Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan

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A blue and green logo that says 2021 PROS Plan: Envision, Engage, Experience. Logo includes a smiling frog standing up and waving.

Restarting the PROS Plan Process

After suspending work on the PROS Plan due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to announce that the "re-boot" of the 2022 PROS Plan is now underway.

Follow along below and with the provided materials on this page for background information, updates to the process, and opportunities to engage in this important plan to shape the future of our parks and programs.

Restarting the PROS Plan Process

After suspending work on the PROS Plan due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to announce that the "re-boot" of the 2022 PROS Plan is now underway.

Follow along below and with the provided materials on this page for background information, updates to the process, and opportunities to engage in this important plan to shape the future of our parks and programs.

Guest Book

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As noted by The New York Times and many other major publications, the activity of mountain biking has numerous health benefits and works well in a socially distanced world. Moreover, mountain biking has seen extraordinary growth in popularity over the last decade, and that growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Other cities and towns around Washington State have acknowledged this trend and supported their residents by expanding mountain biking trails and training areas. In fact, Mercer Island's 2006 Master Plan for Luther Burbank included the bike track, which showed a need for it even back then, and that was before mountain biking's further acceleration in growth.

(As an aside, the 2006 Master Plan also proposed building a canopy tree house and an aerial ropes course above the bike track, which is also very intriguing.)

Overall, I would like to see the Upper Luther Burbank Bike Skills Area, which many Mercer Island residents refer to as Snake Hill, reopened and potentially expanded beyond its current footprint to support the growth of this activity on Mercer Island.

Also, in the future, I would like the City to directly engage its large biking community before making any major decisions that directly impact that community, such as the sudden closure of the Bike Skills Area.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jay Greer about 1 month ago

Friends of Luther Burbank Park thanks the city for the temporary shutdown of the BMX course that has had high levels of vandalism in Upper Luther Burbank Park in the past 18 months. Friends understands a consultant has been hired and visited the location during this "time out". Mountain bike youth have burrowed under mature trees to build jumps - some of illegal heights. They've build illegal trails and moved boundary stakes to enlarge the area from 60 feet long in 2006 to 320 feet long and 70 feet wide today. Upper Luther is a steep and silty open space park where the watercourse has to be piped to a retention pond at the base so that silt won't dump into Lake Washington. Myra Lupton and her husband, Homer had to dredge their sailboat moorage area due to silt from Upper Luther some years back. Friends of Luther Burbank Park members are eager to get the professional review known by the community. Until then, we thank the city for taking the only action reasonable to keep from incurring more damage over these winter months.
Friends of Luther Burbank Park board

sue about 1 month ago

A rain garden and native wildflower meadow downtown

The recycling center was build many years ago and the land for the building and parking lot was taken from Mercerdale Park. The agreement was that if the recycling center closed, the land would revert to Mercerdale Park. This seen to have been forgotten.

At least part of this oversight can be rectified. The south end of the parking area should be returned to the park in the form of a rain garden on the west end of the area and a native wildflower meadow on the east end. This would solve the problem of the parking area flooding every winter and improve the quality of water that flows into downtown's most polluted stream. Additionally, at least part of the original agreement would be satisfied by returning the parking lot to valuable park land. Both the rain garden and the wildflower meadow would provide valuable education for properly owners to see what can be done in a rain garden and maybe turning grass only walked on when mowed into native wildflower meadows for our pollinators.

rmoore about 2 months ago

Reading through the past comments it is amazing how much time has passed, including the accessible playground at Mercerdale Park and Luther Burbank waterfront remodel, both good projects, and good learning lessons for the sensitive process of developing our parks, in part because both began because they were necessary, not discretionary.

However, when I look through the capital facilities plan I see way too much concrete and impervious surfaces for a lot of projects I don't think would survive public scrutiny if subject to the process for the accessible playground (and its cost) and the Luther Burbank waterfront remodel, especially after the parks commission adopted a "no new net impervious surface" policy. Some of the proposed capital projects strike me as projects for projects sakes.

I am also surprised to not see on the list a new irrigation system for Aubrey Davis Park. We lost many, many mature trees this summer and last summer due to inadequate watering.

This is especially true for the Lid Park and much of Aubrey Davis Park, because that master plan was based on old thinking and a flawed process, before the parks commission was formed, and represents an antiquated approach to park planning in which the greater the surrounding population density the more green space is converted into recreation and amenities, until there is no more green space. In fact, the greater the surrounding population density the more critical green spaces and solitude are.

