Minutes for November 27, 2012 Meeting

Meeting Summary
Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 7:00-9:00 PM
The Hearthstone, 6720 East Green Lake Way N
Board Room

Recorder: Davis Patterson

Garet MungerKlaus ShelleyBrian De LucaKaren SchurrGayle GarmanRichard FlemingJoan MachlisKristi ParkDavis PattersonRob ZisetteNancy HelmRuth CallardJeannine FloranceHanna PetrosOscar OverlundClaudia DeibertBev LarsonMartin Muller


Treasurer’s Report: Karen Schurr

  • Interest since last month brings balance to $6,115.52, higher balance than we had one year ago in November 2011.
  • Next expenses may be for updating promotional materials.

Election to fill treasurer position

  • Garet would like to take time to get a sense of the membership and interest/skills before electing a Vice President, in the short term. It’s a high priority in the long term.
  • Karen Schurr would like to step down. Nomination: Gayle Garman to fill the remainder of a 2-year term (one year remains).
  • Gayle was elected Treasurer.

Review and update on cyanobacteria and microcystin in Green Lake

  • The lake has been closed for almost two months (since October 2).
  • Requirement to open again: three weeks of microcystin readings below state guidance of 6 ug/L.
  • Garet has seen small pockets of thin scum, near the Hearthstone and canoe rental areas of the lake.
  • The algae have been growing at least since August.
  • The lake appears higher than usual (above the Densmore drain), after 5+ inches of rain last week.
  • Past measurement has included water level, but not for the past two years. Billings Middle School does this, though the data can be hard to interpret. FOGL worked hard to get rulers on the dock, so it would make sense and be interesting to do this, and not difficult.
  • The storm water drainage into the lake is known to violate water quality standards in the past. The Densmore drain discharges into the Lake after rainfall of about an inch of rain a day, runoff from smaller rain events bypasses Green Lake. Less gets into the lake since the ‘90s. The annual discharge volume from Densmore drainage is similar to that which flows from Woodland Park.
  • As a group we may wish to make some efforts to sample or request the city to do some sampling to identify what flows into the lake.
  • Rob Zisette found a significant reduction in phosphorus and nitrogen in stormwater discharge from lower Woodland Park in 2005 compared with the 1990s, though still not clean.
  • The ruler on the dock by the rental boats is bent—would need straightening. There is another one at the Meridian drain. Both are difficult to read when there is wave action. They need to be calibrated with elevation.
  • For one year, SPU operated a water level recording gauge. We could see if the Small Craft Center staff are interested in monitoring, since they would have an interest in this. Since the lake fluctuates day to day, it would help if we could set up daily monitoring.
  • We could also get a recording gauge or ask the Parks Department to do so. Richard Fleming will look into this. The data could be downloaded any time.

Introduction to and discussion of FOGL preparing a management plan for Green Lake

