MI Weekly

    A weekly update from the City of Mercer Island

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(For event details, visit the City's online calendar or click on a specific event)

May 1

May 7

May 8

May 11

May 14

Debbie Bertlin

Volunteer Opportunities 

City Hall Address
9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040


Monday - Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm

Donations Requested 

The Mercer Island Food Pantry relies on your non-perishable food donations to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
Click for more info.
May 1, 2019 | Vol. 14 | No. 18
Click to watch Council Meeting
At the April 30 Council Meeting, the City Council reviewed the history and structure of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services  Department and the current funding resources for the YFS Fund. Council directed staff to use one-time YFS Fund savings to restore the two elementary school mental health counselors eliminated in the 2019-2020 biennial budget.
As the City closed its books for the 2018 fiscal year, the YFS Fund ended the year with one-time budgetary savings mostly from multiple, months-long vacant YFS positions and increased Thrift Shop revenues. The one-time savings of $170,000 will be used to fund the two elementary school mental health counselors and YFS administrative assistant through 2020.
The MIYFS Foundation , a nonprofit committed to supporting the programs and services of the MIYFS Department, and the Mercer Island Schools Foundation , a nonprofit devoted to supporting student achievement, made a generous offer to provide temporary funding to restore one Elementary School Counselor for the 2019-2020 academic school year. While the City Council is grateful for this offer, they declined the funding in light of the budget and salary savings from 2018.
Mercer Island Youth and Family Services provides emergency family assistance, food-bank services, school-based mental health counseling, senior services, and youth programs including drug and alcohol prevention, diversion and early intervention, and volunteer learning opportunities to the Mercer Island community.
MITS_Volunteer98-Year-Old Volunteer Brings Energy to the City
Meredythe Glass in an interview on 
KOMO's Seattle Refined program
Meredythe Glass has been volunteering at the City's Thrift Shop for 12 years. With a friendly smile, she greets every bargain hunter who walks through the doors. Little do they know that 80 years ago she was an extra on the set of The Wizard of Oz...

She remembers fondly Judy Garland singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Now, at the age of 98, she attributes her longevity to having somewhere to go and something meaningful to do each day. Her enthusiasm to continue with an active and vibrant life are evident and inspiring to all who meet her! Learn more about Meredythe from a recent MI-Reporter article.

In 2018, 128 volunteers between the ages of 14 and 98 gave 13,105 hours of their time at the Thrift Shop (MITS), greeting customers, cashiering, processing donated goods, and staging the sales floor.

To bolster the success of this local nonprofit, MITS could use your help too. Contact store managers Suzanne Philen and Logan Ens to find out how; call (206) 275-7760. All proceeds support the City's Youth and Family Services Department.  
LetterboxLetterboxing Program Returns
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The City's popular Letterboxing program will soon start again this summer at Pioneer Park from June 1 until October 31: letterboxes are hidden in all three sections of the Park.

Participants can pick up a letterbox clue book from the Community Center, Luther Burbank Park Admin Building, or the southend Starbucks. Make your own rubber stamp, and start searching! Pioneer Park has 6.6 miles of trails for hiking, running and walking, so why not come outside and play?
Now in its tenth year, the  Letterboxing program attracts several hundred participants each summer, and is a fun way to encourage kids of all ages to explore the park's extensive trail system. For an easy way to get started, join staff on National Trails Day (June 1, from 10:00am-Noon), get your supplies and start hunting. Meet in the NW section of the park, across from Starbucks Coffee on SE 68th Street. Email miparks@mercergov.org with questions.  
BikeMay is Bike Everywhere Month
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Did you know May is  Bike Everywhere Month , celebrated across the Puget Sound area? What better way to enjoy the end of a snowy winter than by taking a ride outside, enjoying some fresh air, and staying out of gridlocked traffic?

During Bike Month, all types of riders, from novice to veteran, use their bikes to get to work and do errands, and some even join teams and track their miles as part of the Bike Everywhere Challenge. City staff typically form a team most years -- will your workplace join in too?

The most popular event is on Friday, May 17, when over 20,000 cyclists across Washington will participate in 
Bike Everywhere Day  (aka "Bike-to-Work Day"). The day is a great opportunity for first time riders: even if your bike isn't in tip-top shape, just make sure your brakes are working, pump up your tires, and blow the dust off your helmet.  Mercer Island cyclists will see thousands of fellow commuters across the region, and there is usually a support booth at one end of the I-90 bridges. Another newer favorite event is  Bike-to-School Day  on Wednesday, May 8 - check to see if your neighborhood or school is participating.

The City of Mercer Island encourages all residents to try out cycling as a means of commuting, making first/last-mile connections with transit, reducing traffic congestion, and shrinking your carbon footprint. Click here for 
bicycle maps  of the region.
Coming soon: a long-awaited City bicycle map for Mercer Island! 

Mercer Island Goes Green
GardeningSavvy Gardener Classes
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Planting the right plant in the right place is essential to growing successful plants with less maintenance and less watering!

Get your yard and garden-beautification diploma this spring with a free class on eco-gardening hacks, knock-out gardens, native plants, irrigation, and more. Check out the current list of classes here.

The City of Mercer Island is a member of the Saving Water Partnership, a regional group that focuses on conserving water across King County through education, rebates, programs, and other measures.


For questions and comments on the MI Weekly, contact
Sustainability & Communications Manager Ross Freeman at

ross.freeman@mercergov.org or 206.275.7662.