigger problem of blackberry.  Primarily accomplished by a contractor with some maintenance by Parks and Rec seasonals.  Partnerships with neighbors and service groups would help accomplish this work.  Eagle Scout candidates may adopt an area for a year under staff guidance.

§         Project #12 – finish up NE Quadrant – A four acre area that was started in 12998 would receive follow up invasive control and maintenance of plantings.  Contractor and park seasonals would be the primary resources.

§         Invasive Removal Park wide – Investigate hiring Earthcorps or some other youth employment or service group in the summer of 1994 to work in the NW quadrant.  There is $5,000 to spend on this. 

§         Trail Access for Fire Response – Staff will work with Mercer Island Fire Department to identify where access to hydrants needs improvement and other issues for fighting wild fire in the park.  Results would be accomplished by volunteer service groups.

§         Encroachment, Fire Management and Backyard Habitat Projects with Neighbors – Staff will work with neighbors to agree on management objectives for the forest edge of the park.  Eagle Scouts or other service groups may be available to help remove debris piles and prune vegetation.

§         Powerline Project #23 – The Mercer Island Parks Department would work with Puget Sound Energy to remove and replace approximately 20 trees along SE 68th Street that threaten the power line.  Wood disposal undetermined.


Another project that is not included in this list but is in the Forest Management Plan is the Island Crest Way transportation improvement plan will occur in 2004 and includes an overlay on Island Crest Way between SE 68th and SE 53rd.  This will help fix any problems in the sidewalks bordering Pioneer Park.  Paul has gone over the bike trail on the east side of Island Crest Way with the project manager and agreed on some repairs of the tree root problems.


Paul presented a Project Planning Form to the Board for Project #7.  The form includes information about who, what, when, how, and cost for the project.  


The Board agreed that staff should begin the work described in Project #7.


Discussion was held regarding ways to encourage service groups to get involved with invasive removal.  Suggestions included holding an ivy cup competition weighing each team’s invasive extraction awarding a trophy and money to the winning organization.  Paul suggested giving service groups the opportunity to plant trees in Pioneer Park if they have volunteered to remove invasives.  Other suggestions included contacting the high school clubs associated with Kiwanis and Rotary. 


Chairman Owens requested that maps in the Forest Management Plan be updated to include the ravine trail and bridge.


Adjournment:     8:53 pm


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