Meeting Minutes 01/10/2007

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

DRAFT Minutes for the Wednesday, January 10, 2007 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Jack Eaton, Stephanie Hunter, Tom Ivacko, Robyn Javornisky, Naela Jenkins, Debbie Johnson, Amanda Koeller, Linda Dills, Mason Barr, Jim Foulke, Sandy Foulke, Marian Williams, Burt Perry, Nan Perry, Linda Pickl, Leslie Westbury, Rich Westbury, and Doug Wood

Tom Ivacko chaired the meeting and opened proceedings at 7:00p.m.

Minutes were accepted from the 9/26/06 meeting.

Budget Report
Tom Ivacko reported that the organization currently has $5,021.88 in the bank. He stated that since the September meeting, there was approximately $1200.00 in grant payments and miscellaneous expenses paid out, and we received $2245.00 from our fundraising letter. Last year at this time, we had approximately $2489.00 in our bank account. Tom suggested that the group should now think about what the funds should be targeted towards, including things like Dicken Woods signage, seating, plants, trees, etc… Tom summarized the donations, including that 28 households donated, compared to 29 in fall 2005. The 28 households that donated in fall 2006 included 13 new households that did not donate in the previous year. Discussion followed as to why some of those who donated previously did not in 2006. A suggestion was that future fundraising efforts should include some that are targeted to specific expenses or activities. Other suggestions included that we should have better publicity/information created for display during the Midwinter Candlelight Walk, and that we might consider doing another survey of our members to learn more.

Naela Jenkins volunteered to coordinate the Max & Ermas fundraiser again, and said she would look into April dates, for shortly after the school's Spring Break. She said that she would work on a flyer to distribute at the Midwinter Walk. There was also discussion about possibly distributing flyers to doorsteps around the neighborhood.

Grant Activities
Stephanie Hunter reported that all of the Dicken Elementary classrooms are receiving programs from Leslie Science Center this year. There will be 12 programs, including Bats, Winter Wonderland, Amphibians, Reptiles, Raptors, and Trees & Plants. This year the Friends will adminster the expenses, rather than having the school system do that, in order to simplify and speed up the payment process. Stephanie reported that the teachers are very excited about these classroom enhancement programs, and also that the Leslie Science Center staff are very happy with the opportunity to come to Dicken Elementary.

Woods and Maintenance
Doug Wood stated that there had been excellent progress in the woods, and that trails were in good shape for the Midwinter Walk. The trails were widened a bit after 4 loads of wood chips were delivered; nearly all of the chips had been spread already. Doug reviewed other goals, including removing more invasive species, and continue locating specific existing trees that we want to protect and then to begin work to help them grow. Doug also noted that FoDW will probably want to plant some smaller trees, working with the city's National Area Preservation (NAP) Division, as well as Scout troops. A suggestion was made that we might want to consider an "adopt a tree" program that might encourage families or individuals to purchase and/or help care for a specific tree.

Tom Ivacko thanked Ray Hunter and Doug Wood for all of the work that they've been doing in the woods lately. Tom also stated that a number of other people have come out and worked really hard, and especially at the September stewardship day, a ton of buckthorn was removed. Doug said that he was very grateful to NAP for all of their hard work that day, as well.

Midwinter Candlelight Walk
Stephanie Hunter reported the walk was scheduled from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 06, 2007, with a snow date of Wednesday, February 7, 2007. Over 400 luminaries have been prepared, over twice as many as last year, both by Dicken Art Teacher Theresa Erickson's Dicken students as well as by Ray Hunter. Based on the previous walks, a large turnout was expected, and so Stephanie was planning for a different exit route from the woods, to improve the flow of traffic through the woods and school. Stephanie said that after the walk, people will return to the school where we would serve cookies and hot chocolate, and have some of the recent Friends of Dicken Woods events pictures and publicity information on display. Jack Eaton made a motion to approve expenditures of $300.00 for cookies, hot chocolate and miscellaneous items. All approved unanimously. Tom Ivacko said that he would invite Jo Mathis and a few people from NAP as well as city council to the event. Numerous FoDW members volunteered to help in the woods and in the school.

Other Items
Tom announced that he had been in touch recently with Neal Foster, Chair of the Thurston Nature Committee, stewards for the Thurston Nature Area, and a subcommittee of the Thurston School PTO. Tom and Neal discussed possible ways for the two organizations to learn from each other, and to have more dialogue. FoDW members agreed it would be nice to have Neal come to a future meeting and present more information about their group and efforts.

Next Meeting
Tom stated that our next meeting will be held in April 2007.

Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Minutes by Amanda Koeller and Tom Ivacko