  • See Garet’s writeup of thoughts about a lake management plan.
  • Rob Zisette: Green Lake has had a couple of plans in the past, focused on algae and aquatic components. We could do a more comprehensive plan related to vegetation, bird habitat, etc. Rob’s vision is to identify priorities for users, all stakeholders (beyond FOGL). FOGL is good for the citizen users to initiate the plan, identify problems and possible solutions, including other stakeholders—e.g., health dept.—to identify funding mechanisms in addition to Parks Dept. It’s a public participation/stakeholder involvement process to come up with a plan that meets everyone’s needs and has a good chance of implementation.
  • Garet: It could also identify some issues that can be managed within FOGL. It would be a fairly ambitious project for this group to take on, so we should discuss whether we want to do it, or particular issues we would want to address.
  • Brian: Even if we came up with a plan, we would need authority to act on it, since it’s a public park. Maybe the plan is a thoughtful assessment that we hand to the Parks Dept. to implement.
  • Kristi works with landscape architecture firm: there is a good stakeholdering methodology to work with community groups, the city, etc. It’s a big undertaking. We could decide on certain issues we wanted to work on.
  • Garet: We could identify the issues. It probably would require a professional firm to prepare a final plan to present to funding agencies.
  • Gayle: The timing is good because people are realizing Green Lake is vulnerable because of this recent closure. I don’t think developing it alone is something FOGL can do, but we could bring in stakeholders and partners. Balancing different user interests will be the hard part. A lot of money goes to the Small Crafts Center—they might be willing to partner. Engaging stakeholders can take a long time. And the public.
  • Rob: There is a pretty standard engagement process. There are plans that have been developed. We have information we need to draft a plan, so we could work on components. It’s a living document—what are the problems we need to address, future threats, actions, etc.
  • We need to identify resources within the group, get people to commit available hours and skills to bring to this issue. E.g., developing a blog.
  • Rob: Get on paper how the Parks Dept. will manage the park, with input from citizens.
  • Getting more stakeholders involved who don’t necessarily see themselves now as concerned with the scientific aspects of lake management would get more support for the plan.
  • It can help the Parks Dept. manage requests that they frequently get by using the plan for guidance. They need to be involved.
  • Jonathan Frodge and Gene Williams and others are resources we can draw on, so we don’t necessarily have to hire someone.
  • In the 1990s the Parks Dept. drew up a vegetation management plan by hiring a consultant. If you don’t have Parks taking a leading position, it won’t happen, and even if they do, we still have a watchdog function to make sure it isn’t forgotten. So focus on creating the groundswell to convince the Parks Dept. that this is a need. Start with outreach online, flyers, etc., collecting public comments, look for common threads. Then you can take that to the Parks Dept.
  • Kevin Stoops had suggested at the last meeting writing a letter to the City Council about the algae bloom and future need for alum treatment.
  • Brian: The idea is preemptive maintenance as opposed to reactive maintenance.
  • Kristi: There is also degradation of habitat areas, encroachment of gravel trail, not just algae bloom. You can build off the momentum of everyone knowing there’s something wrong with the lake.
  • Is FOGL’s plan to get the plan going, or to identify issues and convince Parks Dept. to develop a plan so they have ownership?
  • FOGL needs to work together with those responsible for management. The time is ripe to develop a more thoughtful plan.
  • Do we want to be the catalyst to figure out who the stakeholders are, issues, etc.?
  • We don’t want to identify the Parks Dept. as the problem, but rather partner. We have to be the catalyst, but how much do we do? How much volunteer energy do we have to dedicate to that?
  • Is it possible to manage the lake to keep phosphorus out of the lake to avoid having to do an alum treatment altogether?
  • There are good housekeeping things that can be done regardless. Alum is the most cost effective way of dealing with it. We can also continue to focus on reducing nutrient inflow.
  • There is enough phosphorus already in the lake to cause the problem, mostly an internal problem, but you can reduce external inputs as well.
  • Can a small group of us brainstorm stakeholders and issues, or do it at our next meeting?
  • Magnuson and Discovery Parks have management plans that have been adopted. Perhaps those citizen groups could advise us on their process, a model for developing a plan and getting stakeholder input, especially Magnuson Park.
  • Most common is for a jurisdiction to fund development of plan.
  • Seattle is a unique model in the country in terms of citizen activism, and this may be the wave of the future given budget cuts limiting ability of governments to do these things.
  • It was agreed to set up committees of those with interest and knowledge to identify stakeholders, vision, and issues. Start getting it down on paper and mention it to Katie Gray at the Parks Dept. Also summarize what has been done in the past.
  • Volunteers for Issues Committee: Rob Zisette (chair), Garet Munger, Kristi Park
  • Volunteers for Stakeholders Committee: Joan Machlis (chair), Brian de Luca, Gayle Garman, Garet Munger, Hanna Petros, Oscar Overlund

Identification of and discussion of goals and objectives for FOGL: 2013

  • See Garet’s writeup of thoughts. This topic was introduced but lack of time prevented discussion.

Old and New Business:

  • Shoreline cleanup of milfoil
    • Garet will follow up with Karen and send out a message.
  • T-shirts
    • Do we want to do T-shirts again? Or put logos on work party vests? Tabled discussion for lack of time.
  • Next meeting
    • January 22, 2013
  • Other?
    • Do we want to purchase more sampling/testing supplies? Reagents will be expiring for current kits. If we want to have that capability, we should purchase now to have available when we want it. The group consensus was to authorize spending up to approximately $300 for this. No one was opposed.