Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks (CCMIP), a citizen action group working since 2015 to protect Mercer Island parkland from development, sent a press release to the Reporter in January detailing the group’s 2017 action steps. Co-chair Meg Lippert shared the same information in a statement to the City Council on Jan. 9.
In 2017, the group:
1. In consultation with Parks Department, retrieved the third bench that was originally in the Mercerdale Park Native Garden and returned it to the Native Garden.
2. With Parks Department supervision, sponsored over a dozen work parties with volunteers clocking more than 200 hours to restore the Mercerdale Park Native Garden by removing invasive plants and spreading 13 truckloads of wood chip mulch.
3. With Parks Department approval, installed informational signs at entrances to the Mercer Island Native Garden.
4. With Parks Department consultation, identified and labeled 33 different Native Plant species living in the Native Garden, and researched, designed, printed and distributed hundreds of free color informational brochures featuring these Native Plant species.
5. Offered Native Garden tours and sing-alongs during Summer Celebration.
6. Staged the Red Zone rally in the park to support Saving Mercerdale Park and submitted more than 100 postcards signed by citizens to City Council members.
7. Presented numerous statements before City Council to share new research and to advocate for saving Mercerdale Park from private development.
8. Increased community awareness of the value of retaining Mercerdale parkland through social media, including an updated website, a new Facebook page, and establishment of a Friends of CCMIP group.
9. Researched, wrote and contributed relevant press releases and letters to the Mercer Island Reporter.
10. Along with former members of the MIHS Committee to Save the Earth, hosted the “Reuse and Re-purpose” Recycling Center Community Forum at Mercer Island Library.
11. Procured and organized hundreds of pages of historical records pertaining to the MIHS Committee to Save the Earth, including the original architect’s drawings for the Mercer Island Recycling Center, for permanent research and storage.
12. Designed and installed an informational display of historical records, awards, and memorabilia pertaining to the Committee to Save the Earth and the Mercer Island Recycling Center for public viewing at the Mercer Island Library from November 2017 to Jan. 13, 2018.
13. Hosted Saturday morning walks around Mercerdale Park with distribution of free “Save Mercerdale Park” T-shirts and shopping bags to park users.
14. Worked to facilitate the removal of MICA’s intrusive sign from Mercerdale Park.
15. Worked to stop passage by the City Council of a proposed costly measure to change the name of the Parks and Recreation Department.
16. Worked to prevent the unnecessary restriping of 77th Avenue Southeast.
17. Shared information about threats to Mercerdale Park through informational banners in highly visible locations.
18. Researched, printed and distributed informational flyers about threats to Mercerdale Park.
19. Designed, printed and distributed bookmarks inviting community members to informational events.
20. At the request of Harry Leavitt’s children, sponsored the Harry Leavitt Public Parkland Legacy Fund, which accepts donations to protect Mercer Island parkland.
See protectMIparks.org for more information and to volunteer.