Meeting Minutes 01/25/2010

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Monday, January 25, 2010 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Members Present: Mason Barr, Jim Boyd, Mary Duff-Silverman, Jack Eaton, Jim and Sandra Foulke, Stephanie Hunter, Diane Imredy, Tom Ivacko, Debbie Johnson, Harvey and Raylene Mieske, Linda Pickl, Leslie and Rich Westbury.

The meeting was called to order by Jack Eaton at 7:00 pm.

1. Guest - Jen Eyer, AnnArbor.com

This item, originally number five on the agenda, was moved to number one so the guest, Jen Eyer, could leave early. Jen Eyer explained that she is part of the community team of the news website AnnArbor.com, and they are launching new neighborhood pages in February. They have divided the city into 6 sections/neighborhoods. The neighborhood pages will look different, more like traditional newspaper pages, and they are inviting people in the neighborhoods, including Dicken, to contribute news and neighborhood interest stories on their website/blog. There will be a link to the Dicken Woods website on the Dicken neighborhood page. Ms. Eyer encouraged anyone interested to let her know if they want to participate.

2. Old Business

a. Minutes. Tom Ivacko moved to approve the minutes from September 2009; it was seconded by Jim Boyd and approved.

3. Finances

Jack presented the 2009 Financial Report. The balance forward from 2008 was $6,567.91. Various expenses for 2009 were listed, including expenses for the Leslie Science & Nature Center Grant, the Winter Walk, trees and perennials for the woods, and other items. There was a total of $1,750 in donations, including an anonymous $1,000 donation. The final balance for 2009 totaled $5,977.95. There was a move to pass the Financial Report. It was seconded and approved.

4. Updates, Reports, and Discussion Items

a. Fall Work Day. Stephanie Hunter said it went very well, and thanks to the U of M Students who so energetically helped out, all of the chips were used up, one of the goals. She also said there was a total of 497 work hours in 2009.

b. Elementary School Grant Program. Stephanie said that the Leslie Science Center program has worked very well in the past, so it will be continued, for a cost of $1,240 this year. She also mentioned that The Hands On Museum conducted an after school program for 5th graders. Brian Cressman arranged for the staff person doing the program to meet with FoDW members who helped to set up lesson plans for using the woods respectfully for various out of doors topics. The same person will most likely be doing a spring after-school program in the woods and will work with FoDW members once again to set up the lesson plans.

c. Winter Walk. Stephanie said that it is under control, and explained how it will be organized. She has sent out emails to participants detailing what they will be doing for the Walk. She said she found out that the butane lighters don't work well when it's extremely cold, which is why they were problematic last year, and she has some hand warmers to use with the lighters which may help make candle lighting easier.

d. Spring Workday. Stephanie said it will be on April 24. She asked if we want to try something new this year, such as getting larger trees from Global Releaf, planting wildflower seeds along the street edge, and ordering wildflowers for the butterfly garden. She said typically we spend about $250 for plants each spring. Mary Duff-Silverman said wildflower seeds don't survive well, and while wildflower seedlings are more expensive they last better. There was also a discussion about purchasing larger trees and shrubs, like viburnum and red twig dogwoods, from the Washtenaw Conservation District, which has the same pickup date as Global Releaf. The group was interested in buying some larger trees, shrubs, and flowers. A motion was passed to authorize up to $500 to Stephanie for purchasing plants. She will consult with Jason at NAP in selecting plants.

5. Memorial Tree Planting

Jack said that Marica Higgins is a longtime friend of Dicken Woods, and when her daughter died, we sent her flowers in Dicken Woods' name. Marcia asked if she could plant a tree in memory of her daughter in Dicken Woods, and asked if it could include a plaque. However, the city has a rule against having plaques, so we will let her know she can plant the tree but not include a plaque. It was mentioned that there would be other ways to mark the memorial tree, such as using GPS coordinates, installing a sign about memorial trees in the woods, or listing it in our pamphlet.

6. Officer Elections

Jack said last year there wasn't a summer meeting last year, so elections didn't take place in June. He said that we could have early spring elections. According to the Bylaws, if the president steps down, as Jack would like to do, the vice president becomes the interim president and selects a new v.p. Tom Ivacko said he would like early elections. Jack proposed having the election this March instead of June. Jim Boyd, who is currently one of the co-vice presidents, said he would help out if needed. So, nominations are now open. Deb Norbotten will find date options in March and let us know what they are. Jack said Jim is nominated for president, Linda Pickl is nominated for vice president, Deb Norbotten is nominated for treasurer, and Debbie Johnson is nominated for secretary.

7. Open time for other items not on the agenda

The Max & Erma's fundraiser was briefly mentioned. Naela Jenkins doesn't want to continue doing it, and will show the next person the procedure. Fundraisers will be brought up at the next meeting.

Tom made a motion to close the meeting. It was seconded and the motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Minutes by Debbie Johnson.

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