Meeting Minutes 05/17/2006

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

DRAFT Minutes for the Wednesday, May 17, 2006 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Brian Cressman, Jack Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Stephanie Hunter, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Debbie Johnson, Amanda Koeller, Harvey Mieske, Rayelene Mieske, Deb Norbotten, Bob Palmer, Linda Pickl, Erica Uramkin (NAP), Leslie Westbury, Rich Westbury, and Doug Wood

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

Minutes were accepted from the 3/29/06 meeting.

Budget Report
Deb Norbotten reported that the organization currently has $4092.79 in the bank. She said that the increase since our March meeting was due to the Max & Erma's fundraiser, and a large donation from Donald McNair, the Eagle Scout whose project was the new DW footbridge last fall.

Vote on Officer Positions
Tom asked if there were any other nominations for the upcoming officer positions, and there were none. Naela Jenkins then listed the slate for the 2006-2007 year, as the following: 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.

The slate was unanimously voted in. At that time, Tom congratulated everyone and thanked Naela for all of her past work on the Board. He also thanked Jack Eaton for taking on the Co-VP position.

Grant Activities
Stephanie Hunter reported that the 2nd graders are planting their wildflower garden on June 5th and that they have completed their quilt which has as its theme the trees of Dicken Woods.

New Business
Stephanie Hunter noted that about $112 will be required to cover purchase of plants and related supplies for work in the woods. Following discussion, Jack Eaton made a motion to approve up to $130 in such expenses. Harvey Mieske seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.

Naela Jenkins reported that the Max & Erma's Fundraiser that was held on April 26th raised $357 and was a huge success. She thanked Bob Palmer and Jack Eaton for providing printing. She will post a paragraph in the Dicken Data Newsletter that will thank the parents for attending, and let them know that the proceeds will be used for next fall's Dicken School grant program.

Tom suggested that we keep this fundraiser an annual event, and advertise by passing out flyers at the 2007 Candle Light Walk.

City Tree Planting Program
Tom stated that he had been in contact with Mary Anne Jaeger, and she agreed that it would be very helpful if we could help with the replanting of trees on school property. She said that it would be approved through both her and the Ann Arbor Public School administration. The city is now investigating to see whether trees would be approved for the school grounds.

Doug Wood stated that he spoke with Jason Frenzel from NAP, and they will also help with the replanting of trees throughout Dicken Woods. He said that NAP will provide all of the necessary materials, including the trees, if we provide the labor. Doug said that he will work with Jason Frenzel and NAP to get this replanting project started.

Harvey Mieske suggested that we get large enough trees, so that the kids don't destroy them. Naela suggested an adopt-a-tree program so that we could teach the kids to care for them.

Woods and Maintenance
Doug Wood stated that the goals for the April 29th clean-up day were all met, and Erika with NAP concurred. Doug said that the area was cleared for the grant program's flower garden, fallen trees were moved off of pathways, signs were redistributed and the guard rail was removed. Tom thanked Doug for all of his hard work, and for being persistent with the guard rail situation.

Master Plan Review
Doug Wood stated that he sent a copy of the Master Plan to Jason Frenzel with NAP, who reviewed it and sent back comments which are being incorporated. Doug then reviewed the 1 year objectives from the Plan, noting that we are on track, and already meeting our goals.

He also covered some of the things we will continue working on over the summer, which will include:

  • Coordinating with the City Parks Department, to determine various details on the signage - Tom Ivacko agreed to follow up on this.
  • Working with Scout Troops for building projects.
  • Closing off a non-sanctioned trail that goes back by Stephen Terrace.
  • Moving plants and tilling an area with black eyed susan's - Inga and Lara are working on this.

Doug stated that he is sure, that with the help from the Scouts, City of Ann Arbor, and NAP, that we should have no problem meeting and exceeding our goals.

Tom suggested that we consider the possibility of seating that is more permanent in the woods, in place of the log seats as they deteriorate down the road. In regard to working with the city on signage, he said that we are unique in that we are close to the highest point in the City of Ann Arbor. He thought one option would be to have signs that educate on the effect of pollution and the flow of water from this high point down through Allens and Mallets Creeks, to the Huron River.

Tom suggested that we incorporate into the plan a detailed sketch of the woods, to show the various areas that are referred to throughout the plan. Doug said that Lara with NAP has an aerial map, and she is working on an electronic sketch of the Woods. She wants to work with us, to determine what we plant and track it.

Doug said that September 30th is the NAP Fall Cleanup day for Dicken Woods. General Fall cleanups will be Saturdays starting around September 1st, and going until it gets too cold.

Tom thanked Doug for all of his work on the Master Plan. Doug said that he is still fine-tuning some things, and that if anyone has any suggestions he will still edit and send out revisions.

Tom suggested that, given our successful fundraising efforts, we increase the Grant Funding program from $1000.00 to $1500.00, for next fall. Leslie Westbury moved that $1500.00 on grant programs be allowed this year, Tom Ivacko seconded the motion, and the group voted unanimously in favor.

Stephanie Hunter suggested that we should consider managing the grant funds in the future ourselves, and do the associated purchasing ourselves, rather than sending the funds through the school and their purchase order system. That system is slow and cumbersome.

New Business
Doug introduced Erika with NAP, who is writing a conservation newsletter on Friends of Dicken Woods. Erika said that she thought our group was unique, and that she would like to promote it as a model for other groups. She said that she will forward questionnaires to the steering committee to get input for her article. She also said that she will give us the results of the questionnaires when she is finished, so that we might use it for future gatherings.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Minutes by Amanda Koeller and Tom Ivacko