Minutes for November 21, 2006 Meeting

Meeting Minutes
November 21, 2006

Don Allen, Seattle Parks and Recreation Crew Chief for North Sector Parks
Gayle GarmanKaren SchurrBrian DeLuccaRichard FlemingMarcia NormanEllen HewittMary Lou KnoxKris FullerJoel TufelDoug MartinMartin MullerKevin Stoops

The meeting was called to order by Gayle Garman at 7:05pm.

PROGRAM: The Green Lake Park Vegetation Management Plan by Don Allen

Don explained that he had had computer problems, so the presentation would be limited. Rose Ellen Brittenham is the chief gardener for the Vegetation Management Plan, which was set up in 1996. There has been general cleanup going on including the removal of invasive plants such as ivy and blackberry, and erosion control measures added in some areas along the lake shore. The cottonwoods at Gaines Point were cut and replaced since these trees were brittle and dangerous to park visitors. Some cypress were pruned to reduce limb drop.

At present, there are two full time custodians who work around the lake. They do path clean up, clean comfort stations, and do garbage pick up and litter removal. Gayle asked how it was decided what projects were undertaken. Don explained that volunteer groups work with Parks personnel to choose a project (as with the Eagle Scouts). She expressed concern about blackberry eradication since it provides bird habitat-especially for wintering birds and red winged blackbirds which have grown quite tame and delight many park visitors.

Don explained that the Vegetation Management Plan is only a guide. Gayle asked if they would replant with natives to replace lost shoreline cover for birds. Don said that was the goal, but that there were periodic lapses in communication between work groups. Martin commented that the blackberries do function well at keeping people and dogs out of the cattails, which provide habitat for birds. Kevin Stoops then said that a demonstration project by the Bathhouse Theater has lapsed, and the area needs maintenance help since it contains tree snags. The Green Lake Park Alliance used to do this, but they are now defunct. Karen Schurr suggested that a citizen committee is needed to work with the grounds crew so that there are no holes in communication. Citizens could tell Seattle Parks and Recreation (SP&R) what is happening and where.

Several FOGL members then had questions and comments. Ellen asked which native species were being considered for planting. Don said that Rose Ellen makes those decisions. Joel asked if there was a Master Plan for Green Lake Park. Don said there was not. Brian DeLucca then stated that the park really just needs general maintenance rather than a sweeping new scheme. These comments were made in regard to the proposed Shade Garden project to be funded by Pro Parks money. Karen Schurr then stated that the Lower Woodland Soccer Field( #7) is sending sediment into the lake. Kevin said SP&R was aware of the problem and that the parking lots were slated to be redone. $300,000.00 has been set aside for this project. The #7 soccer field needs to be fixed, but installation of artificial turf is expensive ($1,000,000.00). Gayle noted that the drains on the fields still have vegetation growing in them. Don said he will instruct crew to keep the drains cleared. This concluded the program.


Marcia Norman’s Treasurer Report: $1,098.00 in Checking. $829.00 in Savings. Marcia said more thank you notes need to be purchased. There were no T-shirt sales this month.

Monitoring Report by Richard Fleming: There has been lots of rain which Richard monitors with the precipitation gauge located in his back yard. The Green Lake gauge recorded ½ the precipitation recorded at SeaTac this year. There was a very long summer drought and early heavy fall rains. The Densmore grate has been under water by 4-6 inches, but the grate hasn’t popped off its stand which is unusual. The lake water level has been quite high for the last few weeks. He noted this can increase shoreline erosion. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SP&R), King County Metro, and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) monitor the lake level. He speculated that it was possible that the work on Aurora and 145th Street had affected the Densmore drainage patterns.

Ellen Hewitt reported on the web page. It now has Fall colors. She may set it up so that people can contribute pictures to the site. She is also setting up a milfoil page with pictures and content from Gayle and Karen. Suggestions for other articles will be gladly accepted. You can contact her by sending email to friendso@friendsofgreenlake.org, clicking on “Contact Us” on the top menu and filing out the feedback form, or clicking on “Webmaster” at the botom of the page. Martin Muller offered to provide photos for a birds of Green Lake page. All of these things contribute to offering a vibrant, current web page that provides useful information on the lake.

Gayle has sent a letter to the Hearthstone thanking them for letting us use their meeting room.


NW Outlook issue of Nov. 8, 2006 included a front-page article on the FOGL milfoil survey (done Sept. 10). A reporter interviewed Karen Schurr and Richard Fleming and Gayle provided photos used in the article. The Outlook article is good publicity for FOGL and helps people understand the concern about milfoil.

There were questions directed to Seattle Parks and Recreation about how events get scheduled at the lake. Jason Fisk (of Parks) responded by email that early in the year events are sent to the scheduling Department at South Lake Union ( Special Event Scheduling). The number of special events is limited at Green Lake. Other event planning is sent through the Parks Department Program scheduling. This includes the Regattas in June and November. Unscheduled events have to receive Parks Superintendent and Community Council approval. Seattle Parks and Recreation discourages big running events at Green Lake Park. Kevin Stoops said that Virginia Swanson schedules other special events and she is a City of Seattle employee, not a Parks Department employee.

Brian DeLucca asked that the Park not be overscheduled with special events all the time since it can displace many regular users of the park


There will be no meeting in December due to the holidays. Next meeting is January 16, 2007.

Ellen suggested that we get other groups involved with the Lake to come talk.

Karen Schurr suggested we ask about Lake Steilacoom’s experience with Solar Bees. This is a solar energy run system for circulating lake water using propellers, which brings water up from the lake bottom to mix with surface lake water, with the expectation of reducing the bluegreen algae growth. Richard commented that Green Lake actually has good water turnover whenever the wind blows. Gayle suggested that we wait until the Solar Bee had been used for 2 summers before asking for a report. Kevin concurred, and noted this would be a better test of the durability of the system.

Richard then asked Kevin and Don what would be done about the sinkhole at Ashworth and Green Lake Way. Don asked that Richard report it to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) as this wil help SP&R deal with SDOT to get it fixed. Valery Yamasaki is Don’s contact at SDOT.

Karen Schurr then brought up potential impacts to the Lake from the large construction project near Green Lake. The proposal is to pipe water in a closed system that would run underground and then back up to cool the large grocery store (Metropolitan Market). She asked if this might affect the groundwater temperature, and eventually the Lake. Gayle noted we could send a letter expressing our concerns about the heating of ground water.

Martin Muller said he would mail Gayle the 1980 engineering report about water going into Green Lake. He will contact Seattle Public Utilities about getting a copy of the draft drainage report.

Don Allen then reported that the rabbits are multiplying swiftly at Lower Woodland, and that something really needs to be done. He also asked where the milfoil harvester could be stored. Kevin Stoops will discuss milfoil pulling in January.

The meeting adjourned at 9:20.