Friends of Marymoor Park

October 27, 2021 Meeting Summary

-- see also the July 28, 2021  meeting summary

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  1. Welcome and Introductions

    Introductions – Norah Robinson, King County Parks;  Greg Helland, SODA representative, FOMP President; Michael Hobbs, FOMP Secretary, webmaster; Laura Hall, FOMP Secretary, Marymoor Community Gardens Association; Shai Hinitz, MAR/C representative; Glenn Eades, Eastside Audubon;

    With invited guests: Lauren Wheeler
    – Communications Consultant from KC Wastewater Treatment Division; Scott Reynolds – City of Redmond Planning Department, working on sewer project; Lauren Fahy, with SWK (Stacy and Witbeck/Kuney,working for Sound Transit Light Rail on wetland mitigation; Mike Ullmer – King County Parks working on Sound Transit project

  2. Lake Hills/NW Lake Sammamish Sewer Upgrade - Lauren Wheeler, King County WTD and Scott Reynolds, City of Redmond

    Project upgrades 4.5 miles of sewer pipes in Redmond to replace old too-small piping that is likely to fail soon.   Should provide another 50+ years of service.  The project section discussed here runs from the Viewlake neighborhood adjacent to the Bellevue city line north to 85th St in downtown Redmond.
    Currently about 1/2 way through the permitting project, with construction planned to begin in 2024.  The upgrade work will take nearly 4 years.  Subsector construction dates have not yet been determined.
    Typical work hours will typically run during the day 6 days a week, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays, plus Saturdays 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  There will be large equipment, truck traffic, noise, vibration, dust, road closures and detours, trail closures and detours, etc.
    Tree removals will be required, and replanting will be done.  About 680 trees will need to come down, and more than 1300 will be replanted.  However, as tree roots can damage sewer lines, many of these replacement trees will be planted in other locations than along the sewer line.
    Along Marymoor, the sewer line runs along West Lake Sammamish Parkway, and will require closure of the West Sammamish Trail.  They will drill underneath the west entrance road to Marymoor Park, which will avoid long-term closures there.  There will be long-term and intermittent closures of trails, and intermittent closures of the Marymoor entrance, over the 3+ year construction window.
    The most problematic closure site is the stretch from the Marymoor entrance north to Leary Way.  At one point a very long detour running all the way through Marymoor and back through downtown Redmond was proposed.  Instead, West Lake Sammamish Parkway will be narrowed to build a narrow lane to augment an existing sidewalk.  Cyclists southbound will be expected to dismount and walk their bikes along a stretch of about 750 feet of very narrow sidewalk.
    At the Marymoor Park entrance, a new ADA accessible sidewalk will run along the north side of Marymoor Way across the river, to join the Marymoor Connector Trail.  It's not clear how this will interface with the existing bridge over the river.
    Part of the project involves rebuilding and improving the Sammamish River Trail (SRT) once the sewer upgrade is completed.
    Along West lake Sammamish Parkway, sections of the parkway will be closed for months at a time.  Some of these will involve full detours.  Others will have one lane/one way traffic.  In some sections the sewer pipe is directly under the center of the parkway.

    The SRT will have intermittent closures over the 3-year construction window between 85th St and 51st St.  Work will be completed in subsections and these may be constructed out of linear order.  The trail on the east and west side of the river will not be closed simultaneously, except during construction of the sewer pipe that crosses under the river.

    On the section from NE 51st St. to Bel-Red Rd. the bike lane will be closed and bicycles will have to travel with regular traffic.  One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction.

    Road ways, sidewalks, curbs, and planter strips will be restored after construction, but there may be delays between construction and restoration.  King County will install 24 new curb ramps at 11 locations. 

    Next steps for this project: acquire necessary permits, hire contractor in 2023, begin construction in 2024

    Questions and comments? Contact Kelly Foley Kruse, community relations at 206-477-8621 or at
    Visit the project website at
    Enroll in text alerts: text KING REDMONDSEWER to 486-311

  3. Sound Transit - Wetland Mitigation Project - Lauren Fahy

    This is the light rail extension that continues the line from the Redmond Technology area (Microsoft, etc.), to downtown Redmond.  To mitigate for loss of existing wetlands along the rail route, a wetland improvement project is being done in Marymoor West, south of the access road to the Sammamish Rowing Association boathouse.
    Grading has been done make a deeper, wetter wetland area.  With this grading completed, the site has been winterized to reduce erosion and run-off.   Next year, replanting etc. will begin.
    More trees along the north edge of the project were maintained compared with early drafts of the plan, where many of those trees were to be removed.  This is an excellent outcome.
  4. CIP/Projects/Facilities Updates
    • Eastside Audubon Birdloop – Ramping up for First Saturday work parties.  Plantings are planned for December and January in Snag Row, along the trail and in the “Alder Forest” (SW of the East Meadow) that needs help to become a forest.
    • Community GardensLaura pointed out their website and their use of Signup Genius for work party signups.  They are still interested in trying to get an apiarist to manage beehives at the garden.  She’s interested in the apiarist group at Microsoft.

