Meeting Minutes 05/03/2004

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Draft Minutes for the Monday, May 3, 2004 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Helen Barr, Mike Champion, Jack Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Doug Wood, Stephanie Hunter, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Debbie Johnson, Deb Norbotten, Bob Palmer, Erik Stalhandske, Leslie Westbury, Max Ziegler.

Erik Stalhandske chaired the meeting and opened proceedings at 7:02.

$50,000 contribution to the city. Erik reported that he spoke with the new contact person at the city regarding whether it would be OK from the city's perspective if FoDW waited to make the $50,000 contribution towards the purchase price of DW, until after our summer fundraisers. The contact person said she would contact PAC for further feedback.

Press coverage for cleanup day. Erik reported that he has contacted the Ann Arbor News to see if they will cover our May 8th cleanup day. The paper is reviewing this and we are hopeful that they will send a photographer and/or reporter.

Cleanup Day. Doug Wood reviewed the status of plans for the May 8th cleanup day. The Trails Committee (TC) has thoroughly planned the efforts for the day, including trails work. The TC has coordinated closely with the City's Natural Areas Preservation Division. A number of the early goals have already been accomplished. As for May 8th, the top priority is cleaning trash (large and small) since that is what we absolutely need the city's assistance on (removing the trash) and we have their commitment for. The next priority will be cutting the new trails, and that will begin if we have more than enough people on the 8th for trash removal (which is probably something in the range of 12-15 people).

As for trash removal, the city will have a truck at the end of Dicken Drive throughout the cleanup process. At the end of the process, they'll bring the truck to S. Maple Road where the large trash items will be. We'll need to load the trash onto the truck. People will gather initially on the 8th in the Dicken parking lot and will then walk over to the end of Dicken Drive. When it's clear how many people we have, we'll split trash removers into those will walk the periphery to remove loose trash items, and those who will go to the farm house area to remove large items and other areas to remove concrete chunks. If we have enough people at that point, we'll also designate those to start cutting trails.

As for trails, the areas to be cut will be marked in water soluable paint by Friday May 7. Branches that are cut will be left in the woods to help mark the trails. Other existing large brush piles can be used to further mark the trails and to cut-off the old open areas that were created by Atwell-Hicks when surveying for Crosswinds last year. If we want to further disperse any large existing brush piles, we can simply drag them further into the woods and spread them out. If the large piles are rearranged into many very small piles (or into no piles at all), they'll quickly break down. The new trails should be roughly 2 feet - 3 feet wide and cut high-enough so tall people don't get hit in the face by branches. We don't want to open trails larger than they need to be. Trails training sessions are available by meeting at the end of Dicken Drive at 7pm on Tues, Weds. and Thursday before the May 8th cleanup day. Eventually wood chips will be placed along the trails. At the moment, the city's supply of chips is spoken for, but if we can arrange for a truck to pick up more, we can probably get a large quantity free from the City's Materials Recovery Facilty.

The message from the TC is that we are ready and organized for a large work crew to show up on the 8th. And the more people we have, the merrier and quicker the work.

Bob Palmer is getting the cleanup day flyer distributed to all Dicken school families. It was decided that we should create a similar flyer that isn't specific to the school, and we should distribute it to the surrounding condo associations. Tom Ivacko will draft the new flyer and forward it to the associations.

Jack Eaton offered thanks to Doug Wood, Mike Champion, Stephanie Hunter, Deb Norbotten and the rest of the TC for all the great work they've done so far. Erik offered thanks to Bob Palmer for his work getting the cleanup day info distributed via Dicken Elementary. Bob noted that the school has been supportive. Naela Jenkins thanked Max Ziegler for his offer to bring Washtenaw Dairy donuts to the cleanup day. Mmmm, donuts. Naela will also be bringing lemonade. In addition, NAP will supply water and bagels.

A message to the FoDW mailing list should be sent out Friday morning, May 7th, to remind people about the cleanup day. Tom will draft the message.

Erik will contact Margie Teall so she and city council know about the continuing efforts of FoDW.

Caring for the trees we planted. Stephanie noted that NAP tells us we should make sure to water and provide mulch for the 2 trees we planted last fall. If residents at the end of Dicken Drive could do this it would be extremely helpful.

Finances. Deb reported on the finances. Including the recent $500 donation from a member that was earmarked for Dicken Elementary School microgrants, FoDW now has $46,620 in the bank account. After further conversations regarding prior pledges, we hope to receive another $2,000 towards the promised $50,000 contribution to the city. If those funds come through, and if our summer fundraisers (garage sale and concert) are successful, we could end the summer with a few thousand dollars after making our $50,000 contribution to the city. That would be a wonderful place to begin planning for future microgrants and other operations.

Taxes. Erik thanked Jack for handling our tax reporting obligations. Jack has filed for the automatic 3-month extension, and he is currently working on the necessary forms. Jack will forward further questions to SC members. The forms primarily require us to describe our activities over the last year.

Minutes to prior meetings. Jack motioned to postpone approval of the minutes from the March and April general membership meetings. Naela seconded the motion. Any interim comments on the draft minutes can be sent to Jim Boyd. All approved.

Garage Sale. Naela has drafted flyers for the garage sale, and she'll send them around the SC for comments. We hope to get the flyers into the Dicken School distribution system by June 1. The current plans show that items can be dropped off at the Jenkins' house between June 11 and June 18. Naela will be organizing the sign up sheet for help on cleaning and tagging items and for the sale days themselves (Fri. June 25 and Sat. June 26). Setup times for the sale days will begin at 7am, though the sale itself won't begin until later. Naela has contacted Barnes Ace Hardware and they have agreed to donate items to the sale. Naela will get a tax receipt form from Deb and will give it to Barnes. Barnes will fill in the value of the items.

Benefit Concert. Erik has been organizing the benefit concert. It is scheduled for Sunday August 29 from 7:30 - 9:30pm at the Ark. The Ark has been very supportive and is offering us a reduced rate charge for the venue. The musicians have also been extraordinarily supportive. We expect the concert to include George Bedard and the Kingpins, Matt Watroba, Al Hill and Whitley Hill, Dave Barrett, and possibly others too. Ticket prices will again be $20. Erik will investigate whether than can be claimed as tax deductible in part. Jack will work on the program for the concert, but will need help gathering information about the musicians.

Next meeting of FoDW will be on Thursday June 10.

The meeting ended at 8:10pm.

Minutes by Tom Ivacko