Year in Review: Abundance of Activities Kept Mirrormont Residents Busy in 2017

Grants, Programs Highlight Big 2017 in Mirrormont 

By Linda Shepherd 

The MCA offered more benefits than ever in 2017, thanks to your dedicated MCA Board and community volunteers. Several significant accomplishments are covered in articles throughout this newsletter, as well as below. Remember that the MCA is staffed by volunteers, and your dues fund most of what we do. Please take this opportunity to submit your dues (see https://mirrormont.org/product/mca-annual-membership/)!

To better serve our community, I applied for the following grants. Mirrormont was awarded a total of $13,301 in 2017, which enabled us to do projects that otherwise would not have happened:

$4877 from King Conservation District (KCD) for the Firewise Project on SE 146th St

$2644 from KCD for homeowner Firewise cost-share reim- bursement on SE 146th St

$1314 from WA DNR for homeowner Firewise project on SE 146th St

$2466 from KCD for Chipper Days 2017, which funded chip ping for 46 MCA members

$2000 from King County’s Community Service Area (CSA) grant for our Expanded Spring Clean-up

For 2018, we have applied for a $5000 CSA grant to illuminate the front Mirrormont signs, art-wrap a utility box at the front entrance, relocate the kiosk near the Tiger Mtn Rd entrance to a more visible spot, and subsidize CPR-First Aid classes. We will know in mid-February if the MCA is awarded any funding. Unfortunately, DNR will not be offering the Firewise grant that we’d hoped would fund Chipper Days 2018.

Firewise: After KCD Forester Jarret Griesemer identified SE 146th St as the highest wild fire hazard area in Mirrormont due to eight vacant lots and its proximity to Tiger Mtn State Forest, we mounted a major project to “firewise” the properties on that street.

The project launched in February with a Speaker Program “Firewise: Make Mirrormont Safer” given by Eastside Fire & Rescue (EF&R) Deputy Chief Tryon, Jarret Griesemer (KCD Forestry), and Linda Vane (KC Forestry). Over 35 residents learned how to be Firewise in high hazard areas.

After a pruning workshop in March, Firewise assessments of 18 residents’ properties, and much work by individual homeowners, the project culminated with a fuels-reduction work party on April 15th. EF&R volunteers Russ Gawler and Michael Cram, two of Brian Olson’s crew, Jarret Griesemer, and 14 Mirrormont residents pruned and hauled branches from 9—2:00. Those piles were later chipped.

Thanks go to Sheila and Doug Nast for helping to organize the project and reach out to their neighbors on 146th, to Jarret and the generous KCD Firewise grants—and to the volunteers who worked to make Mirrormont more Firewise for all of us.

Social events: We were pleased to host the core MCA community-building functions:

  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • MCA-MCC Picnic & Swim
  • Halloween Parties
  • Holiday Adult Social

Speaker Program: Aside from speakers, workshops, and tours mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, presentations included:

Mary Nelson initiated a Happy Hour before our monthly speaker programs to encourage more community building.

As Mirrormont Historian, I’ve been working with Dustin Cryer, who has been digitizing and restoring historical Mirrormont documents, including the original sales brochures from the 1960s—70s that announced the opening of each Division. These contain cool information about Mirrormont, and will soon be available for purchase on www.mirrormont.org/shop/. Did you know that:

  • The first Division built was “the boot” (aka “the sock,” looping around 260th to 263rd)?
  • Mirrormont once had streets named SE Squire Lane (SE 159th St), Hillside Dr. (SE Mirrormont Blvd.—the portion parallel to Mirrormont Dr.) and SE Forest Dr. (SE 146th St.)?

Historic Homes Tour: Organized by Kellie Batali and me, the tour started at the MCC clubhouse with historical displays about Mirrormont. Six homeowners graciously shared their homes with 24 tourists, plus we stopped outside the first two promo homes: The House that KIRO Built, and The Mediterranean. A wine and cheese social at the MCC clubhouse ended the fun day. The 2018 tour will feature different architectural styles over the past 55 years that make Mirrormont unique.

Welcome Committee: Connie Harris and I officially welcomed 34 new homeowners to Mirrormont with bags full of information and gifts, based on Kellie Batali’s real estate updates.

Charitable Endeavors: 

  • Heidi Kayler organized a Tent City drive and generous donors responded with a truckload of food and supplies, plus $500 in monetary donations.
  • Katie Nelson brought Bloodworks Northwest to Mirrormont, where 25 big-hearted donors gave blood.
  • Keigh Flack and Mary Nelson organized our Shoeboxes of Joy charitable event, to which kind residents donated items to fill 62 shoeboxes, wrapped by 16 volunteers. These gift boxes went to elderly and disabled people who may be isolated from family and friends during the holiday season. It is often the only gift they receive.

Thanks to Other Community Contributors: 

  • Lisa DeVogel revived the Gift & Craft Show. Sponsored by the MCC at the clubhouse, Lisa brought in 13 local vendors, including three from Mirrormont and two from Tiger Mtn Rd., and created a festive atmosphere for shopping and visiting with neighbors.
  • Ryan Zulauf sighted a new invasive, Rough Chervil, along Mirrormont Dr. Since it’s a poisonous plant, Ryan and his son, Meg and Chas Wade, and I filled 10 yard-waste bags to remove it before it spread further.
  • Don Bergenty repainted the north front entrance sign, which had been defaced by graffiti, and other concerned residents restored order and beauty after spates of vandalism.
  • Mirrormont Country Club has generously allowed the MCA to use the clubhouse for community activities.

Volunteers get organized for the Firewise Project on SE 146th St. For more information, visit the “Firewise Page”.