Meeting Minutes 09/26/2005

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the Monday, September 26, 2005 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Mason Barr, Jim Boyd, Brian Cressman, Jack Eaton, Inge Ferguson, Jim and Sandra Foulke, Stephanie Hunter, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Debbie Johnson, Amanda Koeller, Deb Norbotten, Bob Palmer, Julie Rupp, Marian Williams, Doug Wood, Jean Yoder and Max Ziegler.

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

Minutes were accepted from the 5/16/05 meeting.

Budget Update
Deb Norbotten reported that we currently have $1,413 in the bank account, and that the garage sale raised a total of $869 (included in the above amount).

Signage
Doug Wood indicated that the city had installed 4 new signs around the woods: Corner of Pauline & Maple, SW edge of wooded area on Maple, Dicken Drive entrance, and Carol drive entrance. Doug also indicated that the fence along Dicken Drive may not happen, but that he is still working with the City to get the guard rail removed.

Tree Clearing Around Electrical Wires - Tadpole Pond Damage
Bob Palmer updated on the meeting between the City Attorney's Office, DTE Representatives, Dicken Elementary Principal, Ann Arbor Public Schools officials, and members of the Friends of Dicken Woods. The meeting took place on Sept. 6th, in response to a recent clearing that DTE subcontractos made in the woods, which left barren a large area of the woods bordering the school property. The City of Ann Arbor was grateful that the FoDW caught the damage in the early stages, and worked with them, and that they were going to work on improving communications for all of the surrounding wooded areas.

Bob said that they came to some very positive agreements, which included the following for future wire clearings:

  • DTE will supply wood chips and long logs for lining trails, from the areas they trim.
  • DTE agreed to do their best to comply with future requests made from the City of Ann Arbor Forester.
  • Maintenance crews will plan to rotate on a 4 year cycle.
  • DTE has changed their communication process and in the future will aim to clear only up to 10 feet on each side of the wires.

Marian Williams talked to Abbots Nursery and Stephanie Hunter talked to Lodi Farms, they are both willing to donate some plants to refurbish the area.

New Steering Committee Members
Tom Ivacko introducted the new nominees as members of the steering committee for the period of 9/26/05 - 6/30/06: Doug Wood, Jim Boyd, Inge Ferguson, and Marian Williams. A vote was taken and all were approved unanimously.

New Officer Positions
Tom Ivacko explained the new officer positions for the period of 9/26/05 - 6/30/06, as the following nominees: President: Tom Ivacko; Co-Vice-President: Naela Jenkins; Co-Vice-President: Bob Palmer; Treasurer: Deb Norbotten; and Secretary: Amanda Koeller. A vote was taken and all were approved unanimously.

By-Law Amendments
Jack Eaton explained the proposed changes to the By-laws, which would permit the steering committee to conduct business and take votes by email. Amendments were discussed, voted on, and the amended by-law amendment was unanimously passed. The latest by-laws are available online.

Service Projects
Doug Wood indicated that he and Stephanie Hunter as the NAP Stewards have been working with a few different organizations to improve the woods:

  • The 5th Grade Girl Scouts are trimming and spreading chips on October 30th.
  • Eagle Scout, Donald McNair, will be building a footbridge through the SE side of the woods on the weekend of Sept. 30th. He will be there from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and will appreciate any help from the Friends.
  • Work has been initiated with the Master Gardener Program
  • NAP will be advising us on the best plants and bushes for the refurbishing of the tadpole pond area. NAP will also continue to advise on how kids could collect seeds and replant them, especially with rare and native species.
  • Inge suggested that the 8th graders from Slauson be recruited to help in the woods, as this would qualify for their mandatory volunteer/community service hours. She will look into it.
  • Stephanie suggested that FoDW get a gift registry to allow people to donate directly to the nurseries, for species needed in the woods.

Fall Weekly Work Sundays
Doug stated that Fall Work Sundays will continue from 2-4 p.m. every week, and that they plan to work on removing invasive bush, planting wildflower seeds, chipping trails, picking up trash, and clipping overhung branches.

Spring Cleanup Day
Doug explained that he would plan this to be earlier in the spring than we have done in the past, in order to catch invasive species at opportune times. Since NAP doesn't do their workdays this early in the year, we may then shift our NAP-sponsored workday to the fall. He will also request that NAP come in September, or as late as possible.

Development of a DW 5-year Master Plan
Doug said that he was beginning work on the FoDW 5-year plan. He is taking a similar plan for Black Pond Woods (provided by NAP) and is in the process of tailoring the plan to Dicken Woods. A draft of the plan will be brought to the FoDW steering committee and general membership for review and discussion. The plan will also need approval by NAP.

Grants
Tom introduced Julie Rupp, who is a first grade teacher at Dicken elementary, and also a neighbor and member of FoDW. Julie is going to be the FoDW-Teacher Liaison. It is anticipated that the grant program will move fast over the next few years. Julie said that her goal is to get more collaboration between the teachers, and she will help with the grant writing to achieve this. Jack Eaton suggested that more people volunteer for the grant committee to join himself, Stephanie, and Julie. At that time, Max Ziegler, Marion Williams, Deb Norbotten, and Brian Cressman also agreed to be on the grant committee.

Fall Event
Stephanie stated that the event will be hosted on Nov. 6th at 2 p.m. The plan is to do a short walk through the woods, over the new footbridge, through the new toad pond area, and back to the school. Afterwards, at the school, there will be cider and donuts, and the grants will be presented. Tom suggested inviting city council members and school board members.

Fundraising
Naela said that she is working on a letter to send to general membership, stating that we are seeking tax-free donations before the end of 2005. She plans to get this out in the next six weeks. She also suggested that we do a Fundraising night at Max & Erma's, where we would receive 20% of all dinners sold. Many people were agreeable to this. She also stated that the Mongolian BBQ does something similar, in which they donate 2 hours worth of all restaurant tips.

Officer Positions
Tom stated that in May of 2006, there will be a vote for officer positions for 7/1/06 - 6/30/07.

Meeting adjourned at 8:28 p.m.

Minutes by Amanda Koeller

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