Friends of Marymoor Park

July 28th, 2011 Meeting Summary

-- see also the June 23, 2011 meeting summary

1: Introductions:

Norah Gaynor (King County Parks), Michael Hobbs (Eastside Audubon, FOMP Secretary), Herb Bone (MAR/C, FOMP Board), Stephen Krause (Eastside Rugby Club)

2: Tree Survey:

The Marymoor Tree Survey is complete, with the report done, and with all of the paperwork filed with the granting agency.  Norah was pleased, and indicated that the plan will guide plantings this fall.  Every year, there are planting projects, and with the little money available she can arrange for several trees to be planted.  Now she has guidance on which species of tree to buy and a general plan for where to plant them.

3: Rugby at Marymoor:

Stephen Krause, the President of the Eastside Rugby Club, came in to discuss rugby at Marymoor, and to float ideas for changes/improvements to the way rugby is hosted at the park.  Currently they use the velodrome infield (which has lights), and Field 7.  They have posts and a post box for storing them at the south end of Field 7 (the box needs repair/replacement).  They compete spring and fall (September-early October fall games. February-April spring games).

In the past, other rugby teams played at Marymoor as well.  The rest have moved to the new facility at Magnusson Park in Seattle, where they play on an artificial turf field.  [Approved artificial turf for rubgy has longer "grass blades" than for soccer].  But other area teams, coordinating with Steve, do use Marymoor for some games, since Canadian teams (for example) won't play or prefer not to play on artificial turf.

One of the biggest problems facing rugby at Marymoor is field overuse.  Rugby can be hard on the field.  Field 7 is also heavily used for lacrosse, and lacrosse use is growing.  Sometimes Field 7 needs to be closed temporarily due to wear, to prevent root damage to the grass.  [Norah indicated that late spring frosts are a particular problem; field use under those conditions seems to lead to grass plants being pulled completely out of the ground.]

Ideally, Steve would like a dedicated rugby field.  In the past, they used the old Field 5, just south of the westernmost of the business complex buildings (generally SE of the climbing rock).  That field also has the old cricket pitch, but the field is in terrible condition, and is used for parking during major events like Cirque du Soleil.

Norah felt Field 5 probably was not an option because the use for parking would require extensive rehab costs following parking events. She mentioned that grass sports fields are expensive: $25000 maintenance/year for mowing, seed, water. $10000 for a minimum rehab.

Another possibility that was raised was the SW portion of the Marybelle Meadow area.  This area is actually part of the City of Bellevue property, on which they have constructed their three softball fields.  But there is still space there for approximately one good, large sports field there - just about the last possible location for another sports field at Marymoor.  While that site might be a possibility, King County Parks and Bellevue will have to figure out the best future use for that site.

Norah floated the idea of pursuing a site somewhere else in the county (either working with the county or with one of the eastside cities), as well as possibly combining with another sport (Ultimate Frisbee was mentioned, as well as cricket, whose season barely overlaps with the rugby season) for a mixed-use facility.  She mentioned that there are grants available for sports field construction.  If youth teams could also be lined up as tenants, that opens up additional grant opportunities.  And Norah suggested that the rugby club should contact T.J. Davis, with King County, to discuss things.

Steve reiterated several times that Eastside Rugby is ready and willing to help with field maintenance, and that they have been working on getting corporate sponsorships.

4: CIP Project updates:

  1. Birdloop GPS readings have been done to map model airplane field and Meadow Trail.  Michael proposed a compromise, with both the MeadowLoop trail being shifted west a little, and the corner of the flying area being trimmed/shifted slightly. Norah needs to get back to both MAR/C and Eastside Audubon with a map.
  2. Garden Loosestrife Control Loosestrife is currently in bloom, and there are definitely plants flowering in areas that were sprayed last year... The proposed Test Plot area is currently not accessible due to trail construction. Michael suggested access by boat, and maybe get permission from the neighborhood that has beach access off 187th Ave.
  3. Community Gardens wants to put compost/mulch bins using ecology blocks at the SW corner of the gardens. Michael and Herb thought that bins would be tidier than the current practice of just dumping stuff.
  4. Paved path improvements done.  This includes the paths around the mansion, and the old path that runs east-west north of Marymoor Way.  Some of this was patching work, some of this was repaving.

5: Other:

Herb mentioned that his recent absences from FOMP meetings have been because of Thursday conflicts, and wondered whether FOMP meetings might be moved back to Wednesdays.  This is something that should be discussed.  What is the best day of the week for FOMP meetings?  Chime in, people.

 Next Meeting:  Thursday August 25, 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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