Started 1 petition
Help Preserve and Protect The Saint Edward State Park Wetlands
Date: JANUARY 5th, 2020 Subject: PETITION TO KENMORE CITY COUNCIL FOR SAINT EDWARD STATE PARK WHEREAS, costs of the proposal to develop the field at Saint Edward State Park as an active sports venue has more than doubled (since 2016) to seven million dollars as shown in the “Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan” draft, page 93; WHEREAS, the city has lost over one million dollars in grant funding because the project has not met milestones set by the grant issuers ($750K in state-appropriated grant monies through the Recreation & Conservation Office; and $611K from a King County Council bond appropriation through the Youth & Amateur Sports Grant program. Funding is redirected to other qualified projects which have met timelines; WHEREAS, the SEPA scoping process in August 2019 identified over eighty (80) separate “environmental elements” to be studied and analyzed in a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with escalating costs if the city continues to pursue the project; and over 185 citizens submitted detailed comments on the state parks website and in person at an August 13th Open House; and a 173-page report from State Parks and the Watershed Company was released to the public on December 11, 2019, and posted at https://www.parks.state.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/14732/01-EIS-Scoping-Summary; WHEREAS, the proposal to install an active sports complex in the state park’s natural open space is in conflict with: The city’s stated priority in the 2016 “Imagine Kenmore Initiative” to acquire and protect “natural open space areas, such as forested, creekside and wetland areas as the second-highest priority for funding when compared to meeting other parks, recreation and multi-modal transportation improvements within the city” (PROS Plan draft, page 25); and the ETC Institute Survey which ranks access to natural areas/reserves & nature trails as a top priority (PROS Plan draft, Appendix B, pp. 150 & 299); WHEREAS, the PROS Plan draft fails to recognize regular, ongoing use of the field and wetlands at Saint Edward by: The general public for passive outdoor recreation pursuits; Many youth who participate in local outdoor environmental education programs and activities conducted by well established non-profit organizations, Many more youth who will participate in programs and activities through the newly established Saint Edward State Park Environmental Education & Research Center; WHEREAS, the PROS Plan fails: To include economic and health benefits associated with participation in passive outdoor recreation activities in equal measure with those identified for active sports (PROS Plan draft, Chapter 4, Demand Need and Analysis, pages 66 -72); and To adequately address climate resiliency & green infrastructure practices identified as a key trend for parks (Chapter 4, page 44) in plans to develop the Saint Edward field and wetland; WHEREAS, King County Countywide Planning Policies (CPP) reviewed by the Kenmore City Council on November 25, 2019, are scheduled to become effective in the city on January 23, 2020, for the adoption of best practices to include #2 - “Look for opportunities for shared use of buildings, fields, parking and other facilities between the city or county and the school district” that recognizes “the role of land use planning in shaping [an] environmentally sustainable and economically viable future for all people of King County”; WHEREAS, partnership agreements between cities and school districts are a well-documented means of providing environmentally responsible & cost-effective venues to meet the needs of youth sports leagues: THEREFORE, we, the undersigned, ask the Kenmore City Council to remove the “Saint Edward State Park Ballfield” development project from the 2019 “Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan"; and redirect funds to other projects in accordance with fiscally and environmentally responsible principles and practice.