Meeting Minutes 04/05/2004

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Draft Minutes for the Monday, April 5, 2004 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Synopsis of April 5, 2004 General Meeting

  • $46,000 is in our bank account, and we are prepared to donate the funds to the city.
  • Trails have been generally mapped out with the help of the NAP.
  • A Cleanup Day is scheduled for May 8.
  • The Garage Sale is planned for June 26 and June 27.

General meeting began at 7:03 p.m., Monday, April 5, 2004.

Attending were Jim Boyd, Mike Champion, Brian Cressman, Jack Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Doug Wood, Stephanie Hunter, Diane Imredy, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Debbie and Merle Johnson, Theresa Leite, Burt Perry, Erik Stalhandske, Mary Unterburger, Marian Williams, Max Ziegler.

Erik Stalhandske chaired the meeting.

$46,100.39 is our current total in the bank, with $500 more in pledges expected before the end of April. There is general acceptance that history and the unwritten assurances from the city are sufficient for us to turn the money over to the city. A formal ceremony to hand over the check is favored. Possibly in September during a tree planting ceremony. Max thinks it is most important to have it when the city wants it, a ceremony could be held later. Erik would like to give the check to Ron Olson, for his past efforts. The city's satisfaction with our work, and the lack of interest from the Ann Arbor District Library, makes most of the present members comfortable that the city will maintain DW as a nature area.

The Trails Committee has been closely involved with the Natural Area Preservation department. Jason Frenzel and Laurel Malvitz walked DW last Wednesday morning. They found parts of the current trails would need to be moved to more level routes, and stick to higher ground. Orange ribbons were laid out to mark the currently proposed trails. They would like bridges over the wetlands. The trails have been laid out within the property boundaries, and in a circle fashion. The latter was a concern for the school, which wanted limited access to their property.

A Cleanup Day in May could focus on trail building, invasive species, and trash. Brush can be removed and stacked along the sides of the trails. FoDW can build corduroy bridges across muddy areas as we see fit. Non-native species such as Dames Rocket need to be extirpated when they bloom. We can start pulling Dames Rocket in May. Most of the large trash is concentrated around the old homesite.

The Garage Sale is planned for Naela's house the weekend of June 25 and 26. We want a "gourmet" garage sale with no item's worth less than $1. Drop off will be over one weekend, no more. Items will be tagged and cleaned June19. Jeff Jenkins will be available before the sale to pick up large items with a pickup. We will need to help from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the days of the sale. Naela will not want many card tables. She will update us on her needs. No concession stand is planned.

All kid stuff sells, but adult clothes and books don't. Tell your friends and neighbors about the sale. In early June we will send a note through the school, allowing parents to volunteer and contribute. Diane said we are already well publicized at Walden Village. Notice of our general meetings appear on all of their bulleting boards. Max suggest that Barnes Hardware may have items for donation before they move. Naela will contact them.

The microgrants are of great interest to Dicken Elementary. Stephanie's friend Dody presented raptors to the 5th graders. The school was very pleased with the owls, hawk, and Lily the turkey vulture. They would like it provided for all the classes, but there is too much stress on the birds to do more than one class at a time. Brian has offered to provide a presentation on amphibians and their calls. Although his presentation generally focuses on tropical species, he will tailor it to include local ones.

The Spring Cleanup will be May 8, from 10-1. The city will provide a truck, trash bags, and hand tools. It is not certain if a work crew will stay with the truck. Jason Frenzel of the NAP will help us prioritize tasks. Trash removal from the old homesite will be brought out to Maple. Trails edges will be lined with fallen brush. Dames Rocket will be pulled up and left where it was. Holes will not be filled, many are now dens. Buckthorn removal and woodchip distribution will wait for later in the year.

NAP recommends against power tools! Wear gloves and good shoes. If you bring your own hand tools, please identify them. Kids can help, but please provide appropriate supervision. Some snacks will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.

Long term improvements to DW will entail trail maintenance, cleanups, and fund raisers. A fundraising committee may be warranted in the future. Discussion of a pond and amphitheater was broached with Jason. His experience suggests we wait and see. The priority is to develop a nice trail that can be walked in street shoes. Any sitting areas within the nature area are likely to have negative as well as positive effects.

Dave Szczygiel of the AAPS said that DW is not a prime site for natural features education. Ideally, the AAPS looks for areas with a diversity of prairie, lake, forest, and wetland environments. He was very supportive of our planting a grove. He would like us to plant not only species that are native, but come from southeastern Michigan seed stock.

Jack Eaton move to close the meeting. Naela Jenkins seconded the motion. All were in favor.

The meeting ended at 8:37 p.m.

Minutes by Jim Boyd.