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Thursday, March 04, 2004

Call To Order:

Chairman Jim Owens called the meeting to order at 7:45 pm in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.


Roll Call:

Jim Owens, Chairman, Rita Moore, Vice Chairman, Bill Duvall, Ira Appelman, Gail Magnuson, Marguerite Sutherland.            Sven Goldmanis was absent. Staff present were           Pete Mayer, Director, Paul West, Arborist, Mike Elde, Park Manager and Stephanie Cangie, Admin Asst. 



There were no public appearances.


Added Agenda Items:

Ravine Trail, Bridge Fasteners, Encroachments.



Motion by Trustee Appelman and seconded by Trustee Sutherland to approve the minutes of January 22, 2004, with one correction:  under Old Business, Page 1, under Ravine Bridge Update, the word Quarrels should be spelled Quarles.


Public Appearances:

There were no public appearances.


Old Business


Transfer of Ravine Property

This item was tabled to the April 1, 2004 agenda pending a report from Trustee Goldmanis


Park Projects Review

Discussion was held regarding the involvement of service clubs in helping to accomplish the projects set forth in the Pioneer Park Forest Management Plan.  Trustee Owens will be making a presentation to the Kiwanis Club on April 6, 2004.  The purpose of this presentation is to suggest projects to the Kiwanis for participation on either a one-time basis or an ongoing basis.  The subcommittee of Trustee Owens, Sutherland, and Moore will meet prior to this appointment to determine the “script” they will use during this presentation.  The committee will meet March 16, 2004, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Paul suggested  the Kiwanis be involved in the project slaged for the NW corner of the NW quadrant.


Paul suggested that volunteers adopt an area, for example, an Eagle Scout might adopt a portion of an acre and do all the management activities called for in the Forest Management Plan, under Paul’s guidance.  Another suggestion is to use a large group in an event-based approach, for example, 20-30 people could take part in a one-time event to do a piece of work.  More leadership would be needed to enable the unoriented and unskilled volunteer to be able to do effective work in the park.  To develop leadership of volunteer stewards in Pioneer Park, a “Train the Trainer” workshop needs to be held.  Paul will inquire if Earthcorps is available to do this training.  Several Trust Board members were interested in attending this training.  Paul would like to see members of Earthcorps or the Student Conservation Association do work in Pioneer Park on a periodic basis with the idea that their members could become project leaders on the larger events.  Trustee Moore suggested utilizing watershed stewards and native plant stewards as project leaders.   She will e-mail the watershed stewards and native plant stewards concerning the Train the Trainer workshop.


A project leader needs the following skills: knowledge of horticulture (how to handle plants and basic weed identification), specific knowledge of the Pioneer Park Forest Management Plan and what it is trying to achieve, and knowledge of how to work with people and guide them in an effective way.     


Paul envisions a one-day training followed soon thereafter by a field experience which would then be followed by a debriefing to evaluate the project.  He will contact Earthcorps and outline a protocol for this type of training.   The value is developing a corps of leaders to manage groups of volunteers who come to help with the Pioneer Park projects.  Paul would like to have a corps of 12 leaders.


Motion by Trustee Moore and seconded by Trustee Sutherland instructing staff to develop a Train the Trainer type program to train project managers to help with the work in Pioneer Park as set forth by the Forest Management Plan.  Unanimously approved.



Director Mayer reported that he has consulted with the City Attorney regarding the encroachments in Pioneer Park.  The City Attorney suggests the same approach that is stated on page 39 in the Forest Management Plan.  Options available when evaluating the encroachments are:

1.       Pioneer Park should be treated like any other pubic property.

2.       A letter from the Parks and Recreation Department on behalf of the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board, be sent to adjacent property owners that are known to be encroaching based on the survey conducted.  The letter would give the property owners three choices: 

a.    remove the encroachment (materials or structures)

b.    remove and restore the area

c.    enter into an agreement with the owner, the City, and the Trust Board.


Paul has been in contact with an Eagle Scout who will clean out yard waste along the northwest corner of the northwest quadrant, including those properties that are encroaching by dumping their yard waste into the park area adjacent to their properties. This will take place on April 17, 2004.   This is one of the project areas set forth in the Forest Management Plan. 


