Minutes for May 28, 2013 Meeting

Meeting Summary
Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 7:00-9:00 PM
The Hearthstone, 6720 East Green Lake Way N
Board Room

Recorder: Davis Patterson

Ellen HewittBrian De LucaJerry SemrauBrian TothSusan LevyKlaus ShelleyColleen HackettKaren SchurrGaret MungerKristi ParkKatie Gray

Meeting comes to order at 7 PM with welcome and Introductions – Garet Munger, President

Conversation with Katie Gray and Coleen Hackett about Seattle Park Department management and maintenance policies as they affect Green Lake water quality and shoreline habitat.

  • Can we have signs to label some areas as designated habitat?
    • Signs are a double-edged sword—they require maintenance, and some people don’t like signs.  Temporary signs could be installed to identify habitat restoration areas. Temporary signs would still require parks design approval.
    • Goal of signage would be to ensure maintenance persons are aware of designated habitat areas, also the public, and to give some credit to FOGL.
    • Parks is responsible for park maintenance, not habitat preservation, Volunteers can work on habitat areas. Maintenance staff get mixed messages about what can be done and are reluctant to do any work along lake shore, so they may not do as much as maintenance they should. Katie and Colleen work to educate maintenance persons about the needs.
    • Katie will review the vegetation management plan to see how it lines up with areas we’re concerned about. Parks doesn’t have the resources to maintain new habitat areas. Staffing has declined significantly.
    • It is helpful to know where bird habitat is (though it can change over time).
  • It was noted that the willows look sick this year, with brown leaves. Colleen will look into it.
  • Parks will not often provide FOGL advance notice of regular maintenance activities. Parks would attempt to let FOGL know in advance of larger projects.
  • Park department has received a grant for new tree planting for Green Lake and Woodland Park. Trees and locations haven’t been selected yet. FOGL could be consulted about tree selection.It was requested that Parks send news releases to FOGL.
  • Our voice can best be heard by having continuing conversations with Colleen. Runners are the loudest voice—complaints about the path. Parks really appreciates our input. They may not always be able to provide the response we want, but they appreciate knowing our concerns and acting when they can.
  • Katie mentioned a proposal as part of the Park Legacy Plan to have park rangers to educate users and issue citations for trespassing for those not following rules.
  • Is there a way to have Green Lake given special treatment since it includes a lake? Or more generally give special consideration for shoreline issues, which would also include other parks? Katie suggested adding comments to the draft plan online. There remains a short window of time to make suggestions.

Treasurer’s Report

  • The treasurer’s report reflected a charge for a new microcystin testing kit, with final combined balance of $5879.90 as of April 31, 2013.
  • Garet suggested adopting Gayle’s suggestion to transfer $500 from savings to checking.

Renewal of Volunteer Agreement between Friends of Green Lake and Seattle Parks and Recreation Department.

  • The volunteer agreement covers work party activities including habitat restoration and cleaning up milfoil along the shoreline. The current agreement has expired and should be renewed to cover volunteer work that may be undertaken by FOGL.
  • For Parks, a “friends of” group falls under a “friends of” agreement—whatever Parks and the group decide is the best way to contribute volunteer service. It includes an understanding of what Parks can do for the group to support what the group can do for Parks. Parks would not supersede FOGL’s historical activities. Volunteer agreements are usually for a year, a good time frame to review how we’re doing. Some agreements go longer than a year. Either party can end at any time. It can be amended at any time.
  • Colleen and Theresa McEwan updated the 2010 FOGL agreement related to habitat restoration in two particular areas to define the scope of work. That agreement expired in 2011. The new volunteer agreement is for a period of 3 years.
  • FOGL would be requested to sign in and record hours of persons, including those not part of the established group. And FOGL itself would be requested to record hours devoted to volunteering (whenever Parks business is handled). This helps for qualifying for matching grants, for example. FOGL should send quarterly reports to Parks of volunteer hours, including meeting discussions. FOGL shouldn’t get double credit if they’re reporting hours to another organization, however, though this is not occurring presently.
  • Volunteers working on officially sanctioned volunteer projects are covered by insurance. Katie will check to see if water testing activities should be included in volunteer agreement to assure it is covered for insurance purposes. The water quality data have been very helpful, so she thinks it should be a covered activity, but wants to get clarification.
  • Parks has to report volunteer hours to the city council and mayor, so this is important to do. These hours can be used for grant proposals, for ourselves, for Parks’ purposes, etc.
  • Our current sites, a few years old now, are at the point where they just require routine maintenance. Plants are well established. East side site is a little sparse and could use some inplanting. Parks can check the site and see if there is plant material available for it.
  • Parks and Fisheries issues: If there are specific areas where we could identify small grants to do shoreline improvements, e.g., to encourage fisherman to fish in some places and not others, that could be helpful. For example, it might be worth building platforms or logs along the edge to suggest where they could be.
  • Garet will request an electronic copy of the agreement (or Ellen can scan) and send out to officers/smaller group of attendees and ask for input before finalizing with Parks.

Proposal for FOGL to fund phytoplankton analysis of water samples collected during summer of 2013.

  • Cost would be approximately $1100 to do complete analysis. Garet drafted a proposal for FOGL to consider.
  • Will the funding for the alum treatment include these sorts of tests? Karen will contact Kevin to see what is included in the funding. If so, then we would not want to fund ourselves.
  • We could call the department of microbiology at UW or other appropriate department to see if there is someone who wants to do it as part of their master’s or doctoral thesis.

Drafting of letter to be sent to City Council regarding need to include funding for water quality treatment for Green Lake in future budgets.

  • City council will be considering putting a park department levy on the ballot in 2014. It becomes important that we inform the council and mayor and citizens of concerns regarding anticipated Green Lake water quality concerns.
  • Katie says the alum treatment, and required scientific analysis, is funded already for 2014. Nevertheless, a letter to city council about need for the treatment could not hurt, especially if funding is potentially vulnerable. Katie will double-check on the funding and let us know.
  • Susan moved that we write a letter to state our concerns about maintaining the lake water quality. Ellen seconded. All were in favor. Garet will draft for the next meeting and circulate by email.

Summer 2013 FOGL activities?

  • We could arrange for some small work parties in the summer. We could put up an information table during work parties. We should check with Kristi about preparing a flyer.
  • What about publicity at cross-lake swim and milk carton derby? New brochures and volunteers are needed to cover publicity at events.
  • We have a picnic in lieu of July meeting. There is no scheduled meeting in August. Meetings resume in September.


  • Karen and Ellen decided to proceed with Mailchimp for the mailing list based on feedback from others. They are satisfied with security and privacy issues. It’s the same system and list that Green Lake Community Council is using.

9:00 Adjourn