Friends of Marymoor Park

April 28th, 2011 Meeting Summary

-- see also the March 24, 2011 meeting summary

These notes were taken by Christina Merten - thanks, Christina!


Norah Gaynor (King County Parks), Christina Merten (FOMP Board Member, Marymoor Community Gardener's Association),  Greg Helland (FOMP President, SODA), Herb Bone (FOMP Board Member, MAR/C,  Jack MacKinnon (Marymoor Community Gardener’s Association), Ella Elman (EarthCorps)

Tree Survey Update Report –

Ella reviewed highlights of the report with the group.  The Board was sent a draft of the report via e-mail.  Greg sent Ella editorial comments via e-mail.  Michael provided comments to Greg.  Ella will check in to what is required on grant notification and logo requirements for DNR. 

Report has two main parts:

1)      Results of tree survey  - review of what’s existing in the park at this time

2)      Recommendations – Where does the park go from here?

a.       Natural areas – These are areas that are currently forested or restoration areas.  The report makes recommendations for maintenance of these forested and regenerating areas.  This is the low hanging fruit. 

b.      Maintained areas – These areas are essentially the open spaces with few trees planted in them.  The report contains maps showing tree locations within each area.  Green dots represent trees and the larger the dot, the larger the tree.  There are also other dots that are broken in to native/ornamentals, invasives, and poplar.  There is a master list of invasives.  Poplars are dying out at this time and so were handled differently.  Aerial photos are being added to new version of report.  Current poplars are between 40 and 60 years old and are at the end of their life.  Recommend natural planting in groves instead of planting in rows. 

c.       Active and Passive zones – Trees in these areas are small.  Some of the small size is due to species and some are young.  Recommending that existing trees can be protected and if space opens up then replace with native plants listed in the report.  This wouldn’t apply to the Historical area because of large significant areas.  Ella researched which trees in the Historic area are larger than 30” dbh and did not have any regeneration.  These are recommended for re-planting first and include Big Leaf Maples.  In the Douglas Fir Zones mowing should be abandoned because this can impact the root formation and shorten the life of the trees.  Norah felt that it would be good to have more specific recommendations along the lines of “don’t mow within 20 feet of a trunk”.  Perhaps focus these areas to more natural wooded areas versus picnic areas.  If Norah had recommendations, she’d be able to use them as a guide line in maintenance planning.  The group discussed using the drip line of trees as a general guide to stop mowing.  Ella will add this as the guide to the report. 

d.      Open and unused space in the park – These areas are identified in the Conceptual Habitat Areas Maps.  These are divided into five different habitat types.  If you know which habitat type the tree that is dying or needing to be removed is in, then go to the appendices and there’s a typical planting plan for that area that can be used as a reference.  Wet meadow (wettest), deciduous wetland, conifer wetland, upland forest, and oak savannah (driest).  These areas add up to 99 acres of land.  Maps show viewpoints that are identified in the park.  Michael also provided some comments: no work should be done in the North end of the park until the Sound Transit light rail work is done.  Some of what is recommended in the report might be good as a template for what kind of mitigation could be done for future light rail work.  Michael also disagreed with recommendation of planting to the east of the historical areas.  Grassy area east of concert stage provides open area that is not fenced off in the summer.  Most of Michael’s comments center around Historic area.  There needs to be more focus on this.  The historic Olmstead plan was reviewed and it only deals with the area immediately around the Mansion.  A good Phase 2 of this project would be to create a more specific planting plan for this historic area.  That would be a good grant opportunity in the future. 

Next step is to come up with a cookbook method for tree planting in the park to give park maintenance crew.  This would not be part of this report.  Data from the survey would be provided to the Park in raw form so that the park would be able to view and manipulate these datapoints in their GIS maps.  Action plans for specific areas would be another step in the future process of how to take this plan forward.  EarthCorps has a lot of experience putting these Action Plans together for other parks in Seattle.

Public Meeting is set up for May 18th 7pm.  How do we want to do outreach for this?  EarthCorps will be able to put the Final Draft report on the website for viewing.  King County can do a Public Service Announcement that could also be sent out to the park listservs.  EarthCorps will create a series of posters and maps for the meeting.  EarthCorps post the report on their website and then FOMP and King County can put links on their sites.  The format of the meeting will be an open house, no formal presentation.  We need to have small comment sheets there to fill out and return if desired.  We’ll also need to put have the e-mail address as the place to send comments in electronically.  Also need to have a sign acknowledging DNR for grant monies.

Norah will be creating a fact sheet to be able to hand out when tree maintenance activities begin.  This will be able to answer on-going questions park users may have about tree management in the park.  A copy of the final report should be maintained on-line long term so the public can continue to view. 

Once the report is final and sent in for grant deliverable it would be good to have a meeting about what the next priority would be.  Historical area may be the top priority. 

CIP/Project Updates:

1)      Birdloop – no update

2)      Maintenance and Art Barn – Painting will continue when weather permits.

3)      NE Marymoor Way Paving – Work order in for extension of centerlines east.

4)      Garden Loosestrife – EarthCorps met with KC Noxious Weed Group to review 2010 treated area.  Treated area is currently under water, so survey won’t occur until mid-summer when water recedes.  Looking at an additional site at Marymoor with UW Extension doing a study on invasive species and chemical control.  The test would look at different chemicals and studying how things work.  Would be good to do a test plot for mowing or whacking as a treatment as well.

5)      Community Garden – Weed identification presentation being scheduled.  45 cubic yards will be delivered this Saturday for food bank and grow-a-row.  Ann has been notified.  Garden has requested 3 additional picnic tables for events this Saturday and next Saturday.  Port a potty in the back 40 idea is being abandoned.  Would rather have a second up front. 

6)      Boathouse Project – See update:

7)      East Lake Sammamish Trail – There’s been a delay in the start of paving for this project.

8)      Interpretive Lot – No additional news

9)      Paved Path – North playground work in progress.  Clise paths when schedule allows.  These projects are being done based on FOMP recommendation last month to use Marymoor Way paving money elsewhere in the park.

Public Meeting to review Final Draft Tree Survey Report: Wednesday, May 18th.

 Next Meeting:  Thursday May 26, 2011, 7:00 – 9:00pm. Marymoor Art Barn.  

These notes 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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