Friends of Marymoor Park

January 28th, 2009 Meeting Summary

-- see also the November 19, 2008 meeting summary

  1. In Attendance: 

    Herb Bone, Marymoor R/C Club; Barbara Dickson, neighbor; Greg Helland, SODA, FOMP President; Michael Hobbs, Eastside Audubon, FOMP Secretary; Norah Gaynor, King County Parks;  Jack MacKinnon and Christina Merten, Marymoor Community Gardeners Association; Tony Andrews, Sammamish Rowing Association


  2. Fencing at Marymoor West on West Lake Sammamish Parkway

    Norah reported that neighbors across from Marymoor West have requested that the entrance area there be visually improved.  The existing chain-link fence is in poor condition and everything looks "trashy".  Barbara has previously complained about the headlights of cars exiting Marymoor West shining across West Lake Sammamish Parkway and into the eyes of people trying to turn out from her neighborhood.

    Norah is interested in making improvements.  However, there is a planned widening of West Lake Sammamish Parkway, and Norah wants to be sure that any improvements are not quickly destroyed by the widening project.

    Norah did express willingness to remove some or all of the derelict fencing,  plant a few well-placed bushes, and perhaps install some barrier rocks along the edge of the road.

  3. East Link Light Rail to Redmond - Draft EIS

    Michael attended the January 27th public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the East Link Light Rail, and gave a bit of a presentation to the group.

    The East Link project will extend light rail across the I-90 bridge to Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Overlake.  While the current funding only covers the construction of those sections, it also covers design of the extension from Overlake to downtown Redmond.  Since construction is unfunded, this section will probably not be built for at least 15 years.  However, the Draft EIS contains 4 different configurations for the route to Redmond.  All alternatives would affect Marymoor Park.

    Alternatives E1 and E4 would enter downtown Redmond northwest of Marymoor Park, and would not cross any of the park itself.  Alternatives E2 (there are 2 sub-alternatives) would cross Marymoor's north edge on a right-of-way along the south edge of SR-520.  Approximately 2 acres of the park would be expropriated for this purpose, and there would be mitigation.

    Running the light rail along the north edge of Marymoor might not be a very big issue.   However, in all alternatives, there will be major changes in the area northeast of the park which may affect access to Marymoor from the east.

    Almost the entire area outside of the park, north of NE 65th St., and bounded by East Lake Sammamish Parkway and SR-202 could become parking and a large maintenance facility (end of the line).  With alternatives E1 and E4, Michael believes this would result in the only eastern access to Marymoor being from NE 65th St.  -  that is, the road that leads north from the east park entrance towards Whole Foods would be closed.  With options E2, Michael was told that there would still be a street through there.

    After presenting this information to the group, Michael asked if anyone could think of objections to the line running along the north edge of the park.  Everyone seemed to feel that this was benign.  Noise shouldn't be a problem, as the rail line would presumably reduce traffic on SR-520, and the trains should be fairly quiet themselves.  The rail line would interfere with the existing, though unmaintained, equestrian trail - perhaps that could be mitigated elsewhere.  There should be room between SR-520 and the velodrome without conflict.  A few trees would need to be removed.

    It was agreed that Michael would write a comment letter, to be circulated to the FOMP Board for comments, that would express concern about east access to Marymoor, and request good access between the Marymoor Park and the Redmond SE Station.

    If anyone is interested in the Draft-EIS or in making their own comments, the EIS is available at  Comments are due February 25, 2009.  They can be submitted by email to or by mail to Sound Transit, Union Station, 401 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104.


  4. Possible habitat restoration resource

    Greg has been in contact with a Dr. Warren Gold, who teaches at UW Bothell.  For one class, his students conduct restoration projects over the course of a school year.  Greg has been hoping to find someone to undertake a tree replacement program for Marymoor.  While not a perfect match, Greg is hoping that the class project might be a way to fill this need.

    Michael mentioned that there were sites within Marymoor that would be very reasonable for class restoration projects.  One he called to mind is the site immediately east of the new maintenance facility, on the north side of the Marymoor Connector Trail.  There is a wonderful spot, perhaps an acre, with some nice trees at the back edge, but with a tangle of Scott's Broom next to the trail.

    So perhaps it is worth trying to get multiple teams of students doing projects at Marymoor - undoubtedly there are other small locations begging for attention.


