Meeting Minutes 05/16/2005

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Monday, May 16, 2005 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Jim Boyd, Brian Cressman, Jack Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Stephanie Hunter, Diane Imredy, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Debbie Johnson, Amanda Koeller, Theresa Leite, Harvey Mieske, Deb Norbotten, Marian Williams, and Doug Wood.

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

Budget Update
Deb Norbotten reported that the budget is the same as the last meeting, with a $544.27 checking balance. She stated that we need to keep a minimum of $500.00 in the account, and that current fund raising efforts include the June garage sale. Future fund-raising ideas discussed included a letter to neighbors asking for tax-free donations around the end of the year, and a neighborhood car wash.

Chip Spreading
Doug Wood reported that the Cub Scouts came and did a phenomenal job of spreading 15 yards of wood chips. They volunteered about 25 hours, which included ½ of the parents helping out too. Doug hopes that this effort will be repeated next year. Tom is sending a "thank you" letter to the Cub Scouts for all of their help.

The city of Ann Arbor will deliver more chips, and the kids will help spread them, as a school project, before the end of the year.

Both Doug Wood and Jim Boyd expressed that they would like to see some sort of FoDW signage put up with the City signs around Dicken Woods.

Dames Rocket removal
Stephanie and Ray Hunter have been removing Dames Rocket from the woods. Their work is almost completed; they have just one small corner to finish up before the heavy pollination season.

Stephanie also mentioned that the River Raisin Raptor Center is having an open house. She plans on attending and encouraged others to do the same.

Fallen Trees
Marian Williams asked if the Friends have thought about what to do with the large number of fallen trees in the woods. After further discussion, it was decided that we should put more thought into this and try to get more feedback from others regarding issues of habitat and other aspects of fallen trees.

Grants Plan
Tom Ivacko emailed Mary Anne Jaeger for her input, and she replied that the Fall is definitely the best time to do the Grants. The best guess is simply based on last year's experience, so a goal of $1,000 is good for now.

Officer Nominations
Tom Ivacko explained that he has not received any other nominations via the FoDW website. The floor was opened for further nominations, but none were made. Therefore the nominations that Erik Stalhandkse had previously made will be the only officer nomiations: Tom Ivacko for president; Naela Jenkins and Bob Palmer for co-vice-presidents; Deb Norbotten for treasurer; and Amanda Koeller for secretary. In addition, Erik and Jim Boyd are resigning their positions at this point, so it is expected that the Steering Committee will vote in the next few days on appointing Tom as interim president to replace Erik, Bob as interim co-vice-president to replace Tom, and Amanda as interim secretary to replace Jim. These interim appointments would be in effect until the elections in September.

By-Law Changes
Jack Eaton distributed the proposed by-law changes. Tom reviewed the changes, and the floor was opened for questions and comments. The group unanimously voted them into effect. The by-laws can be viewed by accessing the FoDW website and going under the "About the Friends" section.

June 4th Workday Plans
Doug Wood stated that the workday is scheduled for 6/4/05 from 9 - 12noon. NAP will supply volunteer workers, hardware, snacks and beverages. All neighbors are welcome. NAP may require that parents sign a permission slip, allowing kids to work in the Woods. Last year there were about 50 volunteers. Jobs will be divided once people get there. Doug also suggested bringing gloves for trash removal. Doug will send out an email to all, giving details of this event.

Following the event, NAP plans to walk through the woods with Doug, Stephanie and Deb Norbotten (others welcome too) to learn about what FoDW has done. Doug stated that Dicken Woods is a great example for NAP, and what they are trying accomplish in different communities. Doug Wood also mentioned that he learned that NAP is in the process of organizing a new Stewardship program for different regions, and that Ann Arbor will be included. The objective is for clusters of people to share the same resources and use an assortment of facilities.

June Garage Sale
Brian Cressman passed around a sign-up sheet for people to work the Garage Sale. Brian is putting an advertisement in the paper. He is also making a Flyer, and will distribute it via email to the FoDW membership. He is also going to write a blurb for the Dicken Data Newsletter, and he plans to get help from Bob Palmer making copies and sending it home via backpacks with the school kids. Brian stated that he is planning on the following schedule:

  • People can drop off items to his house at 1450 Las Vegas Dr. anytime from 6/17 - 6/23/05. He needs to borrow tables to display items, as well.
  • Thursday 6/23 6-8p.m.: Moving big items, organizing and pricing.
  • Friday 6/24 7-9 a.m.: Setup and last minute pricing
  • Friday 6/24 9-5p.m.: Open Garage Sale
  • Saturday 6/25 9-4p.m.: Open Garage Sale
  • Saturday 6/25 4-6 p.m.: Take unsold items to ReUse Center, and Salvation Army

Scheduling for 2005 - 2006
Deb Norbotten wanted to get an idea of when she should book the Media Center for meetings for the next school year. After discussion, it was concluded that next year's meetings would take place during the following months: Sept. 2005, Nov. 2005, Jan. 2006, Mar. 2006, and May 2006. Actual dates will depend on availability.

Perimeter Beautification Project
Tom Ivacko stated that the FoDW survey lead to a suggestion for a beautification process along the perimeter of the woods, including the corner of Maple and Pauline. Subsequent discussion at the last general meeting put this as a high priority. Doug Wood will organize and lead an effort to identify different options that we have available there, and give recommendations to the Steering Committee. Planting native flowers, controlling the buckthorn and installing a sign were discussed.

Doug also stated that he had noticed the people were veering off of the pathways and creating various paths that we did not want in the woods, due to danger and maintenance reasons. He suggested possibly taking some of the falling trees and laying them next to the higher traffic areas to keep people on the pathways.

Fall Event
Brian Cressman and Naela Jenkins suggested doing a Fall Halloween event in the woods. Some ideas were having cider and donuts, and creating different Halloween paths for older and younger kids. Naela suggested looking at what the Leslie Science Center does for ideas. This idea was very well received and will be further discussed at the next meeting.

Meeting closed at 8:40 p.m.

Minutes by Amanda Koeller