Friends of Marymoor Park

June 25th, 2003 Meeting Summary

-- see also the May 2003 meeting summary

King County Parks & Recreation Marketing

Tom Teigen,, newly hired Program Manager, Enterprise Activities, introduced himself and laid out some of his vision for marketing King County Parks as a way to generate operating revenues.

The park facilities that will be the focus of the marketing strategy are Marymoor Park, the Fairgrounds in Enumclaw, the Aquatic Center in Federal Way, and Cougar Mountain Park.

Tom is pretty focused on the remunerative aspects of possible projects - "Make stuff happen, beg for forgiveness later".  He is focusing on revenue generation over the next 12 years or so - 2003-2015.

One aspect of his job will be the user agreements with park user groups.  These are desirable only in part because of the money those groups will pay the park system.  Tom acknowledged that most of these user groups are not going to pump lots of money into KC Parks.  But Tom is also interested pursuing both grants and corporate sponsorships that can be arranged because of the 501(c)3 non-profit status of the majority of park user groups.

He is basically targeting a date of 1/2004 for all user groups to sign agreements (this is with organizations such as the Velodrome Association, the Sammamish Rowing Association, SkiForAll, and MAR/C).

It was pointed out to Tom that dues-based  organizations, such as the Marymoor R/C club, will have to coordinate the timing of an agreement to their dues cycle, so they can determine dues levels.  There is probably room for flexibility as to effective dates of contributions to the park system - in fact, one organization will retroactively pay revenue for all of 2003.

Tom will also be involved in such possible projects as the installation of yurts in Cougar Mountain Park, and the Golf Driving Range proposed for Marymoor.  The latter idea is far from dead; an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) will go out nationwide July 1, to try to identify partners who would have the wherewithal to later submit a decent proposal when the RFP (Request for Proposal?) goes out in 2004.

Not quite a "Pet Cemetery"

No, it's not Steven King's book.  In fact, cemetery is not the best name for the idea.  Bobbi Wallace was fishing for feedback on a proposal to allow some kind of pet memorial area to be built at Marymoor.  Her idea is to have an area (she was suggesting part of the newly replanted area with the retained snags) with a path where pet's cremated ashes could be sprinkled, and where stepping stones (etched with tributes to the beloved pet) could be placed.

I gathered that a questionnaire is being prepared to ask SODA members about the level of interest that exists for something like this.

Questions were raised about the degree of perpetuity involved - how long would the park be committing itself to the maintenance of the memorial area and the individual stones?  Obviously, the park system would not want to have to replace broken stones decades after they were placed.  Some careful thought to the wording of the purchase document should suffice to protect both the memorializer and the park system.

Concert Series

There have been three concerts so far, so we were interested in initial feedback from neighbors, the City of Redmond, the County, and from other park users.

Neighbors were generally OK with the way things have been going.  "A lot better than WOMAD" was one comment.  Barbara thought the Moody Blues concert was quieter than Tracy Chapman (the first concert).  Bill reported that one neighbor had to close her windows and doors in order to hear her television.  Bill also complained that the Moody Blues concert, in person, was way too loud, even with ear plugs.

The City of Redmond was happy, since their official count of complaint phone calls was 2, with maybe a couple of other calls coming in after the concert.  This level of complaints from neighbors is significantly lower than the complaint level from WOMAD.  In discussion, it became apparent that a couple of complaints may not have been logged, so the total number of complaints could be slightly higher, but the conclusion remains.

Park users were less satisfied.  The Community Gardeners are still waiting for the path to be constructed through the snag zone which would allow them to park with concert-goers on the grass fields and walk to their garden plots.  Such an arrangement would allow them to tend to their gardens despite the concerts, without having to walk all the way from the Interpretive Lot (not really practical, since there is no easy way between the two areas).

Greg and Michael, as well as some others attending, were very displeased with duration and extent of disruption due to the concerts - realities very different than what had been discussed when the concert series was proposed.  The South Lot is being entirely closed from 5 hours before each concert until after each show, as is the road connecting the lot to the main road.  This also blocks access to the Community Gardens parking lot during the same period.

Additionally, the entire mansion/Willowmoor area is also off-limits from 5 hours before each show.  This includes the mansion-area parking lot, the Willowmoor area north of the fenced venue (including the children's play area), and the entire mansion grounds.

Norah detailed very valid reasons for all of these restrictions:

  • Artists apparently can't deal with the moving headlights from cars using the access road to the South Lot.
  • Artists have security concerns, and don't want to be exposed to "fans" as they move from their tour busses to the mansion and from the mansion to the stage.
  • Artist's busses need to be able to get close to the mansion.  In combination with other deliveries, etc., this necessitates the closing of the mansion-area parking lot.
  • Squatters, hoping for a free concert just outside the fences, were setting up extensive encampments prior to the Tracy Chapman concert.  Beyond the issue of fairness and the issue of protecting ticket sales, allowing such extralimital attendance could create a dangerous situation for which the county could be liable.  There is no provision for large numbers of people to be using the area outside the fence, including a lack of sanitary facilities, garbage, first aid, etc.  This could open the county to significant liability.  For all these reasons, the area must be cleared prior to each concert.

Nonetheless, the reality is that a significantly larger area of the park is being put off limits for a significanly longer period of time surrounding each concert.  With concerts virtually every weekend night all summer long, this is an imposition regular park users.

Some mitigation is being pursued.

  • The kid's play area is signed, letting people know that there is another play area east of the tennis courts.  It is possible that the signs can be changed to indicate that the area must be cleared by, say, 5:30 for a 7:00 concert, but still allowing usage of the play area for most of the afternoon prior to concerts.
  • Two new picnic areas are being built, but they will consist of simple, temporary, tarp shelters.  One will be near the velodrome, the other ???near some ballfield.  With the entire mansion/Willowmoor area closed for concerts, there is no other place for scheduled or drop-in picnicking.
  • Michael complained about the extent of fencing behind the stage - a major paved path is blocked by the fencing, and fences extend so far south that there is no way to traverse the area without walking through the parking lot.  They will investigate the feasibility of moving the fence north about 10 feet.

Marymoor West Trails

A proposal for trails running through the meadow north and west of the main pond at Marymoor West has been "piggybacked" onto the Sammamish Rowing Association permit applications for their expansion.

This appears to be moving forward successfully.  The trails, which would be constructed using SRA and FOMP money (not County) and would be maintained by SRA and/or FOMP, would consist of a couple of loops starting from the east side of the north section of parking at the area.  The trails would stay on the higher ground, allowing viewing into the pond (but not close access) and enjoyment of the meadow area.

Pets are not allowed at Marymoor West.

The trails would be constructed using hog fuel in the manner of most of the trails built by SODA in the Dog Area.

Capital Expense Wish List

Norah would like to hear any ideas about needed capital expenditures at Marymoor.  These would need to be projects that could be paid for out of CIP money (not operating monies).  Projects that bring in revenue will be most appreciated.  Projects that don't require ongoing operating expenses will be favored second.

Wish list items should be sent to Norah,, or you can bring them to the next meeting.

The next meeting will be July 23.

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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