I have posted on the issues I think are critical for the PROS plan on ND. The elephant in the room is renewing the parks levy that expires in 2023 (and was pretty much DOA after the Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan but looks better now), permanently protecting park zoning, limiting park related development, off-leash dogs, mixed use paths and slowing bike speeds and the grant that is back before the legislature for more options on traffic calming in the Lid Park, and of course the cost of recreation programs and their fees.

The other issue is a very critical lifestyle metric, and that is park acres per 1000 citizens. Even in the 2014 PROS plan MI was middle of the pack for eastside cities, and with our exploding population that ratio has declined further. First the council needs to stop rezoning park land into commercial property, and second the city and council need to figure out a way to fund their promise to create more park land.

Daniel Thompson 2 months ago

I suggest planting a 100 ft Spruce in the old Recycling Center asphalt area to make sure that nobody gets the the idea to build something else there

briank 2 months ago

I would like to speak in favor of adding the rehabilitation of the “recycling” asphalt to Mercerdale Park.
It would restore the land to its native condition, reduce rain runoff and could be added to be native plant garden.
This is one way to increase Mercer Island parklands without additional acreage acquisition costs.

Bonnie 2 months ago

Proposal: Expansion of the Mercerdale Park Native Garden

I support a new proposal to decrease impervious surface and expand green space in Mercerdale Park. The asphalt adjoining the Recycling Center is seldom used, is rapidly deteriorating, and is in need of repair. This project proposes to return the southern one-half of the paved area to a natural state that would enjoin the existing Native Garden. The project would decrease impervious surface, remedy existing drainage issues, help to preserve local wetlands, and provide additional living space for native flora and fauna. Stay tuned at for more information. For questions, ideas, feedback, and/or to help us protect our parkland, please email CCMIP at

Thank you to the City for providing various opportunities for citizens to find out about, and comment on, upcoming issues, projects, and proposals.

It’s important for citizens who love our parkland to speak up and be heard at two upcoming Zoom meetings sponsored by the City:
1. Tuesday, September 28th (5:30-7:00 pm): Zoom Open House to gather Islanders’ input for the new Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan. This important Plan includes how Mercer Island parks & open spaces should be developed. To participate in the meeting, and in the small discussion groups, you must “register” in advance for the meeting using this link:

2. Thursday, October 7th, (5:30 pm) Parks & Recreation Commission Zoom Meeting. For information about how to register for and speak at this meeting, please email CCMIP at

Meg Lippert

meg.lippert 2 months ago

The demand for Pickleball has only grown. Please convert some tennis courts to be used for pickleball too at Homestead, Island Crest Park and Luther Burbank. Also, please convert the rarely used baseball diamond area at the South Fields to permanent pickleball courts (this leaves the 2 new, beautifully constructed baseball fields there).

MI Resident2 2 months ago

The initial virtual Public meeting on March 23rd, 2021 was not representative of what the community written survey demonstrated to be of the most importance to our citizenry. The Zoom screens were inundated by one particular small group of youth and their parents which has skewed the focus. The process needs correction. There was strong mention of mountain biking in Snake Hill...which is not even a park on Mercer Island. The city will be better served by an in person meeting on September 28th. We respect the effort to achieve forward movement during COVID but the first meeting did not allow for thoughtful park users to articulate broader park uses. Please work to make this process more inclusive - which may mean selecting spokespersons for different parks with timed comment periods. The first virtual public meeting was not at all representative of our fine park loving community.

sue 4 months ago

The tennis courts located at Luther Burbank are in need of repair. I support converting these courts into 12 pickleball courts in the near future.

Cro 6 months ago

I support converting the tennis courts at Luther Burbank into pickleball courts! Pickleball is a sport for ALL ages and abilities and such a great way to build community. Although the MI Community Center has indoor PB on certain days, there's just not enough courts available for families.

MIMOM 6 months ago

I think converting the tennis courts at Luther Burbank into pickleball courts would be absolutely fantastic! I can't tell you how many people I've talked with lately who want to get into the sport and Luther Burbank is an ideal location. There are many other places to play tennis on the island and this would become "The" place for pickleball. Pickleball is such an inclusive sport because it's easy to learn (hard to master!) and is super fun and social for all ages and abilities. I would strongly encourage the city to put in as many pickleball courts as possible. Luther Burbank is already one of the coolest parks around and adding the pickleball courts would just make it that much more special!

