Friends of Marymoor Park

March 27, 2013 Meeting Summary

-- see also the Jan/Feb 28, 2013  meeting summary 


1) Introductions: Herb Bone, Marymoor R/C Club, FOMP Board;  Norah Robinson, King County Parks; Jack McKinnon, Marymoor Community Gardens; Glenn Eades, neighbor and Eastside Audubon; Scott Sheffield – Lake Sammamish resident, Dallas Evans Bellevue Parks Board and LS resident; Michael Hobbs, Eastside Audubon, FOMP Secretary

2) Concert Venue Changes:  New promoter AEG Live, officially announced. They also program WAMU center and Puyallup Fair, and manage many similar facilities around the country. So far, one concert has been scheduled so far; expect 12+ this year.

AEG Live wants to get some changes to the venue, slightly adding to the footprint. No additional venue capacity. One addition would be adding 50 feet to the food vendor area by slightly adjusting the north edge of the fence.  There has always been a jog in that fence, and all they're asking for is to move that jog further east to make the vendor space slightly larger.  The second thing they want to reconfigure the toilet area, extending fencing behind the restroom. They will place some view screens (built from recycled lumber) to hide the restroom area from the main entrance. There will be separate Men’s and Women’s areas, with most of the portapotties being placed behind the restroom building.

They also want additional recycling kiosks scattered around the venue. Norah said they are also talking about adding a VIP area, possibly using part of one of the berms, but they are very sensitive about decreasing the size and quality of area for general seating. They have added 200 reserved seats (from 1700 to 1900), slightly shrinking the open seating area near the stage.

The general feeling at the meeting was that these are reasonable adjustments and improvements; the kind of adjustments that are specifically trying to address small issues, rather than being substantive changes to the venue.

3) CIP/Project/Facility Updates:

a) BirdLoop - Fencing likely to be completed in the next week or three. Hopefully, it will cut down on dumping. There is a huge infestation of Poison Hemlock, and Parks will be cutting and spraying in the next few weeks. This includes on the Viewing Mound, and at the R/C parking lot. Eastside Audubon has planted a large number of plants in that area, and Parks staff will attempt to manage the hemlock without killing the plantings, but hemlock control is essential.

Parks also wants to cut the "oldgrowth" Scotts Broom just west of the R/C parking lot.   Besides being a large monoculture stand of a non-native invasive plant, it can hide inappropriate behavior, and has become a trash repository.  Michael also suggested removing the dozen-or-so huge Scotts Broom plants located southwest of the mansion, just south of the graffitied picnic shelter.  He did request that blackberries not be removed, however, as they are such good habitat for native birds.

Eastside Audubon will be hosting a large work party as part of ComcastCares, on April 27th.  This will be a huge crew (~100). Norah stressed that no volunteers work on Poison Hemlock unless a full plan, complete with training, is organized with Parks. Poison Hemlock juices can cause severe blistering of the skin, and ingestion can be fatal.

b) Community Gardens – work is progressing on plans for new plumbing and walkways.

c) Interpretive Lot (Lot G) Improvements - Parks personnel will meet in May, and will consult with Eastside Audubon and SODA about ways to better handle drainage issues.  Glenn noted that runoff forms a muddy area right at the start of the ramp up to the Viewing Mound, and that any drainage solution should include some fix for that.  Norah reminded him that Eastside Audubon may not fix it on their own.

4) Other:

a) Cirque du Soliel - Cirque was very successful, with great attendance, therefore providing significant revenue to Parks.  KC gets $15 per car for parking, plus a share of the Cirque revenue.

Michael asked about two significant changes to the park that were associated with hosting Cirque.  First, gravel was spread thickly over the eastern third of Lot B, which previously had been mostly grass.  The gravel was spread because Cirque was parking dozens of semi trucks there, and the ground was too soft.  Norah said that the gravel came from the large pile that has been at the east end of Lot B.  The gravel is for the East Lake Sammamish Trail construction, and she assumes the gravel used in the parking lot will eventually be scraped up for use there.

Michael also asked about the large meadow that is just west of the Marybelle Meadows softball fields.  This area had been a grassy meadow, but has been used for major event parking for years.  However, for this year's Cirque, it was more rigorously turned into a parking lot, with thick lanes of gravel covering the entire area in a well-marked manner.  When gravel lanes had first been placed there, Norah said they would be removed later.  But at this meeting, Norah stated that the meadow has been permanently converted to parking.  This area is about five acres, and was one of the last areas of mown grass that was open for use, rather than being a scheduled field reserved for use.

Norah did suggest some other areas for drop-in use: "Lot A", which is the grass field just north of the main road, just east of the river; the grass along the eastern edge of the Historic District (though that area is small, is often used by those renting the picnic shelters, and is closed during concerts); the grass area just west of the climbing rock (also sometimes reserved along with the picnic shelter, and also small); and the remaining portion of Marybelle Meadow, immediately west of the southern softball field, which is quite uneven of surface.

2) Sammamish River Transition-Zone Work

Scott and Dallas had attended the March meeting in order to try and enhance the communication with regard to Lake Sammamish river level concerns and the Transition-Zone work, and related issues.  There was a long discussion about these issues, echoing many of our previous conversations on these issues.  Scott and Dallas seemed to feel that the increased mowing and clearing of the Transition Zone over the last 2 years has made a very significant difference in flow rates downstream.  They were not pushing for the "dredging" work to clear the zone down to the liner rocks, but felt that the current level of maintenance must be continued on an annual basis.  But they did express concerns that there are many issues leading to increased lake levels, and that solutions are difficult due to the very large number of agencies and stakeholders involved.  In brainstorming the issues, we also identified a possible additional restriction to flow that none of us had seen mentioned anywhere, and that is the large deltas of sediment that have formed adjacent to the dog "swim" areas.  These appear to significantly decrease the slough capacity above the weir.  It is certainly another area for further study.

Next Meeting: April 24, 2013, 7:00 pm at the 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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