Minutes for March 26, 2013 Meeting

Meeting Summary
Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 7:00-9:00 PM
The Hearthstone, 6720 East Green Lake Way N
Board Room

Recorder: Davis Patterson

Ellen HewittRob ZisetteRuss WeimerKristi ParkMarcia NormanGayle GarmanGaret Munger

6:45 Socializing

7:00 Meeting comes to order with welcome and Introductions Garet Munger

7:05 Park Department Report Katie Gray [not present]

  • Garet’s concerns: with Spring, more trash and vandalism (trash can and mattress thrown into the lake). Is there anything FOGL could do to help? Garet pointed out the mattress to maintenance crew. They say there are restrictions on what they can do in the water. Rob suggested dragging it up on the shore and letting them take care of it. Todd Young runs Green Lake Litter Patrol and it was suggested that FOGL feature him in a story, and help advertise his work for volunteers, especially since MyGreenLake and EveryBlock no longer exist. It may be worth advertising on the PhinneyWood blog. Someone could ask Todd to write an article. Could also use the Facebook page. Garet has been working on it; has posted the agenda there.
  • A big Earth Day event may need too much organizing. A lot of volunteer labor for FOGL has been recruited through the volunteer calendar on the Parks Dept. page. Theresa McEwen is volunteer coordinator for Parks; she used to retweet our meeting announcements, so we want to put our most important information at the beginning of the message (140 characters).

7:35 Treasurer’s Report Gayle Garman

  • Income: $0.44 interest in combined BECU checking/savings account in February
  • Balance $6,117.43
  • $255 in bills that will be deducted in March include new testing kit for Microcystin The kit is stored in Gayle’s refrigerator now.
  • Historic domain name renewal price was $15, but we were billed $24 (new owner). Ellen is attempting to rectify the billing, She expects that we would be grandfathered in on old price.
  • O. Box will also be due in a couple of months (was $93 last year)
  • For now, finances are ample, and fundraising isn’t urgent. However, worth keeping in our minds. Especially since caps and T-shirts are advertising (both $15). FOGL hats are easier to do than T-shirts (caps require one size only, design is ready). We have 11 T-shirts in stock, 1 cap left.
  • Rob moved to put on the agenda finding a volunteer to take charge of caps—all agreed.

7:45 Update on Cyanobacteria in Green Lake

  • Samples collected Feb. 27; one over 6 mcg/L, another lower. Lake was closed, warning signs posted.
  • Subsequent samplings (3) have all been below the detection limit. Some of the signs have been removed. Two signs warn that there “may” be toxic algae; another says there “are” toxic algae (or some more definitive statement). The one by the small craft center was removed; many seem to remain.
  • Gayle will give the new testing kit to Bryan Toth.
  • Reagents are calibrated for each kit, so supplies cannot be combined across kits. Reagents are good for a year; this kit expires Jan. 2014. Possible to do 24 samples maximum. There are 36 test tubes. Can do from 6 to 12 events. It’s not difficult or technical, but requires precision.
  • Helpful to have two people. Garet, Jeannine, and Gayle are set up to do samples; Gayle and Bryan can do testing.
  • Green Lake water quality monitoring results produced by the county for 2012 have been published. The report hasn’t been posted to the county web site (reports are available through 2011). We can post the report to our web site right now. Testing shows no measurable or significant increase in phosphorus. Water clarity is being maintained overall. Ratio of phosphorus and nitrogen may be changing, which may allow more of the cyanobacteria to grow in the lake. FOGL volunteers collect the sample; Seattle Public Utilities is paying for the analysis. Rob will present the data at the next meeting.
  • Garet will send a message to Sally Abella reminding her of the invitation for her to attend the April meeting and to let her know that Rob Zisette will also make a short presentation
  • Rob is going to write up cyanobacteria monitoring and action procedures, including roles of various organizations. Rob would like FOGL to review the process so that we properly protect users while not scaring them away from the lake. Rob, Gayle, and Garet discussed sampling procedures (e.g., size of sample collected). Concentration may be affected by size of the sample, if there is not a large quantity of scum. The objective is to get a worst case sample. The alternative to intensive testing/monitoring is to simply avoid all blue-green algae scums, as recommended by WHO. The microcystin is soluble in water, so it tends to become diluted, though Gayle has been told that Lake Sammamish had toxins at some point where no scum was visible. It could be useful to specify conditions that will trigger additional testing/monitoring measures—to look at open water in addition to scum. Rob would like to discuss at the next meeting.
  • FOGL’s purpose has been screening, and then to let the county take further.
  • Suggested criteria for FOGL to collect a sample and run the ELISA test: concentrations/coverage of scum in a particular area, and changes in color of scum. It’s unclear how precise we need to be. Other criteria could be when a user contacts us with a concern, and how accessible the shoreline is.