Billy Poll 6 months ago

Not a big fan of pickleball...I'm an oddity I guess; I am a big fan of making better use of Mercerdale Park...doing something with the Recycling Center that is sitting there. I agree with the person below re converting the Recycling Center into a multipurpose all weather event and exercise space and/or converting to a small outdoor amphitheater for summer concerts. Including storage and bathrooms for the the Farmers Market would be a big plus as well.

C G 6 months ago

I strongly support converting all Luther Burbank tennis courts to Pickle Ball. Four Pickle Ball courts can be made from one tennis court. Converting the three tennis courts at Luther Burbank to pickle ball would yield 12 Pickle courts. Although I am a tennis player and the MIHS girls tennis coach, I am a big fan of Pickle Ball. It is a more accessible sport - easier to learn, lower cost and can be played at a much older age than tennis. I recommend permanently lining the Luther Burbank tennis courts and installing permanent nets for Pickle rather than taping for safety. There will still be plenty of outdoor tennis courts available to the public on MI including the LID, Homestead, MIHS, Island Crest, and Secret Park.

Carol G 6 months ago

Wherever possible, it would be great to see more outdoor pickle ball courts. It is sport that everyone of any age can enjoy and is much more affordable to get equipped than tennis. The pickle ball community is an open one which invites anybody who shows up to play AND you can squeeze twice as many pickle ball courts in a confined area than tennis courts. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely LOVE to play tennis but I feel that community pickle ball courts make a lot of sense.

Molly 6 months ago

An ambitious plan for Luther Burbank would be to build a swimming pool where the tennis courts are and put the tennis or pickle ball courts on the roof. Mary Wayte Pool is at the end of many life times and that site could be used for other school district related needs.
The plant could be transformed into a high end restaurant and concessions stand that wold help fund park maintenance.
Make Mercerdale Park more active and better planned. The drainage needs to be fixed so it isn't continually soggy. The City could sponsor a design competition for ideas on how to better use it.

Lifer 6 months ago

There is a immediate and future need for outdoor pickle ball courts on Mercer Island. Please consider making the tennis courts at Luther Burbank pickle ball courts in the VERY NEAR Future!
Please also consider activating Mercerdale park by reworking the recycle center into a covered pickle ball court as well as a multi purpose COVERED OUTDOOR space for small concerts, classes, exercise groups, supporting the Farmers Market needs for storage and sinks/etc, and park bathrooms!

EastSeattle 6 months ago

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America. And, it has a huge following in the Seattle area and on Mercer Island. The community center was one of the premier venues for the game in this area. Recently the courts at Luther Burbank were transformed into pickleball courts to accommodate the closing of the community center. This has been a wonderful success. The courts are popular and well used by Mercer Islanders as well as others from Seattle and the Eastside. Reconfiguring and resurfacing the courts would be a great benefit to this ever growing pickleball community. And, as was the case at the community center, it will be an ongoing stream of income for the city. Pickleball players are happy to pay for their experience and support the town that provides that experience.

Tom Robinson 9 months ago

Hi. I would love to see some dedicated pickle ball courts on the Island. I have played tennis for years and am fairly new to pickle ball. Great game and great for multiple ages. I would love to see either more dedicated pickle ball courts on the island or existing tennis courts double lined for both sports. I see lots of comments regarding indoor pickle ball - this also sounds like a fabulous idea. Thanks!

Marcia 9 months ago

When it reopens, could the Mercer Island Community Center keep its indoor drop-in pickleball on MWF from 9 to 2, as well as on one weekend day, presently on Sunday (12 to 4 would be nice); additionally, could we have drop-in pickleball play on two nights each week, eg, Tues and Thurs from 5 to 9, to accommodate those of us that work.
Additionally, the 3 temporary outdoor pickleball courts at Luther Burbank Park should be formally recognized and maintained as such. Cleaning the moss build up on the courts and getting them painred would be so appreciated! The next step would be in the near future to convert them to 6 permanent dedicated pickleball courts with standing nets, which would make Luther Burbank a destination place to play and which could also easily be used when the in-door play at MICEC gets over crowded.
Please plan for growth in the long term. The number of pickleball players is growing 10% a year. This means that the number of players approximately doubles every 7 years.

Shara 9 months ago
Page last updated: 03 December 2021, 16:55