Haller Lake Community Club, General meeting March 7, 2019

President Ethan Bradford called the meeting to order at 7:33 PM. He announced that the food bank envelope was going around for donations for the Bitter Lake food bank. Karen Craddick reported that the street projects we were proposing got a lot of votes, with the possible crosswalk on N. 130th getting the most votes. Ethan explained how the nominating committee works and asked for volunteers. Rob Laing, as first trustee is automatically on the committee, and Randy Harkness and Karen Craddick graciously agreed to join him, but they are still 2 people short. Ethan is proposing that there be a few minor edits to our by-laws which must be presented at two meetings. The first is to change our geographical territory’s eastern boundary from 5th NE to 1-5 which coincides with all city maps. The second one is to clarify life memberships by changing the wording to say “a member who has been in good standing for 30 years may [rather than must] become a life member” and the third edit changes the wording about the slate of candidates for office, requiring only one rather than two for each position. The exact wording of each edit can be found on our website. Rob Laing explained how a strategic planning session we did a few years ago lead to these changes, and Ethan called for a vote to accept the changes. Motion carried.

The April meeting will feature a speaker from SDOT, and the May meeting will have a representative of Simon Properties regarding the major changes to Northgate Mall.

V.P. Randy Harkness then introduced the Forest Stewards from Northacres Park, Lisa Potter and Tim Jaureguy. Lisa became a volunteer forest steward after leading an Americacorps group doing a native planting session at the park. She has taken the 100-hour long Washington Plants Steward Program of restoration and sustainability. Tim Jaureguy has been a Forest Steward at Northacres Park for the last two years. He also works at Magnusson, Carkeek, and the Burke Gilman trail and volunteers for the Nature Conservancy. Tim ended up at Northacres after a Green Seattle training session, as he was looking for a park to restore, arid Northacres didn’t have a steward at that time. Northacres is a 21-acre mixed use park with a great variety of amenities, from the ball fields and dog park on the east to playscapes and a spray park on the west, with lots of wonderful trees and trails and open park space in between. It was acquired by the city in 1957 from the water district in a trade for the land where Ingraham High School was built. The first playground there was built by the HLCC, arid Randy told a story about poor design decisions by the volunteers when creating cement play walls.

Green Seattle Partnership was established in 2004 and is a city-wide effort to restore Seattle’s 2500 acres of forested park lands with the goal of completion by 2025 and is currently 2/3rds of the way there. The goal is to establish and maintain healthy forests for the betterment of Seattle. The organization brings together different corporates for support but counts mostly on volunteers. Their 2018 year in review reported that they had 76,920 volunteer service hours, planted 170,000 plants including 40,000 trees. All their info in on the greenseattle.org website.

Lisa Potter talked about how tenuous funding can be which is why volunteers are so important to the program. A slide show presentation showed what can happen to a forest when the evergreens are removed. Eventually nonnative invasive plants take over and choke out everything else. English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberries are two of the worst. Before Green Seattle was formed neighborhoods tried to save their parks, but it could be hit or miss. Healthy forests in our parks keep things cooler, clean the air and improve quality of life in cities. Variety in the restored forests keeps them viable into the future. Northacres has a good canopy of taller trees, and decent ground cover, but not enough regeneration of trees. Northacres had quite a few active restoration areas started in 2012, and then restarted in 2017. The objective is to not allow invasive species to take over again, and add lots of conifer tree saplings. The second priority is to focus on high user interface aesthetics, where trails meet parking lots, by removing some grass areas and planting with native species, mulch and woody debris to discourage walking on sensitive areas. Karen Craddick asked Tim if he found many needles and he said not as many as before. His theory is that positive activity discourages negative uses and it is a very well used park. 7000 native plants have been installed since 2017 with Earthcorps doing a lot of the work. Small sword ferns are stolen most often if they are in easily accessible areas. Tim encouraged us all to volunteer and the next work party will be posted on our website. Meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM.

Respectfully submitted by Shawn MacPherson
Secretary, Haller Lake Community Club