Friends of Marymoor Park

February 26, 2014 Meeting Summary

-- see also the January 22, 2012  meeting summary 

1) Introductions -  Norah Robinson, King County Parks; Greg Helland, FOMP President and SODA representative; Michael Hobbs, Eastside Audubon, FOMP Secretary; Laura Hall, Marymoor Community Gardener's Association.

2) Willowmoor Floodplain Stakeholder Advisory Meeting – Greg summarized the recent meeting of the SAC.  There was a presentation of the slightly revised hydrology report.  Notables:  Pre-1964, pre-weir: Lake level fluctuations were substantially greater than post-weir.  Minimum lake level was relatively static, and higher than before the weir.  Post-1998 weir revision, low water level raised about 6-8” compared to pre-revision.  Since about 1994, there have been more notably high-water events than preceding, so they have recalculated flood risks using post-1994 data.  It's not clear how to reduce flood levels in the lake, while not increasing flood levels downstream, nor how to improve salmon habitat while trying to increase flow through the transition zone, nor how to reduce King County maintenance costs while trying to return the slough to a navigable state.

2) CIP Project/Facility Updates:

  • BirdLoop – Norah is working to get capital funding to repave the asphalt trail.  Greg raised the question as to whether it might better be replaced with hog fuel (a la the Dog Area paths) or with crushed gravel, or something.  It might be harder to make the trail ADA accessible if it wasn’t pavement, but that’s something that should be investigated.
  • Beaver Damage along Slough – SODA has done a yeoman’s job of stringing new wire fence along the edge of the slough throughout the off-leash area.  Where they have completed fencing an area, it appears to deter the beavers.  SODA, Eastside Audubon, and Parks did a walkthrough of the area, and it was decided that fencing could protect the planted areas on the east side of the slough in the dog area, and that trapping would probably not be viable.  Hopefully, the beavers will concentrate on the west side of the slough.  Monitoring will continue, but hopefully the new fencing will make the situation acceptable.
  • Lot B damage and pond – there is usually a small seasonal pond along the north edge of Lot B.  Cavalia trucks were using Lot B during the snow a week or so ago, and they didn’t see the gravel roadways versus the grass areas, and the whole thing has become a horrid muck puddle.  This is the worst it’s ever been, but this has been a long-standing problem with Lot B.  Ideally, Norah is hoping that water could be shunted east to the wetland area adjacent to Lot B.  However, topography may not work very well that way.  They may need to, essentially, give up and designate a portion of Lot B as being pond, with fencing or rockwork to keep cars out of the pond.   Cavalia will be doing restorative work on Lot B, but one question is whether a certain amount of redesign should happen first.
  • Community Gardens – ADA Eagle Scout project put on short-term hold, waiting on work to be done by Parks, but hopefully it will be moving forward. 

    There was also a discussion about bees.  MCGA has been approached by a couple of people who would like to keep some bee hives next to the Community Gardens.  Obviously, a supply of pollinators would help the garden.  It could also be educational for park visitors to see, especially if there were some informative signs.  Laura had previously heard back from some of the MCGA members, where there appeared to be general support.  Some members had suggested having mason bees instead of honey bees.  Mason bees are not hive bees, nor do they make honey.  They also pollinate different plants at different seasons than honey bees.  King County's risk management people are okay with the idea of bee hives.  The FOMP consensus was favorable as well, though it was felt that the bee keepers should have to become members of the MCGA.  In keeping with MCGA and Parks rules, the honey would not be allowed to be sold commercially.  An area just inside Snag Row just outside the northeast corner of the Gardens was deemed to be the best and most appropriate location.  New fencing would be required to keep people and bees separated.

    Organizations such as MCGA and the model airplane club, that lease land from King County Parks, pay a leasehold excise tax, at 12.84% of rental fees.  There was a rumor that the leasehold excise tax was going to change to being 12.84% of assessed land value instead of rental fee.  Since the land is designated park land, it cannot be realistically be valued by using comparisons to the sales value of similar land. A determination has now been made that the rental fees establish the value for Leasehold excise tax purposes, alleviating the fears of an increase.

  • Sewer Pump Replacement – Complete.  Norah is quite relieved.

3) Laura Hall volunteered to join the Friends of Marymoor Park board.  The FOMP board is self-perpetuating, meaning that the board decides its membership.  Greg Helland immediately welcomed Laura to the board.  The board currently consists of Greg Helland, Michael Hobbs, Laura Hall, and Herb Bone.  However, Herb has indicated that he will be retiring from the board soon.  If anyone else is interested in joining the FOMP board, please let us know.

Next Meeting: February 26, 2014, 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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