7:55 Election of New Vice President.

  • Kristi Park has agreed to serve as Vice President. The position will end in October.
  • Kristi has particular interest in habitat conditions on the shoreline.
  • Garet nominated Kristi. Ellen moved that we elect Kristi, Marcia seconded, Kristi was elected unanimously.

8:10 Earth Day Preparations:

Discussion of how or if FOGL can contribute to Earth Day on April 22 (Monday):

  • The weekend before April 22 would be the time to consider doing something. An opportunity for FOGL to have a presence. For example:
    • Informational booth with updated brochures. Updating the brochure might be the first thing to do. Kristi would be willing to work on it in InDesign.
    • Poster boards (Garet displayed)—would need updating, e.g., fresh pictures
    • Russ Weimer offered to hand out information at his booth at Green Lake on April 6. He is a volunteer naturalist with Seattle Parks. They go to any of the 400 parks, maintain stations, conduct public programs. The station they had at Green Lake a couple of weeks ago from 10:00 am-1:00 pm attracted 573 people—a lot. The traffic is tremendous here. People wanted to know what was going on. No one asked about the usual “housekeeping” items such as where the bathrooms are. It was all about activities or things people saw in the park (e.g., “there’s an eagle…”). They will do some boating and walking programs from a naturalist standpoint. A lot of people said thanks for doing this. They would be willing to get information—brochures, etc.—out in that manner. It’s about collaboration. They will be out not only Saturdays, and starting April 6 through the end of September, from 10 am to 1 pm. Will probably be there April 7, 13, 14, and every Saturday. FOGL could request volunteers for Earth Day.
    • The weather can be challenging, but FOGL now has a canopy, which helps.
    • Someone should ask Martin Muller for the URL for his web site to provide a link on the FOGL web site.
    • We could also design small sheets advertising Earth Day events or postcards.
  • Kristi suggested cleaning up two areas for Earth Day. We need to send an announcement to our list, establish a time; Gayle suggested 3 hours. Garet also suggested removing blackberry and ivy around the lake before they are too well established. Saturday, April 20 from 9:00-12:00. Russ Weimer suggested getting volunteers from Blanchet High School—can get a large number of volunteers. Blanchet uses the park, and students need volunteer hours. We would need adults to supervise.
  • ➜Kristi will work on the brochure in InDesign. Ellen will send to her. The goals are to get volunteers, raise awareness of activities/accomplishments, offer caps for sale. Kristi will send a draft for input. She will also make a small postcard to announce the Earth Day event for Russ’s group to hand out.
  • ➜Garet will talk to the Parks Dept. about the activity to make sure that we are not conflicting with Green Seattle Partnership activities or purposes. He will also request tools.
  • ➜FOGL should send an announcement soon.

8:30 Friends of Green Lake organizational tasks:

Identification of and discussion of FOGL management tasks including, brochures and outreach materials, on going lake monitoring, work parties, record keeping and data management:

  • Garet shared a list of possible organizational tasks in the areas of Earth Day preparation, communications, information management, protocols, monitoring, shoreline habitat management, partnering with other groups, milfoil issues, fundraising, and identifying goals and objectives.
  • Garet has started a notebook to collect descriptions of activities that people do for a record and to be passed on for future volunteers/members.
  • The group discussed the tradeoffs of organizing material centrally on the website for general access—what kinds of material, who would have interest/energy in doing that, and what the appropriate level of volunteer involvement would be. Many reports and other materials are already on the web.
  • Davis suggested a leadership meeting to discuss administrative issues/functions. Ellen noted that the officers have had meetings approximately yearly.
  • Gayle noted that there are many things going on that should be acknowledged and continued. See what Laila and Jeannine are interested in doing in terms of data collection. E.g., people have turned to our web site to see what the water temperature is. They really wanted to help with the monitoring.
  • Ben Hall and Scott McCredie have agreed to collect water samples from the middle of the Lake (from kayaks) for the King Co small lakes program again this year (May thru Oct). This will be the 9th summer FOGL volunteers have collected samples. Gayle Garman and Rob Zisette will be back-up for Ben and Scott thru June, then Richard Fleming and Gayle from July thru Oct.

9:00 Adjourn