  5. CIP/Project Updates
    • Marymoor Connector Trail: The trail is open from the west entrance to the model airplane field (some striping work is waiting for better weather).   In terms of landscaping, Norah would like to replace the rip-rap rocks at the west end section with turned-rail fence.  The planting project designed by Terry Brady is still being mulled over.  Some changes are being considered. Some planting will happen (plants are already purchased), but probably fewer trees will be along the trail than in Terry's original plan, and the plantings will be less linear and less of a tree corridor.  A revised plan is expected in February, with plantings being done next month or early March

      Herb had some questions about some plantings that have already gone in at the east end.  Norah indicated that those new pines were planted as part of the original project plantings.
    • Ballfields 1&2 Multi-use Project:  Turf is in, lights are up, but the project is not quite finished.  Some fencing needs to be installed, as does the backstop pad, some signs, painting, and a higher net on the freeway side.  Greg reminded her that the season starts at the beginning of March...
    • Pet Garden: Norah had promised the gates and fences would be up, and they're not.  She gave us cupcakes as a consolation.
    • BirdLoop:  Boardwalk extension work delayed until spring by high water. 
    • Clise Mansion Electrical: Fixtures installed.  Final details are being completed.
    • East Lake Sammamish Trail:  Gina Auld will attend the February meeting and give a PowerPoint presentation
  6. Marymoor Map:  Matt's final invoice exceeds the expenditures previously authorized by FOMP by $1893.75.   There was a lot of discussion about the nature of communications and contracts involved in this project.  The FOMP Board made a decision to have Greg contact Matt.
  7. Event/Activity Updates:
    • Returning events for 2009:
      • Evergreen Gala - March
      • Tour de Cure - May
      • Run with the Cops - June
      • Flying Wheels - June
      • Crossfit Challenge - July
      • Large co. picnic (500) - July
      • Possible large volleyball tournament - July 24-26
      • Superjock n Jill - Labor Day
      • Cyclocross - September

  8. Other:
    1. Jack had several issues regarding the Community Gardens:
      • In 2008 they donated 4726 lbs of produce to the food bank.  This was quite a bit less than 2007, but May/June was very cold and wet
      • Jack reiterated a request that any topsoil that might be excavated from the site of the new Sammamish Rowing building be available for the garden.
      • Jack wanted to know dimension of turnaround at the NE corner of the Pea Patch.  Apparently the gravel path along the north edge of the gardens needs to be able to accommodate Aid Car access to the Pet Garden, with a turnaround at the east end.  The MCGA wants to convert all of the rest of the east end of the garden into plots, as they have a waiting list for plots.  Norah said she'd get an answer from Karl
      • Jack also wanted clarification on the distance from east from wall that needed to be kept as part of the Pet Garden (i.e. how close the plots could get to the wall).  Norah was sure there had been a decision on that previously, and she would try to find what the answer had been.
    2. Christina asked Norah about the lighting for the tennis courts, as she has often seen the lights on when nobody is playing.  Norah has been working on this issue, and has people gathering some data on light and court usage.  Currently, lights are activated with a push-button.  If the button is pushed at any time after 4:00 p.m., the lights stay on until 10:00 p.m.  This sounds outrageous, but apparently the largest energy usage is in turning the lights on, so more electricity would be used if the lights were short-cycled.  Norah is investigating whether two-hour or three-hour slots might be more efficient (i.e. the lights would go off at 6, 8, and 10, or at 7 and 10).  Christina mentioned that, in the winter, Grasslawn only lights half of the courts, under the presumption that demand for the courts is diminished in winter.  Alternatively, it was suggested to have two push buttons, each controlling half of the lights.  Norah will continue to investigate.
    3. Herb asked about the status parking enforcement at Marymoor.  Norah responded that a proposed ordinance was drawn up by Parks, sent to the County Executive, and it is now before King County Council, who are expected to act on it within the next month or so.  It would authorize parks people to write tickets.  The proposed fine would be $35, but the fine payment can be used towards the purchase of a parking permit.  Thus if you got a ticket, you could pay the fine, or, for the same amount of money, you could buy a parking pass good for a few months.
    4. Barbara showed us the notices she received (because she's a neighbor) of two permits pending for the Sammamish Rowing Association's new boathouse.  There was general surprise that nobody except neighbors had been notified of these permit applications.  One is the shoreline permit and the other is the conditional use permit.  Numbers are L090005-KL and L090006-KL, and the comment periods for them end in February - one on February 12 and the other on February 21.  Both of these dates are prior to the next FOMP meeting.  The FOMP Board voted to have Michael send a letter to the City of Redmond requesting an extension to the comment period to allow FOMP to review the application materials.

      The contact person for commenting on these permits is Kelsey Larson,, 425-556-2409.
    5. Norah then gave us a tour of the Clise Mansion, to show off the new lighting systems.  She even gave us a tour of the upstairs, which many of us had never seen.  It's a nice facility.

Next meeting, Wednesday, February 25, 2009

These notes were made by 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.


Home | Mission | Members | Events | News | Maps | Getting There | Contact Us | Links | Search
Meeting Summaries |
Wildlife at Marymoor | Birding at Marymoor Park

Problems, comments, suggestions?  Email the FOMP webmaster at