Friends of Marymoor Park

September 23rd, 2009 Meeting Summary

-- see also the August 26, 2009 meeting summary

  1. Introductions - Norah Gaynor (King County Parks), Jack MacKinnon (Marymoor Community Gardeners Association), Michael Hobbs (Eastside Audubon, FOMP Secretary), Barbara Dickson (neighbor), Herb Bone (MAR/C), Christina Merten (FOMP Board, Marymoor Community Gardeners Association), Ella Elman (ecologist with EarthCorps), Bill Brosseau - Field operations director with EarthCorps

  2. Playground near Climbing Rock - Parks is proposing putting a small playground in the grassy space north of the climbing rock (near the southwest corner of the velodrome area.  The area would be about 42' x 40'.  They have access to some playground equipment that is being surplused from another park and could put this in quickly and relatively cheaply ($15,000 or less).  Barbara asked about whether it would be fenced.  It would not, though the location is far from roads and busy trails.  The climbing rock has some fencing, and in any case the rock cannot be climbed by a toddler, as the footholds and handholds are not present low on the "rocks".  There is a paved path from the parking lot, suitable for strollers, and it will be made wheelchair accessible.  Construction would take place next month.
  3. Proposal for a Tree Survey and Tree Master Plan - Ella Elman and Bill Brosseau, Earthcorps (

    FOMP approached EarthCorps with the idea that they could produce a Tree Master Plan for Marymoor Park that would direct tree replacement and management within the Active, Passive and Historic District within the park.  Ella presented a proposal, which has two main components.

    First would be a tree survey that would include documentation of tree species, and diameter class and height class for each tree.  Ella estimated there were 500-600 trees in the survey area.  Norah is very interested in the trees in the Historic District; a survey of that area had been done for the 1995 Master Plan, but it has not been updated in the last 15 years.  The tree survey would take about two days per management zone with a team of two ecologists - a total of six days.

    The second part would be to develop a Management Plan.  EarthCorps would team up with a landscape architect who could help identify areas where additional plantings would be suitable.  The Landscape Architect would also propose tree species for planting.  As part of the process, EarthCorps would collect input from stakeholder organizations including KC Parks, FOMP, SODA, Eastside Audubon, etc.

    The field activities would be performed in May-July (to facilitate horticultural tree identification), with the plan being developed through the rest of 2010.

    Greg foresees the plan to be used to guide small plantings of trees annually over the next several decades.

    Christina wanted assurances that the scope of any plan would only expand with approval of FOMP; that stakeholder input would not cause an increase in billable hours that FOMP would then be liable for.

    The price tag for the survey and tree plan would be just over $15000.  FOMP could not fund this fully without grants, matching funds, etc.

    There was broad agreement amongst FOMP members to pursue this idea.  The next step will be to try to develop a funding plan.

    Ella also had a plan for mapping non-native invasive trees in the Conservation Area, possibly including Marymoor West.  This would take several thousand more dollars, but would be a useful management tool for determining the extent of the problem and to allow plans to be made to remove those trees.

  4. Combined Fund Drive - That is the state-approved fundraising system, like the United Way for state employees (as well as some local government employees).  State employees can make charitable donations as payroll deductions, and can make donations either generally or they can designate particular charities.  FOMP is not currently registered with the Combined Fund Drive.   It would cost $20-40 to register, and $10/year to sustain registration.  ($20 for a regular registration, $40 to fast track).  Christina will try to find out how much money FOMP might receive from non-designated donations.  She will also try to find out how quickly expedited registration would be processed- whether it would be in time for the holiday pledge season.

