Minutes for September 23, 2014 Meeting

Meeting Summary
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 7:00-9:00 PM
The Hearthstone, 6720 East Green Lake Way N
Board Room

Recorder: Brian DeLuca

Ellen HewittMarcia NormanRob ZisetteSusan LevyGaret MungerBrian DeLucaR. Frank RobinsonMaureen KwolekRichard FlemingGayle GarmanKaren KoRom Schubert


Shoreline Restoration Project – R. Frank Robinson, Landscape Architect for Seattle Parks Dept

There have been many questions about the work in progress near the Kiddie Pool at the north end of Green Lake. Frank Robinson, the landscape architect in charge of the project, came to our meeting to explain what is being done and why.

  • Storm water damage requires replacement of the grate covering the Densmore Drain and filling the donut shaped area washed away when the drain (actually an input of storm water from north of the lake) overflows with force enough to dislodge the grate. This results in hazardous conditions for people who go anywhere near it, especially children. Seattle Public Utilities is responsible for the grate replacement, which has now been done. Parks is reinforcing the area around it to both protect the public, reinforce and repair the shoreline and the water side of the path, and create areas for public use. Mitigation is being done in association with Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
  • At the same time, Parks is designing the area to be safe and attractive to families who can walk, sit on new rocks, wet their toes (but not swim from there) and launch small boats. Gravel, native plantings, and low fences are being installed to identify areas of use and discourage damage to the shoreline. Parks is following the Seattle Parks Department Vegetation Management Plan.
  • The project is being done as a package with another one that involved a large fallen tree near Hearthstone path that required bulkhead repair – both involved deterioration of the shoreline.
  • Attendees at the meeting had some questions – Karen Schurr questioned what appeared on the plan to be too many large trees shading an area adjacent to the wading pool, where visitors now enjoy a sunny expanse and visibility of the water. She was concerned about the density, potential height and shady effect of vine maple trees planned for that area. Parks will reconsider the number of vine maples to allow a sunny continuum from the wading pool.
  • Parks will also revisit the design of the low fences, consider removal of some volunteer alder trees that have grown up along the water, and review status on shoreline willows that seem to be suffering from blight.

Algae Bloom Status – Garet Munger

  • FOGL member Garet Munger walks his dog Charlie Chester almost daily around Green Lake. During his walks he has made it a point to observe, rate, take photos, and record algae conditions, and report his observations to the Parks Dept. and Dept. of Health. The Dept of Health pays close attention to reports from those walking at the lake, and also has its own schedule of observations, when samples are taken of heavy scum. FOGL is happy to be part of this cooperative effort.
  • A sample taken a week before Labor Day was so high in microcystin that warning signs were immediately put out before the end of the day. Warning signs said not to go near areas with visible algae scum. Two weeks later, another sample with exceptionally high results brought new signs limiting any activities exposing people to the water. Boats were not prohibited. The numbers were the highest ever recorded, according to one reporter.
  • Lake visitors sometimes seem unimpressed by warning signs – they think they have seen algae before and some even allow children to go into the water.
  • Ellen Hewitt requested a new article from FOGL members close to the situation, so it could be posted on the web site. The current article, accurate at the time it was written, is now outdated. This would provide another dependable source of information on algae conditions. Garet agreed to write it, and make sure it is vetted with “official” Seattle Park Department sources, as well as the Dept of Health. Ellen will put the updated material on the web site as soon as it is available. It would also need to be updated either weekly or as changes occur. Karen Ko requested it also be sent to her for the News You Can Use email she sends our each week.

Rob Zisette – History of Alum Treatments and Recommendations Commissioned by Seattle Parks

  • Rob is working on a Seattle Parks Dept. project with Herrera on the health of the lake, evaluating potential effectiveness of a large alum dose as was done in 2004 versus smaller doses, more closely spaced. The treatment is not likely by Spring 2015, as hoped for by some, and is currently scheduled for 2016. Money has been included in the city budget for this. One alternative is to consider Summer 2015 for a possible interim treatment. Rob will present a draft of his findings at the next FOGL meeting.

Preparation for Election of Officers in October

  • The By-Laws designate FOGL’s October meeting for election of officers. The Nominating committee will consist of all members, and a slate of officers will be voted on at the October 28 meeting. We are still looking for a President, Vice President, plus a Recording Secretary to replace Davis Patterson, who is stepping down. Treasurer Gayle Garman and Corresponding Secretary Ellen Hewitt will continue.

Treasurer’s report

  • Gayle Garman reported no money was spent or received during the recent month. Upcoming expenses will include payment for three-part brochure printing, and a nice donation was received from Ruth Callard that will be reported on next month.

Other activities and updates

  • Karen Ko reported on her recent visit to the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce. She suggested FOGL attend a Chamber of Commerce Meeting to advise them about FOGL activity, and how the health of the lake impacts businesses around the lake. Brian DeLuca will contact Karen and try to attend the next C of C meeting.
  • Seattle City Council is holding two Seattle City Budget Meetings in October, on the 7th and 23rd of the month. The City Budget will be voted on in late November. It’s important to keep the upcoming alum treatment in the budget. FOGL could send an email to the Green Lake Community Council/Friends of Green Lake mailing list on this subject.

Adjourned at 9:00 PM.