Friends of Marymoor Park

March 28th, 2012 Meeting Summary

-- see also the February 22, 2012  meeting summary 

1.    Welcome and Introductions: 

Greg Helland – FOMP President and SODA representative; Norah Gaynor – King County; Christina Merten – FOMP Board member and MCGA;  Jack McKinnon –  MCGA; Michael Hobbs – FOMP Secretary and Eastside Audubon; Glenn Eades – Eastside Audubon; Harley Sheffield, Marymoor Velodrome Association

2.   New Parking Pass Options:

King County Parks is intending to introduce two new parking payment options, a limited 2-month pass, and the ability to pre-purchase day passes.

Sports leagues have not been happy with the existing parking pass situation (2 month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year). The price is based on 10+ visits per month. But some sports play twice per week, making the passes not cost effective. They'd like something more appropriate to their use (especially wanting a pass for the convenience).

Participants often rush in to a game, and don't stop for a $1 pass and then get ticketed and it's a hassle all around. Parents will often park temporarily to walk a child onto the field, and then again to pick up their child, but they don't park during the game, and have been reluctant to pay $1 fees, despite using a parking space for 10-15 minutes twice during game day.  Other parents don't like to have to make the special stop a the machine (where there is often a line) to buy a ticket.

King County would like better compliance without more enforcement, and favor a pass aimed at these users, as day-use ticket machines need a fair amount of expensive maintenance, based largely on the level of use.

KC Parks is therefore proposing a new pass that would be priced at $5/month instead of $10/month. It would be good only in Lot K and Lot K Overflow, which are the lots near the all-weather soccer fields and tennis courts.

This solution would not work for other sports leagues that use other parts of the park, because the other parking lots are multi-use. So Parks is also planning to sell pre-paid day passes. Users could buy as many as they'd like. When they visit Marymoor, they'd write the date on one of the tickets and leave them on the dash.

There was a general feeling among FOMP members that these moves were reasonable, and many people liked the pre-paid day passes.

Michael played the curmudgeon and said that the Lot-K pass is coddling the soccer moms, and that all of these problems could be eliminated by reducing the price of all passes by 50%, as FOMP recommended when the passes were initially instituted.

Greg suggested that the Lot K pass be presented as a trial run, and if it doesn't help compliance, enforcement will be strengthened.

There was also discussion about the exact method for dating a pre-paid day pass.  If the date is simply written in by the user, it might be easily forged to allow its use on multiple days.  Alternate suggestions included circling pre-printed year, month and day text on the ticket; punching or tearing pre-printed dates; and scratch-off dates (expensive).  Norah said she would consider all of these options.

3.    CIP/Project/Facility Updates:            Norah Gaynor, Parks

a.    Birdloop – A colony of Great Blue Herons have amazingly decided to build their “heronry” at one of the busiest intersections of the Dog Park near the Main Beach. This is very exciting as they have not nested at Marymoor in at least the last 20 years. After discussions with Parks and a representative from the Audubon Society, the SODA group have put up some appropriate closure fencing and informational signage around the heron nesting site. The temporary closure of the area around the “heronry” is intended to protect people and dogs from the potentially unsavory conditions below and around the nests. Heron “droppings” are an issue as they fly in and out of their nests. Especially once the young are hatched and growing, they will be defecating out of their nests. There will probably also be fish parts chucked out of the nests, as well as the possibility (sorry to say) of some dead heron babies coming down out of the trees. The area under and around the nests will become somewhat messy and unsanitary as the breeding season progresses. We all need to accommodate these herons – the heronry is protected by federal law.

      An Eagle Scout has proposed, as his project, to help install split rail around the reconfigured dump piles just east of the Interpretive Lot (Lot D). He's aiming for late-Spring to Summer. If the reconfiguring happens before he's ready, temporary web fencing will be thrown up. Dump pile reconfiguring will happen when the weather gets just right.

b.   Boathouse project  -  Steel framing is complete.  The roof is being installed, and walls are beginning to take shape..

c.       Community Gardens  - MCGA has installed 6 chickadee/wren boxes in Snag Row adjacent to the gardens.

      MCGA is going to donate 2 hanging flower baskets for the park office. Last year, the hanging baskets were STOLEN ON MOTHER'S DAY! MCGA has devised a hard-to-steal hanging system for the new baskets.

      MCGA is still planning on how to redo the paths through the garden. Norah suggested that they try out some different methods before doing the whole thing. Norah also said that excavating down to allow a thick layer of hogs fuel to be placed without raising the height of the path surface would probably trigger a very expensive grading permit requirement, since the amount of soil excavated would be large, and the garden is in the floodplain.

d.    Interpretive Lot (Lot G) Improvements –  Some drain work was implemented at the west end that should help that area stay freer of puddles.  The lot was subsequently regraded.

e.    North playground – Improvement scheduled for Spring(?) 2012.  Some updates/repairs to exiting play equipment will be done at the same time as the addition of a tot-section, and the installation of adult fitness equipment.  Norah raised a possible concern that the fitness equipment is designed to be surface-mounted on concrete pads, and whether we felt this might be a safety concern.  After more discussion, the FOMP members felt that this would not be an issue.  The tot-section will be surrounded by a paved path, and the fitness equipment will be mounted on the far side of that path.  So the presence of concrete there should not cause any additional risk than is already posed by the path.

4.  Other

  • A Bohemian Waxwing was seen at Marymoor on several days in early March - a bird never before reported from the park.  See It is the 220th species of bird in the park.

Next Meeting: Wednesday April 25, 2012, 7pm 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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