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All About South Park

November 11, 2014 Community Meeting Minutes

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7:00 Introductions: We asked ourselves about our greatest environmental concern in South Park. 13 residents and service providers were present at introductions – concerns were: trash, T117, the Duwamish, Air and Deisel pollution, Deisel and trash, Air polution, our ability to colaborate to solve problems, Air pollution, what to do with oily leaves from the street, being able to distribute surplus food (eg from fruit trees), Port 117, Environmental Justice, walkability, please call PSCAA with air quality concerns, greenspace and habitat for people.

7:10 Acknowledgement of veterans day: We talked about the missing commemorative plaque from 8th and Thistle (see pic of the existing plaque below). Subsequent inquiry of a local historian reveals that the search for a good image of the other plaque continues as finding the names from the Veterans Administration is not productive as South Park residents were also students at Cleveland High and might be listed in that population instead. We also talked about the Catalpa trees planted by the veterans association on Thistle and Donovan Streets in the 1930’s. Details of a recent historical review also included in the appendix.

7:20 Announcements

  1. South Park Seniors Center, Dagmar Cronn announced that a Duwamish River Opportunity Fund has been received to fund the construction of raised beds at Marra Farm as well as other program enhancements.
  2. Duwamish River Clean-up Coalition (DRCC), Alberto Rodrigues announced:
    The Duwamish Community Action for Clean Air program continues to work on indoor air quality assessments with free training for residents by the American Lung Association and projects to address outdoor air quality coming up in the future.DRCC helped prepare four proposals for the Duwamish River Opportunity fund all of which were awarded funding, at about 80% or requested levels for most of them. a) Treeplanting in South Park and Georgetown, b) 8th Ave trail along highway 99, c) Community garden and food forest in Georgetown, d) Duwamish TribeDuwamish Valley Youth Corps has been active in projects in South Park including an upcoming cleanup of the skatepark and work on the 8th Ave trail.  They are a new project under the guidance of Carmen Martinez.The EPA revised decision on how much and when to clean-up the Duwamish River is expected in late November/ early December.
  3. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), Sarah responded to discussion about grow-ops saying that marijuana (or any other) odor detected at the fenceline (eg. something you can smell when passing by on the sidewalk or in the alley) is an infraction and can be reported to PSCAA 800-552-3565 or online at noted that there are other aspects of being a good neighbor which business owners can be petitioned for. It was noted that the business owner has not made attempts to be accessible to the community to express concerns.

7:30 Police Report

Officer Berg reported that Juan Colorado has been closed at night, cars are being dumped (Donovan, 8th Ave trail, Marra Farm).

He has also noted some domestic violence disturbances and people living in or dealing drugs from vehicles.

Officer Berg indicated that having information about what kind of drug activity was going on is helpful in eventually getting a warrant.  If the house is owner-occupied, a narcotics search warrant will be required before action can be taken.  Rented premises are easier to act on.  Seattle Housing can result in a 3-day notice to vacate.

Greater Duwamish District Council (GDDC), SPNA co-president Brooke recommended the appointment of alternates, Lora Suggs and Irene Stupka, as delegates from the South Park Neighborhood Association to the GDDC. She affirmed that Yue Pitre of the Department of Neighborhoods has indicated that any number of alternates may be named.

MOTION: (Dagmar, George) To identify Irene Stupka and Lora Suggs as allternate delegates to the Greater Duwamish District Council.  Passed unanimously.

Fundraising Sub-committee – It was asked why fundraising is needed or what SPNA uses funds for.  At the moment funds are used for neighborhood clean-ups, semi-annual potlucks and to provide materials for tabling at events.

MOTION: (Dagmar, Betsy) To estalish a committee as a standnig committee of the SPNA for fundraising.  Passed unanimously.

T117 Clean-up, Ray Koruyawa reported that on December 1st work will be restarted for the dredging.  In June 2015 the South Park side restoration work will commence.

He was asked about the pond forming in the restoration area. This area is not draining as effectively as anticipated as the underlying native soil is not porous enough to drain as expected. Currently, the site is secured and with existing water storage and infiltration the excess is not causing a problem.  Ponding will be eliminated when the site restoration happens.

7:55 Depave the Duwamish/ Climate Change Resilience,  Cari Simpson (rain garden maven), Hanna Ket (sustainable Seattle) and Michael Lewis (community artist) presented information about their joint project.

Basing their project on success of Portland and Highland Park Improvement Club these instigators have decided to try removing unused asphalt areas in South Park. With King County funding they are now on the hook to remove 10,000 sq ft of asphalt.

They are seeking additional site where they can remove asphalt, plant trees, install raised beds. These areas in South Park are not a part of combined sewer.  They all drain to the river, thus improving water quality of runoff is important.

It was asked whether the project might include permeable asphalt to support industry it was noted that any costs of this would have to be borne by the landowner (or additional funding).

Aerial surveys have identified 300 potential sites in South Park and Georgetown but further investigation on the ground is required to determine whether depaving at any of these locations is feasible. Using a cellphone and GPS it is possible for community members to participate in this.

Future community participation will involve kicking asphalt and planting. Use of recycled asphalt is also involved.  A student at Antioch is experimenting with the growing of weeds on the removed asphalt.  About 100 tons will be removed and recycled.

Part II Climate Change Resilience

Cari, Hanna and Michael are also working on an outreach project to explore how the issue of climate change affects members of our community. Information was gathered from those present about what they think of when they consider the term climate change and how they can help our community cope with or prepare for it.

Discussion included mention from Sarah (PSCAA) that 20% reduction in hydropower will result from reduced snow cap and the need to protect salmon. Alberto mentioned that natural phenomena would be more severe – droughts, storms.  Some members mentioned that we will need to grow our food locally and that the population of Seattle is increasing (and part of the draw is that our climate is relatively moderate).

Michael Lewis shared with us the Burke Museum Waterlines Project Map (for which he was co-designer) which explores Seattle’s past landscapes including contributions from the Muckleshoot. Information is available at This map was distributed this year at the Duwamish River Festival among other events but further copies are pending a new printing of the map.

Michael also informed the community about a Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) funded initiative to launch emergency response hubs at community gardens in Seattle. Marra farm could be considered for such a site in South Park. Dagmar mentioned that there are individuals in South Park who have already expressed interest in setting up a hub in South Park and have taken the step of getting informed by attending the meetings or trainings of other South Seattle communities.

We discussed that major environmental events have resulted in significant geological shifts in the past (especially thousands of years ago and in the more distant past). Michael emphasized that the focus of the project is to value resilience in the face of an environmental event (ice storm, volcanic eruption), rather than to focus on panic.

An exciting event, the King Tide, is coming up on January 24th.  The tide will be at a seasonal extra high tide which can be observed at 8am Jan 24, 2015.  Look for celebratory observance of this event hosted in our community.

Next South Park Community Meeting: December 9th, 2014, 7pm at 8201 10th Ave S

8:30 pm the meeting adjourned


History of the Catalpas of South Park : pdf available here