Guemes Island Environmental Trust:

Waterworks Meeting, April 5, 2009

Present were Marianne Kooiman, Anne McCracken, Sally Stapp, Kit Harma, Diane Murray, Becky Stinson and Bob Anderson (representing the GEEC's)

Minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

First on the agenda was the information brochure being compiled by Connie Snell, Anne McCracken and Diane Murray.  There will be some delay in finishing this project because the brochure is on Connie's computer and she is still out of state caring for her father.  However, Anne McCracken described the brochure in detail.  One side will consist of potential problems associated with wells and septic systems and the other side will offer solutions.  We'd also like to list local resources (such as where to get water-wise appliance rebate forms, low-flow shower heads and water meters; also who to call for septic inspection). 

Diane's revised cartoon artwork with the slogan "The Guemes Aquifer is our Common Cup" was approved for the brochure and possibly a sign.  The Guemes Girls will be asked to help make a permanent sign that can be posted near the ferry.  Carol Harma may be able to scan the artwork so it can be sent to Connie for the brochure (need to ask her).

Skagit County Health Department will be asked to donate the copying service -- we will provide the paper. It was agreed to use blue colored paper and black for the typography with an initial run of 500 copies.

There was discussion about where to put the brochure:  in the Guemes Library, at Anderson's Store; at the Resort; hand them out to newcomers; ask realtors to give them to new buyers, have them available at island events like Fourth of July and Fall Festival.  Someone suggested that we use Google to locate Guemes Island Rentals and mail one to each address found -- ask the landlords to post a copy in their rental homes.  Kit Harma courageously said he would go door-to-door.

Sally Stapp reported that we have distributed 41 water meters and the brochure will give information on obtaining meters for those who have not yet purchased one. Bob Anderson will ask the GEEC's to help anyone needing assistance with installation.

Potentiometric Results.  Marianne has completed this project, which shows the general location of a major recharge area.  The next question is how these recharge areas should be protected.  The routine semi-annual water level monitoring is to be done in April by Marianne and Kit.

We have not heard any details about Devin O’Reilly, the student from WWU who works as intern with the county hydro-geologist in preparation of his Master's thesis on the Guemes aquifer system.

Next up for discussion was the Guemes Mountain Day planned for August 15th, co-sponsored by Skagit Land Trust and San Juan Preservation Trust.  There was a lot of brainstorming and lively discussion.  All of the following were mentioned:

-- Make it a general Environmental Fair

-- Have info on native plants

-- Have a Waterworks table

-- Invite Sustainable Guemes to have a table

-- Invite Madrona Center

-- Have a composting / recycling table

-- Set up a tent where environmental films may be shown

-- Invite AIA spin-off groups

-- Invite the produce exchange folks (Frea Woofenden)

-- Invite Skagit Slow Food and Skagit Beat the Heat

-- Have info on rain gardens and rain catchment

Becky Stinson talked in greater detail about rain gardens and low impact development. The objective is to slow down the rainwater, filter pollutants and add beautification to Guemes Island. On May 3rd there will be a Sustainability Fair in Oak Harbor sponsored by Skagit Valley College. Becky plans to attend and will get more ideas. Do we dare forge ahead on our own and construct a demonstration rain garden at Schoolhouse Park?  More lively discussion followed with a pithy quotable from Bob Anderson:  "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission."

Next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, May 17th, at 7 pm.

Submitted by 

Diane Murray


Tags: waterworks Minutes