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What Matters on Mercer Island

Mercer Island has always taken pride in its parks and open spaces. The city owns and maintains more than 475 acres of parks and open space that help preserve the Island's natural beauty and woodsy character. There are three large city parks with beaches - Luther Burbank Park, Clarke Beach, and Groveland Beach Park. There is also the 120-acre wooded Pioneer Park, administered by the first Conservancy Trust of its kind in the nation, the 20-acre Park on the Lid over I-90, and numerous street end parks and landings. There are many ball fields, bike trails and picnic areas, as well as more than 50 miles of marked hiking trails.

Luther Burbank Park is a jewel of a park covering 77 acres of land. It has 4,000 feet of shoreline, a boat dock and fishing pier, three miles of maintained trails, as well as a children's play area, tennis courts, pea patches, and an off-leash dog run. In the summer months there is a sailing and kayaking program for children at the dock area at Luther Burbank.

Mercer Island has been a regional leader in sustainability efforts, with strong recycling, storm water quality and water conservation programs, among others. It continues to add electric car-charging stations. The city won the Green Power Challenge with Puget Sound Energy and installed its prize, a solar panel array, at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center. The City is also working with residents to promote the installation of solar panels on single-family homes.

Mercer Islanders have long appreciated the arts and how they enhance quality of life. There are a number of arts organizations on the Island, not only for those who do art, but those who appreciate it.

The Mercer Island Arts Council is an advisory board to the City Council whose mission is to nurture, promote and support high-quality cultural activities for the community. The Arts Council oversees the I-90 Outdoor Art Gallery, and administers public art. Its most popular program is the Mostly Music in the Park series of free summer concerts that attract thousands of visitors. They also sponsor Shakespeare in the Park and summertime outdoor movies. The Mercer Island Visual Arts League promotes and encourages the visual arts of its members and the community. Its members show their work throughout the year in local businesses and in the MIVAL Art Gallery in the town center.

Art Uncorked, an annual event sponsored by the Chamber and Mercer Island Visual Arts League, is an evening of wine tasting, art, music and food at the Mercer Island Outdoor Sculpture Gallery, well known for its evolving display of art. The evening features a selection of local wineries, breweries and cider makers many with Mercer Island connections. There are juried artists from both Mercer Island and the Seattle area, a variety of food trucks and of course music. Art UnCorked takes place on the second Friday of September Summer Celebration, Mercer Island's summer festival and a Seafair event, is held on the second weekend in July. It features fireworks, a two-day street fair, a parade, entertainment, food and more.

The Mercer Island Farmers Market operates from 10 am to 3 pm on Sundays from early spring to the fall months. Regional farmers sell vegetables, fruit, flowers, cheese and more in booths at the edge of Mercerdale Park in downtown Mercer Island. A variety of food choices, children's activities, music, and chef's demonstrations make this a weekly event for Mercer Islanders.

Mercer Island's sister city is Thonon les Bains, a beautiful city on the south shore of Lake Geneva in the Haute Savoie region of France. The two cities have been partners for 15 years. The Mercer Island Sister City Association, a member of Sister Cities International, promotes student, cultural and other exchanges between the two cities.

Mercer Island has a strong tradition of volunteerism and many clubs and organizations help make up the tight-knit fabric of the community. There are service organizations such as the Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs. The Mercer Island's Women's Club is probably the largest organization on the Island, with a membership of more than 400. The Probus Club is an active group of retired professionals who meet monthly to hear speakers on a wide range of topics. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5760, housed in the historic Keewaydin Hall on the north end of the Island, meets monthly. There are also many special interest clubs like the Mercer Island Historical Society, the Mercer Island Craft Guild, the Saddle Club, as well as clubs for the range of Islanders from children to seniors.

Three membership country clubs on the Island, as well as a Boys & Girls Club and the Stroum Jewish Community Center provide numerous athletic and social activities for people of all ages.

The Mercer Island Library is part of the King County Library System. It offers special events and activities for everyone from toddlers to adults.

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