The Board discussed the advantages and disadvantages of 1) doing a mass mailing simultaneously to all property owners whose properties back up against Pioneer Park advising them that there is a boundary, or 2) not doing a mass mailing but rather approaching property owners within a specific project area.


Motion by Trustee Sutherland and seconded by Trustee Moore that staff send a general educational, explanatory letter to all property owners whose property backs up to Pioneer Park, explaining the rules of encroachment.  Motion passed 4-2, with Trustee Appelman and Trustee Magnuson voting no.


The topic of how to approach specific encroachments was tabled until the April 1, 2004 meeting.  Board members need to bring their copies of the Forest Management Plan to the next meeting, specifically pages 39 and 153. 


Bridge Fasteners 

At an earlier meeting, Trustee Duvall had mentioned how out of character the glavanized bridge fasteners were for a forested setting and had asked if they could be painted to blend into the environment.  Director Mayer advised that the contract with Sahalee, LCC allows the Trust to paint the surface; however, the Board agreed that the fasteners are dulling naturally and to not take any action at this time.


Ravine Trail

Chairman Owens asked about the culvert overflow on the service road that has poured sediment into the stream, and asked what the City will be doing about the sediment dams scattered around that area.


Paul met with Anne Tonella-Howe, the engineer from the Maintenance Department, and examined the drainage basin in question.  At this time there was no overflow; however, as a result of the ravine bridge construction, the grade of the road changed and a rut developed on the uphill side of the road causing the water to channel down the road and silt to build up on the road.  In order to protect the stream, hay bales were put down to keep the silt from going into the stream and now the silt has collected in the roadway and the water is ponding in the road.  Anne’s assessment is that when the road dries out it needs to be regraded so the water does not flow down the uphill side of the road but rather sheets across the road and drains the way it did prior to the bridge construction.  There is some money left in the bridge budget and it will be used for regrading the road.


Regarding the sediment dams upstream and downstream, Anne suggested they stay where they are until summer and then be removed. 


New Business


Upcoming Park Projects and Events

§         April 17 – Earth Day projects: one in the NW quadrant and one in the southwest portion of the SE quadrant to clean out blackberry out of the islands that surround the trees on Island Crest Way so the salal can flourish.

§         June 5 – National Trails Day:  no project identified yet.

§         Summer 2004 – an Eagle Scout is going to work on the ravine trail this summer.  He will be fixing the wet area of the trails temporarily covered by the boardwalk.  The boardwalk will be replaced by turnpike.

§         Summer 2004 – road grading

§         Summer 2004 – Area 7 – the NW corner of NW quadrant – Area 7 is the flagship project for summer 2004.

§         October 23 – Fall Planting Day


Trail Maintenance

Mike distributed a handout describing the maintenance  plans for 2004 for Pioneer Park and reviewed the routine as well as specific seasonal tasks.  He assured the Board that the trails will be maintained to the width set forth in the specifications set forth in the Master Plan.  He also assured the Board that Parks Maintenance staff is available to assist with the volunteer projects. 



The Board was requested to consider the placement of a T-2 Fairweather wood bench near the exterior trail on SE 68th Street across from the QFC complex.  A citizen has purchased the bench in memory of his deceased wife.   A 2”x8” plaque will be attached to the bench.    Motion by Trustee Moore and seconded by Trustee Sutherland to allow staff to place the bench where appropriate.  Motion passed 5 to 1 with Trustee Appelman voting no.


Trillium Web site

Trustee Moore asked if the Board wants to have its own Website or be part of the City’s Website.  The Trillium could be posted in the Pioneer Park section with a link.    The Board agreed that the Trillium be posted on the City of Mercer Island’s site.  The Trillium can be archived so past issues are available in future years.  Trustee Moore will bring a draft document for the Board to review at the next meeting.


Annual Report

The annual report for 2003 needs to be prepared and ready for presentation to City Council by May or June.  Director Mayer requested that the Trust Board’s Annual Report be presented on the same agenda as the Mercer Island Arts Council Annual Report.


Appreciation for Ira Appelman

Chairman Owens thanked Trustee Appelman for his service to the Open Space Trust Board.  This is Trustee Appelman’s last meeting. A pen made of maple was presented to him.



Adjournment:   9:46 pm


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