Meeting Minutes 01/26/2005

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Wednesday, January 26, 2005 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Amanda Kohler, Leslie Westbury, Rich Westbury, Deb Norbotten, Stephanie Hunter, Harvey Mieske, Raylene Mieske, Debbie Johnson, Marlene Gates, Mike Champion, Burt Perry, Doug Wood, Kay Holsinger, Brian Cressman, Tom Ivacko.

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

Letters from students. Tom reviewed the set of letters from Leslie Lawther's 4th grade class, thanking the FoDW for the grant-funded activities in DW and for the raptor presentation by Dody Wyman from the River Raisin Raptor Center.

Candlelight walk. Stephanie Hunter reviewed plans for the upcoming Midwinter Candlight Walk. Lots of advertising has been done through the school, over 100 luminaries have been made by the students under Theresa Erickson's guidance, refreshments are coordinated and volunteers have been lined up. A large turnout is expected.

Raptor presentation. Stephanie reviewed the recent school raptor presentations by Dody Wyman. Also, the screech owl houses have been built (many thanks to Burt Perry!) and the trees on which to hang the houses were selected by Dody and the students. It is expected that Dody will release screech owls into DW in August, if there is not yet already a population in DW.

Budget update. Deb Norbotten reported that FoDW has $569.16 in the bank account, after accounting for all the grant funding to Dicken School. There were still some minor expenses related to the screech owl houses that will come out of that account balance.

Trails and related issues. Doug Wood reported that all trails work has been completed, though of course there will be ongoing maintenance such as new wood chips this spring. Doug noted that plans are moving forward with the city for the installation of the new fencing at the end of both Dicken Drive and Carol Street. The fencing will be a kind of split rail synthetic log offset design that should be visually appealing, low maintanance, and will allow access for dumping future wood chips close to the paths. Doug also reported updates on buckthorn removal by a handful of people, and the understanding that the city is still planning to install signs at DW at some future point.

Newsletter/announcements Bob Palmer led discussion of the newsletter, asking questions about our goals, who the audience should be, etc. Comments were made, including that we should consider submitting notices for the NAP newsletter, that we should more regularly update the website, and that we should regulary get updates into the Dicken Data school newsletter. Also, we should always have an up-to-date brochure that can be left with businesses.

Survey results. Tom reviewed the results of the online activities planning survey. 49 completed surveys were submitted in the 2 week survey period in fall 2004. It was agreed that FoDW will take its time to assess the results, and rather than make any quick decisions about future activities, will begin a longer term review and planning process for future activities, using the survey results to help inform the planning. One suggestion for next steps focused on installing directional and informational (i.e., info on the vegetation, watershed, wildlife, etc.) signs within DW. Stephanie reported on her meeting with Paul Cousins, including his suggestion that FoDW should inventory the points of interest within DW to use as part of the planning process for future activities.

Frog/bird survey. Stephanie has a friend who is willing to conduct a bird survey in DW. Brian Cressman and Marlene Gates volunteered to conduct a survey on frogs, salamanders, etc.

Spring work day. Doug reported that the spring cleanup/work day in DW will be on Saturday June 4 from 9:00am - 12:00pm. More info on this will be forthcoming.

The meeting ended at 8:46pm.

Minutes by Tom Ivacko

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