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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Vice Chairman, Rita Moore.



Roll Call:

Trustees Don Cohen, Bill Duvall, Diane Kinman, Rita Moore, and Marguerite Sutherland were present.

Trustees Jim Owens and Sven Goldmanis were absent.



Staff Present:

Pete Mayer, Director of Parks and Recreation

Paul West, Arborist

Stephanie Cangie, Administrative Assistant



Approval of Minutes:

Motion by Trustee Sutherland and seconded by Trustee Duvall to approve the minutes of April 1, 2004.  Motion unanimously approved.



Executive Session:

7:35 p.m. to 8:06 p.m. Potential Litigation [RCW 42.30.110(i)(A)] with City Attorney, Londi Lindell.


Following the executive session, the Open Space Conservancy Trust Board decided to review the minutes of April 1, 2004 and unanimously passed a motion to adopt the minutes as follows:


Page 1, Old Business, Transfer of Ravine Property,

Trustee Goldmanis reported that he has spoken with some other City Council members as well as City Attorney Londi Lindell. He believes this is not an appropriate time to transfer this property to the Trust Board.  The Trust Board would like City Attorney, Londi Lindell, to attend a Trust Board meeting in the near future.




The Vice Chairman welcomed new trustees Cohen and Kinman.



Public Appearances:

There were no public appearances.



Old Business:

Kiwanis Presentation

Trustees Owens and Moore made a presentation to Mercer Island Kiwanis on the idea of

Kiwanis adopting a part of Pioneer Park and the club agreed to do this. 


Earth Day

Paul reported that 20+ volunteers worked on Saturday, April 17, 2004, in two different areas of the park.  Trustee Duvall led a group in the southeast quadrant along Island Crest Way and removed a substantial amount of blackberries.  A group of Eagle Scouts and community volunteers worked along the north edge of the northwest quadrant getting rid of debris piles from adjacent homes and in one case help a neighbor restore an area behind their property.


Annual Report

The Board’s 2003 Annual Report was presented by Chairman Owens and accepted by City Council on May 3, 2004.


SC! Booth

The Board discussed scheduling trustees to work on July 10 and July 11 at the Open Space Trust Board/Ivy Brigade booth. Vice Chairman Moore will e-mail the schedule to those who are able to volunteer.



Director Mayer distributed a draft letter and draft brochure that would be addressed to all home owners adjacent to Pioneer Park with the intention of informing them of the issue around encroachments around Pioneer Park seeking their help in cooperating with the Trust and the City in restoring some of the areas.  The initial purpose of the letter is to educate the neighbors.  The City Attorney has reviewed the letter and the brochure.  The Board wants the sentence in the brochure that talks about permits to be removed.  The Director will check with the City Attorney to see if the sentence addressing permits should be included to protect the City.



The Trillium will be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Department for the City’s Website.  The Board will submit a small “teaser” notice in the fall recreation guide directing readers to the web to read the Trillium.


Forest Stewardship Workshop

Paul reported there were 23 participants at the May 15, 2004 Forest Stewardship Workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to try and build talent in the volunteer corps on Mercer Island to start leading volunteer projects in Pioneer Park as well as other areas on Mercer Island.  The five-hour training was led by Chris La Pointe of Earthcorps and Paul.  The Trust Board needs to decide if it wants to sponsor a fall workshop.   



New Business:

2005-06 Work Plan

In preparation for the City’s 2005-2006 biennium budget, Pete wants to present a work plan from the Open Space Trust Board as well as the Mercer Island Arts Council at the September Council meeting.  The work plan should reflect the major areas the Trust Board wants to focus on during 2005-2006.  Page 29 of the Forest Management Plan spells out a work plan that is prioritized. Director Mayer recommended that Paul work with the Board to refine the Forest Management Plan’s work plan and pick up where it left off in 2004, putting the proposed work plan in a format that can be easily presented to the Council. The work plan should reflect how the Trust sees the expenditure of the $50K per year through the Capital Improvement Plan which is funded through excise tax funds is to be used.


Puget Sound Energy Projects

Paul reported that PSE is doing two projects.  One is on SE 68th Street in front of Sunnybeam School.  This tree removal project is underway with the purpose of cleaning up a street edge from a repeated power line topping of Douglas fir trees. The ground layer was mostly invasive.  Replanting will occur when the weather cools down.  Half the trees are being removed now and half will be removed when the new trees take hold. 


On the south side of 68th there is the 1997 power line vegetation project which took several trees out.  The second phase of this was never completed and Paul has reviewed the site with the Puget Sound Energy forester and he is proposing that there are 18 conifer trees that need to come out for the safety of the power line.  These are trees that were topped to protect the power line and have now regrown large stag horn tops that are likely to break and fall into the power line. PSE will provide the trees; the City will provide volunteers or staff to do the planting. Paul will be doing some in-depth hazard tree evaluation of the remaining trees to make sure the remaining vegetation is not a liability to the power lines.  He will have a final plan in September. 


Open Space Vegetation Public Input Meetings

As part of the City Council’s direction to the Parks Department to develop an Open Space Vegetation Plan, two public meetings were held on June 3 and June 17, to get input from the public on what the priorities are for open space vegetation management.  Paul distributed a graph showing all the parks and open space areas on Mercer Island with a value assigned to each area using six benefits that parks and open space provide. 


The benefits were defined as follows:

1.  storm water buffering

2.  air pollution removal

3.  erosion control

4.  urban design functions

5.  habitat

6.  recreation


Three of the benefits had measurable values to use for ratings and for three of them criteria was developed to use for subjective ratings.  This was presented to the public at the first meeting and staff received feedback as to how the public values these benefits.  Erosion control and habitat rated highest. The parks were ranked by these weighted values and Pioneer Park ranked the highest overall. At the second meeting, priority management tasks were discussed.



Paul reported that a woman came into the Parks’ office and told him how frustrated she was because once she got into Pioneer Park’s trail system, she could not figure out where a trail led.  She has a family foundation and suggested that a grant application be submitted to help create a guide or a map.  Page 33 of the master plan speaks about signs that specifically address boundary markings, informational map signs, interpretive signs and entry signs.  The City has sign standards to be observed, but a working committee from the Trust Board would be a good way to look at the grant opportunity.  Director Mayer reminded the Board that any grant that obligates the city to matching resources would have to be approved by City Council.


Paul distributed a copy of Urban and Community Forestry to each Trust Board member.


Adjournment:  9:30 pm


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