Friends of Marymoor Park

March 26, 2014 Meeting Summary

-- see also the February 26, 2014  meeting summary 

1) Introductions: Norah Robinson, King County Parks; Greg Helland, SODA, FOMP President; Glenn Eades, neighbor and Eastside Audubon; Bertha Eades, neighbor; Jim Mackey, Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park; Michael Hobbs, Eastside Audubon, FOMP Secretary; Mike Arntzen

2) Willowmoor Floodplain Restoration Project: Greg and Michael reported on the Stakeholders Advisory Committee meeting that took place earlier in the day.  Of note were the conceptual design alternatives that were presented to SAC members.   Four proposals were presented, the first being the obligatiory "No Construction" alternative.  All three new atlernatives utilize the area west of the slough and north of the Rowing Club to provide additional flow channels.  All three also reroute Tosh Creek (which flows under West Lake Samm Parkway just north of the Rowing Club and which flows into the Sammamish River opposite the 3rd dog swim beach south of the weir) along a more northward course, joining the river north of the weir. 

Alternative #2 is the 2003 Preferred Alternative plan from the previous Willowmoor project.  The main flow of the river westward at the weir in a single big arc.  At high water, flood waters would be able to take the shortcut along the existing transition zone path as well.

Alternative #3 would be similar, adding a series of parallel gravel channels that would allow water to seep/flow to the northwest leading out from gravel sills on the west bank of the river from just north of the Rowing Club to the weir.  These channels would run almost to West Lake Sammamish Parkway, where they would flow into the rerouted Tosh Creek.  Flow in these channels would be seasonal.  Additionally, there would be ponds that would retain water even during no-flow periods.

Alternative #4 would be the most radical.  The weir would move north and would become a dam, with flow over the dam only during flood.  The river would be rerouted to the west just north of the Rowing Club, utilizing a "flow control structure".  The river would meander through Marymoor West, rejoining the existing channel at what is now the north end of the Transition Zone.

3) CIP/Project/Facility Updates:

a) BirdLoop - No news on availability or suitability of surplus Brightwater irrigation parts and pieces.  Asphalt trail repairs – Norah raised again the question of whether to go with new asphalt or compressed gravel.  Gravel might work, but asphalt would be lower maintenance and would be more resistant to moles.  Eastside Audubon will craft a very draft plan for the future of the old Interpretive Trail.

b) Garden Loosestrife Control Project – The 2013 report was submitted and accepted.  Greg warned that elodea and Garden Loosestrife could take over Willowmoor project area.

c) Community Gardens - Laura could not attend the meeting, however she sent along a note with news.

1) Bees: lots of progress and meetings.  Two new honey bee colonies will be incorporated into the Community Garden as a bee plot.  This is viewed as a pilot project, to be reviewed in 2-3 years.  The plot will technically be located inside the Pet Memorial Garden are, just on the other side of the fence and along the edge of Snag Row.

2) ADA beds / Eagle Scout candidate project:  still in progress

3) Garden:  Currently full, with a waiting list.  Lots of enthusiasm for a good growing season!

d) East Lake Sammamish Trail - The northern portion of the City of Sammamish section of the trail will be closing soon for paving.  This section abuts the already-paved Redmond portion of the trail that runs along the east side of Marymoor Park.

e) Lot B Drainage and Restoration - major maintenance to a retention area to the north of Lot B, which is expected to reduce pooling of water in Lot B.  Lot B will also be regraded to limit the pool area.  The lot basically needs to totally regraded to fix the damage caused inadvertently by Cavalia trucks.  Work will begin next week.   Lanes will be reconfigured, parking tightened, much of the lot will be closed while grass regrows from hydroseed.

f) Clise Mansion – New restroom fixtures, plumbing, paint work is going on now.  The showers will be replaced, which will be beneficial for Green Room use with the concerts.  The kitchen redo is on hold for need of money.  Long term, Norah is looking to do windowpane restoration; there are many windows that are leaded like stained glass, and historic (and subject to historic preservation rules).  Norah would like the panes to receive a treatment that adds a layer to the pane providing both additional insulation and added strength and durability to the window.  But this is expensive.

g) Climbing Rock Playground – Norah has put in a long-term capital request for a full playground near the climbing rock. In discussion of picnic sites at Marymoor, Mike (who’s from Australia) touted electric barbecues that are used in parks all over Australia. These could be lower maintenance than the charcoal barbecues that are currently installed in the park, and they would produce far less smoke.

4) Other

Boat access to Marymoor - Jim brought up the subject of boat access at Marymoor, raising the question of mooring possibilities for both motor boats and non-motorized craft such as canoes and kayaks.  The old lake platform floating dock was suitable for mooring a boat, which allowed boaters to visit Marymoor.  But the replacement lake viewing platform is far too small and too high off the water to allow moorage.  Canoes and kayaks can potentially land at the Rowing Club dock, but there is no place on the east side of the slough where they can land.  This prevents someone from kayaking to the park, since the RC dock is on the "wrong" side of the river.  Jim asked if something could be done.

In discussion, there were a few concerns raised, especially about anything that might encourage more use of the slough by motorized boats.  The slough is marked as being a 5 m.p.h. No Wake zone, but some boaters ignore that.  As dogs swim across the slough at all of the beaches, and as the SRA crew shells use the slough heavily, there is a significant chance of dire conflict between motor boats and dogs or people.  Another concern was that, while thousands of people visit the park by car each day, only a very few people would ever visit by boat, and probably the very high cost of permitting and construction would not be warranted by the usage levels of boat visitors.

Michael suggested that the people interested in boating to the park might join forces with Eastside Audubon on a boardwalk replacement that would include an enhanced lake platform that would include motor boat mooring capability, and a river platform that would provide canoe/kayak mooring opportunities.  This would be big-ticket and hard-to-permit, but with the combined user groups and political support, this might be feasible.

Next Meeting: April 23, 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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