Friends of Marymoor Park

June 26th, 2002 Meeting Summary

-- see also the May 2002 meeting summary

Special Events update: Karl Kostel

  • The Civil War reenactment scheduled for the July 4 weekend has been cancelled due to insurance issues.
  • The Flying Wheels cycling event, June 22,  was a big success, with 1710 registered cyclists.  The total crowd was about 3 times that predicted by the organizers in their filings with King County Parks, leading to parking and traffic control problems, and extra costs to the county.
  • Karl reported that automobile traffic in the park has been about 7000/day on weekends, as measured near the west entrance, and about 4500/day weekdays.  The east entrance has added another 2700/day.  The monthly total would be approximately 200,000 cars!
  • Bobbi Wallace reminded all of the King County Fair in Enumclaw, July 17-21.

Off-leash Area Review: Greg Helland

For budgetary reasons, the review of the Off-leash Area, as mandated by the 1995 Master Plan, may be delayed for up to two years.  Possibly, and informal review will take place within FOMP in the interim.

Metropolitan Parks Task Force: Greg Helland

The Metropolitan Parks Task Force has issued its final report.  At our next meeting, Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at 7:00 p.m., .we will be considering a FOMP response to the recommendations.  Briefly stated in part, these call for:

  • King County to divest itself of parks property located within existing cities by passing these properties off the the surrounding city.  Marymoor would be the lone exception; it would remain a County Park.
  • Charging new fees in the remaining parks, and raise existing fees.

In discussion, it was noted that there are over 10,000 scheduled athletic events at Marymoor Park each year, and that fees are far lower than at some city facilities.  Fees for practices are particularly low.  There was quite a bit of support for the idea of using higher fees to help close the budget gap.

Also discussed was a fee for either parking or a car charge (toll gate) for Marymoor.  Even just 50 cents a car would generate a lot of money.  It was also pointed out that a car fee would hit ALL park users, even those not involved in a fee-paying organized activity.  Michael Hobbs mentioned the possibility that if some park users are paying fees and others are not, those paying may feel entitled to greater control - virtual ownership perhaps - of the facilities they use.

There was mixed support for the idea of transferring parks to their surrounding municipalities.  Greg Helland argued that it doesn't make sense for King County to own and run the Redmond Pool.  Michael Hobbs argued that cities would be free to manage the facilities for their own residents, perhaps charging more for non-residents, and potentially giving scheduling priority to residents.  Someone who lives in Kirkland but works in Redmond might currently use the Redmond Pool, and after divestiture might be denied access to it.  This could be an even bigger issue for sports fields, where scheduling could heavily favor city leagues over county residents from outside the city.  This could put tremendous pressure on Marymoor, which is slated to become the only County Park (except those in unincorporated areas) with recreational facilities.

Greg Helland asks everyone to read the Task Force report before the next meeting
to facilitate the discussion.

NAPCOR recycling grant:  Greg Helland and Bobbi Wallace

The recycling grant has come through, but the check hasn't yet.  Additional money from PEPSI will be coming soon hopefully.  All this will allow for ~20 new recycling receptacles to be installed in Marymoor.  Also, part of the grant money will be used to promote recycling within the park.  This project is aimed at recycling PET plastic containers (though it's OK if people also recycle aluminum cans).

User groups with dedicated facilities (i.e. Velodrome Association, Sammamish Rowing Association, MAR/C, etc) will be required to monitor the status of receptacles at their facility.  They will need to pull and tie full bags, call Karl for pickup, and log time spent.  They also should do their best to remove improper items (garbage, general litter, etc) from the recycling bins.

More information will appear on this website in the future.

Community Gardens Parking:

There have been problems with non-gardeners parking in the Community Gardens parking lot, and they want assistance in how to deal with it.  There are probably no legal teeth restricting who may park in the lot, but Bobbi and Karl suggested that a carefully worded request to save the spaces for gardeners might be placed on a sandwich board and might be effective.

Golf driving range. Greg Conley continued last month's discussion of a golf driving range at Marymoor.   They are proposing a driving range to be located somewhere north of the the access road.  It would use an automatic ball delivery system which tees up the ball for the golfer.  The advantages of such a system are that people tend to hit more balls (and therefore spend more money), and the system automatically tracks all usage and revenue.  From the Parks perspective, this means a larger payout to the county and proof of revenue.  The automated system should also give the range a competitive advantage that should mean high rates of utilization.

The range would be located on one of 3 possible sites - either in the NW corner of the park, or on one of the existing all-weather fields, or on a portion of the new (and as-yet unopened) grass fields.  An area about the size of a soccer field would be needed.  If an existing soccer field is taken for the driving range, the soccer field would be rebuilt at another location at a later date.  Revenues appear to favor a driving range over a soccer field.

The range would be double-deck, probably with 22 tees on each level.  This would attract several hundred people/day, so parking and traffic are concerns.  Lighting would be required; all sites under consideration already have existing or adjacent lighting, so the additional lights might not have much additional adverse effect on wildlife.  Lighting options are varied.  The target area of the range would be either grass, field turf, or some other semi-permeable surface, depending on which site is chosen.

If this project moves forward, it would probably move as quickly as possible in order to realize the revenue soon.

These notes were made by the webmaster, Michael Hobbs, and they do not constitute an official record of the meeting.  They may have inaccuracies and omissions.  If anyone has any complaints about the content of these notes, they should direct them to Michael Hobbs at, and he will endeavor to correct them.  


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