    • SODA – Fred asked if there was any chance of getting some shade structures in the Off-leash Dog Park.  Greg suggested talking with SODA directly.  But Greg also pointed out that structures are not generally allowed in that section of the park.  Laura suggested Lot D and Lot G could have some trees planted between parking rows.

    • MAR/C Model Airplane FieldMuch less flying now due to weather and short days.  They have moved to virtual meetings for their membership meetings.  They are wishing to push forward on their improvement plans that are currently on hold while the Parks Master Plan is developed.
    • Marymoor Park Master Plan Update –Slow progress.  They did send out a questionnaire to organizational partners.  Greg hopes that small projects like the MAR/C improvements should not be blocked while waiting on the plan.
    • Off-leash Area/SODA – Final hog-fuel spreading party is this Saturday.  Greg also noted that the access barriers that go in for Salmon in the fall will need to be removed soon, due to rising water levels.
    • Maintenance – King County Parks has a new program hiring unhomed people, training them in tool operations, etc.  Michael related how he had come across crews clearing tall grass, weeds, low-hanging branches, etc. pretty indiscriminately.  In conversation with the Maintenance supervisor on-site, it became clear that this was training, and that they were just clearing stuff to create work.  But this make-work was clearing vegetation in the Passive Zone at Marymoor, and it was being done without any particular plan or purpose, so wildlife habitat was being destroyed as a mere training exercise, rather as an intentional clearing.  The supervisor agreed that a better plan might be in order.  There was a seemingly unrelated clearing going on at the same time with heavier equipment, clearing blackberries from the designated wetland triangle east of Lot B (the "cowboy" lot).  Michael explained that clearing there should require a permit.  At the FOMP meeting, Michael expressed a great deal of frustration that Park Maintenance seems unaware of wetland delineations, permit requirements, best use practices for the Passive area of the park, and recognition of wildlife habitats.
    • Sound Transit – Tree mitigation plan – Cultural resource assessment has been finding artifacts, so fewer trees will be planted in the Historic Area than previously planned.  Probably more trees will be planted in the north end of the park.

      Sound Transit is also planning a surface water project.  A rain garden by the Art Barn would be linked with some improvements to the conveyance ditch on the north side of Marymoor Way, including enlarging the culverts at the entrance to Lot K.  Runoff from the Clise Mansion area would be redirected behind the maintenance barn and Art Barn to the rain garden, with drainage from there running across Marymoor Way where it will connect to the conveyance ditch mentioned before, and from there to the Sammamish Slough.

      Norah will look into getting a presentation about the Park Gateway associated with the Sound Transit station.

    • New fencing on ballfield 1; design done, Norah is not sure of when the construction will be done, but it may be this fall.
  5. Other:
    1. Glenn shared that Eastside Audubon in continuing bird surveys in the Willowmoor Floodplain Project area.

    2.  Shai raised the very good question about whether Marymoor will be impacted by cut-through traffic as drivers try to avoid road closure areas.  Laura shares this concern.  Cut-through traffic is not allowed by statute, but this is rarely enforced.  Cut-through traffic has a very negative effect on the park.

    3. Laura questioned the replacement of large trees (30+ inch diameter) with three small saplings, and whether that is sufficient.  She extended this to question whether newly planted trees will be monitored to make sure of survival for several years.
  6. Events update:
    1.  A lot of concerts were sold out this year.  AEG had to manage the September mandate to require COVID vaccination proof.  Weather was really challenging in September, including two evacuations for lightning!  In the end, everything went well.
    2. Drive-in Movies were a big hit, despite the non-walk-in rules.  Drive-in only is easier on the park and on the event promoter, but people want the old system back.
    3. Cirque du Soleil is coming in 2022.  Norah reminded people that a parking pass gets you into the parking for Cirque for free, and in 2022 Cirque parking will be $25, making a parking pass an even greater deal. 

Next meeting Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

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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