Meeting Minutes 04/02/2007

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

DRAFT Minutes for the Monday, April 2, 2007 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Jack Eaton, Stephanie Hunter, Kay Holsinger, Deb Norbotten, Christine Hahn, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Debbie Johnson, Amanda Koeller, Jamie Johnson, Jim Foulke, Sandy Foulke, Marian Williams, Linda Pickl, and Doug Wood

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

Minutes were accepted from the 1/10/07 meeting.

Budget Report
Tom Ivacko reported that the organization currently has $4,480.10. He stated that since the January meeting, there was approximately $77.40 in new donations and $619.18 in expenses. The new expenses included $173.68 for the candlelight walk, $200 in grants-to-classes expenses under the current year's grant program, and $245.50 to purchase trees and related supplies for a major planting program.

Grant Activities
Stephanie Hunter reviewed the current year's program and said that the teachers were very pleased with the activities by the Leslie Science Center. Tom Ivacko mentioned that we might want to look further into efforts to get the kids into the woods more, which was one of the original goals of the grants-to-classes program, in order to build a sense of stewardship for the woods by the school. Stephanie replied that LSC staff was great to work with, and would probably tailor their presentations to get kids into the woods. Naela suggested forming a committee to seek out ways we could offer different programs for the Woods.

Further discussion ensued about how the scout programs make use of the woods, and help in the stewardship efforts, and other options to get kids even more involved. Discussion focused again on the possibility of having school kids help spread woodchips, although it was mentioned that we've tried to start such a program and for various reasons it hasn't caught on yet.

Tom Ivacko made a motion to pre-approve $1500.00 for grants for the coming 2007-2008 school year. All voted in favor. Stephanie will pass the news on to the school.

Nominations for Officer Positions 7/2007 - 6/2008
Tom asked if there were any other nominations for the upcoming officer positions. Jack Eaton stated that he would like to nominate Doug Wood for President, however Doug declined, saying that he preferred to invest his time on "in-the-woods" planning and implementation work. Naela Jenkins then nominated the following slate for the 2006-2007 year: Tom Ivacko as President, Bob Palmer as Co-Vice-President, Jack Eaton as Co-Vice-President, Deb Norbotten as Treasurer, and Amanda Koeller as Secretary. Elections will be held at the next meeting.

Midwinter Walk
Stephanie Hunter reported that the 3rd Annual MidWinter Candlelight Walk was a huge success, not to mention very pretty. The art teacher told Stephanie that she received a lot of very positive feedback from the children and parents. Helpers at the footbridge location counted an estimated 300 people at the walk this year. Everyone is looking forward to next year already. On behalf of the organization, Tom thanked Stephanie and all the other helpers for the huge amount of work this event required.

Max & Erma's Fundraiser
Naela Jenkins reported that the Max & Erma's Fundraiser day is on Thursday April 19, 2007. The school also has a book-a-thon that night, and so Naela is going to adjust her advertising accordingly. Naela said that she is looking for helpers to go door-to-door and distribute flyers around the neighborhood. Flyers were also to be distributed through the school classrooms and via the website.

Eagle Scout Project
Doug Wood stated that Andrew Copp is doing an Eagle Scout project to improve the habitat garden area on the school grounds adjacent to Dicken Woods, where he will remove invasives, create a path, and add benches. He is scheduled to work on April 15th, and there will be a person from National Area Preservation assisting him. Any other volunteers would also be welcome.

Woods and Maintenance
Doug Wood stated that the annual Fall cleanup day is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th. National Area Preservation (NAP) will come out and the focus will be on removing buckthorn, and chipping trails.

Doug also said that he would send an email to all membership asking if people can come and help plant trees on April 28th. He said that the focus would be on getting them in the ground, and marking them. Doug reviewed the plan to plant about 250 saplings. The plan is well developed and has been reviewed with the city's NAP staff. NAP is interested in learning more from our efforts since they have relatively little experience with this kind of large scale planting effort. The planting areas will have been cleared and marked ahead of time, to make most efficient use of the labor on the planting day.

Tom Ivacko suggested that one possibility for getting school kids into the woods more would be to have Leslie Science Center work with the classes to track and measure the trees and use them educationally. Stephanie Hunter said that she would look into that possibility.

Other Items and new business
Tom Ivacko reported that an Arbor Day Committee associated with the school asked for funds from FoDW to supply the Dicken Elementary schoolyard with trees. Discussion followed and concerns were raised that this might be too far from FoDW's mission. There was also confusion about what exactly the Arbor Day Committee was requesting. Jack Eaton moved to table the discussion until we heard more from the Arbor Day Committee, all accepted.

Linda Pickl raised a concern about dog "waste" on the trails. She suggested that we do something to encourage owners to clean up after their dogs. Doug Wood said that he would check with Jason Frenzel at NAP to see about getting some temporary signs in Dicken Woods and any other suggestions he might have on this topic.

Doug stated that he and Ray Hunter received their pesticide licenses, and will soon be putting them to use.

Next Meeting
Tom stated that our next meeting date will be determined and must be announced at least 2 weeks in advance to give notice regarding the vote for officer positions.

Meeting adjourned at 8:14 p.m.

Minutes by Amanda Koeller and Tom Ivacko