    Michael moved to register, using expedited registration if it would be processed in October, and otherwise at the non-expedited rate.  Seconded by Herb.  The board will vote by email, as Christina thought she should probably abstain, and Greg had already left.
  5. East Entrance Safety - FOMP received an email from a woman who complained of high-speed traffic at the East Entrance.  She felt it was a safety issue, and she had some proposals for correcting the situation.  Norah has written back.  Norah supported moving the speed limit sign closer to the intersection, as well as installing a traffic-calming warning sign.  A stop sign on 65th St. would have to be approved and installed by the City of Redmond.  There was support at FOMP for asking Redmond for the stop sign. Barbara Dickson, a Redmond resident, indicated she would pursue the issue.  Norah suggested she try
  6. CIP/Project Updates:
    1. Pet Garden - One gate installed, but further progress is indefinitely stalled by the archeological status.  No further holes will be dug in that area.  Even plantings are discouraged, since the roots could disturb the artifacts.
    2. BirdLoop - Day of Caring went great.  Three teams of Microsoft volunteers did work, weeding Snag Row and the rose hedge along the east edge of the dog area.  On October 10 there will be a big volunteer planting, and Ella would love volunteers.  They will be planting and mulching the area previously cleared of blackberries, just south of the Dog Area along the slough trail.  Norah pointed out that October 10 will also be SODA's big Hog Fuel spreading party.  That could cause confusion among volunteers who might not be sure which project they were volunteering for.  It might also cause crowding in the parking lot, though Ella said she expected less than 50 volunteers for the Eastside Audubon project.
    3. Maintenance & Art Barn Roof Replacement -  Work is in progress.  Incidentally, Frana has found a grant opportunity for historic barns, and Parks will try applying for one or more grants.  The Maintenance Barn is 104 years old, and was previously associated with a special breed of cattle and with a prized sire of Morgan horses.  It is also unusually large for a barn, being more than 60 feet long.  So Norah hopes that it's historic significance will help get a grant approved.  The barn needs painting.  Additionally, she'd like to get the windows replaced with more energy efficient ones, and she'd like a pedestrian door at the garage end.
    4. NE Marymoor Paving Work - Done.  Christina asked about striping.  The repaved section has been striped.  Christina especially liked the lane-dividing stripe on the section from the Pea Patch road to the Velodrome, and wondered if that striping could be continued to the east, as it makes the lanes more visible and makes it clear that it's a two-way road.  She also would like the north end of the Pea Patch road striped to make it clear how traffic is supposed to move with regard to the parking machine pull-out.  Norah agreed that the striping would be very good, however the striping was part of the repaving project and was only funded on the section repaved.
    5. Community Garden - An scout is supposed to refurbish a surplus kiosk as part of an Eagle Scout project.  Jack was hoping the scout could do that task soon, so the kiosk could be installed.  There will be a new water connection installed this fall, probably after all of the irrigation winterization work is finished.  Thus the new connection work would be done after water is turned off to the garden for the winter.
    6. Electrical work - (See previous summaries).  Work is progressing slowly
    7. Garden Loosestrife Control Project - Karl is doing some spot spraying on a time-available basis.  Frana is looking for other grant possibilities to fund a more comprehensive control.
    8. Picnic Shelter Roof Replacement - underway
  7. Other:

    Norah made a special point to call out the Slavic Festival this Saturday.  It celebrates Russian culture, and has free admission, free parking, music, dance, and food. Hours are 11-5.

    Norah also brought up for discussion a proposal to restrict the model airplane field to MAR/C members only.  The impetus for this potential change is that a few people who are not members have been failing to follow rules, and that has led to potential safety concerns.  Specifically, planes have been flown outside of the flight area boundaries, some fliers have not been properly licensed, some planes and activities have been too loud, etc.

    Current rules state that pilots must be AMA members (Academy of Model Aeronautics - )  AMA membership provides insurance coverage, something that is essential for fliers at Marymoor.  AMA membership is around $60, with a small discount for seniors and a large discount for youths.  MAR/C membership is $40, and requires AMA membership.

    MAR/C has a lease agreement with King County Parks (and they pay for that lease annually).  Additionally, they perform maintenance on the facility.  They are better able to enforce rules on their members than they are on non-members.

    Herb noted that they have an annual open house, that they have a program where people can try a training flight for free to see if they'd like to join the sport, and that they provide flight training classes to their members.

    Michael asked about their governance structure, and Herb verified that they have an elected board with open nominations each October.  Membership is open to anyone who wants to fly, as long as they also get an AMA membership.

    There was general consensus at the meeting that this move seemed appropriate.  Other facilities (the Rowing Club and the Community Gardens, for example) require membership.  MAR/C is already fulfilling a stewardship role of the facility, and non-members today are effectively being subsidized by members.

    Because historically club membership has not been required, it is expected that there will be people unhappy about a membership requirement.

 Next Meeting: 

Wednesday October 28, 2009 7:00 9:00pm. Marymoor Art Barn.  

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.


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