Letter to the Editor, July 3, 2019

MOU termination

Parks preservation group thanks Mercer Island residents

Four years ago, in June 2015, a group of residents began working to protect our Town Center public park from construction of a large facility by a private developer. When the city signed a Memorandum of Understanding three and a half years ago giving the developer permission to construct the building, these Islanders coalesced as CCMIP (Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks).

Building on the successful campaigns of previous citizens who had protected Mercerdale Park from other construction projects that had been planned and approved by the city council (including a civic center and, more recently, a fire station), these residents engaged in research, outreach, publicity and advocacy to protect our parkland for future generations.

As a co-chair of CCMIP, I would like to thank the thousands of Islanders who supported our efforts in myriad ways — by soliciting signatures and signing petitions, by writing and speaking to the city council, by generously donating funds for publicity and outreach, by volunteering over 850 hours with the Parks Department to revitalize the native plant garden (which would have been destroyed by the new building), and by tirelessly advocating for protection of public open space.

In this case, it took a village to protect a park. Quite simply, we couldn’t have done it without you. Again, thank you.

Looking ahead, given the history of development pressure on Mercerdale and other Island parks, it’s clear that citizens cannot relax until all of our parks are protected, like Pioneer Park, by a trust or by some other such means.

Meg Lippert

Co-chair Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks

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