Meeting Minutes 09/26/2006

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

DRAFT Minutes for the Wednesday, September 26, 2006 meeting at Dicken Elementary School

Attending were Jim Boyd, Jack Eaton, Inge Ferguson, Jim and Sandy Foulke, Marcia Higgins, Stephanie Hunter, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, John Krienke (Lions Club representative), Amanda Koeller, Jayne Miller (City of Ann Arbor), Bob Palmer, John Siv (Lions Club representative), Sally Steward, Marian Williams, and Doug Wood.

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

Minutes were accepted from the 5/17/06 meeting.

City Millages
Jayne Miller, Community Services City Administrator for Ann Arbor, discussed the details of the Open Space and Parkland Preservation Millages, on the fall 2006 ballot in Ann Arbor. Both Jayne and Marcia Higgins, City Council Member from the 4th Ward, responded to questions from the members.

Presentation by the Lions Club
Tom Ivacko then introduced John Krienke and John Siv, members of the Ann Arbor Lions Club. Mr. Krienke explained that they were attending the meeting because the Lions Club is trying to increase exposure and exchange services with other non-profit organizations. He encouraged everyone to attend their meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, over lunch at Webers.

Mr. Krienke suggested that the Lions could possibly help in the woods on workdays and FoDW members may be able to attend their annual fundraising golf outing. He stated that the Lions would like to work with FoDW because both groups focus on children. The Lions hold an annual Peace Poster contest, in which elementary kids win bonds. Sally Steward, FoDW member and Kindergarten teacher at Dicken, discussed possible connections between the Lions Club and Dicken Elementary School.

Budget Report
Tom reported that the organization currently has $3976.88 in the bank. He stated that since the last FoDW meeting in May, there were new expenses of $215.91 for flowers and plants, nonprofit organization registration fees, and DW Stewardship Day expenses, as well as $100 of new revenue from donations. Jack Eaton made a motion to approve all expenses incurred, and it was unanimously approved on a voice vote.

Tom described the success of last year's fall fundraising letter, and suggested that the organization do another letter before the end of this year. All agreed. Based on Naela's letter from fall 2005, Tom said that he would draft a letter for review by the Steering Committee. He also stated that the Max & Erma's Fundraiser was a success, and that FoDW could do that again in the spring, which also received general approval from the members in attendance.

Bird Surveys
In May and June, Stephanie and a bird expert did two surveys of the bird species in Dicken Woods. They were pleasantly surprised at the variety found. The information compiled was then sent to the City Ornithologist, and it will be compared with other city parks and woods.

Grant Activities
Stephanie Hunter, Jack Eaton, Sally Steward and Carol Dekeyzer (Dicken 2nd grade teacher) are working on grant activities for this year, including a list of possible activities that the teachers may be interested in for this year, such as a bat exhibit, a beekeeper presentation, and a birds of Dicken Woods tour.

From last year's grants, Stephanie reported that the second grade planted their seed garden at the end of Carol Street, and also made a wonderful quilt showcasing DW leaves, which is now on display in the school. Also, with $170.00 that was still available after other grant activities, books on environmental topics were purchased for the Dicken Elementary library.

Interpretive Signage
Tom Ivacko recently recontacted the NAP staff to discuss possible interpretive signage for Dicken Woods, based on information from the city last spring. Unfortunately, the city will not have sufficient funds available anytime soon, other than for the most critical signage at the most used parks. Bob Palmer suggested that a sign could be a potential Eagle Scout project. Jack Eaton thought that FoDW should still pursue it through the city in hopes that they reestablish funds.

Woods and Maintenance
Doug Wood stated that the annual Fall cleanup day is scheduled for Saturday, September 30th. Removal of buckthorn will be a priority. Natural Area Preservation (NAP) staff will later remove the buckthorn and chip them off-site. Doug suggested that everyone attending wear long sleeves and long pants. NAP will provide (non-power) tools and gloves, but people can bring their own as well. Jim Boyd said that he will bring coffee, tea and juice for workers.

Stephanie Hunter said that SOLAR and Project Volunteer are sending approximately 20 people to help out with the Fall cleanup day.

Doug Wood also stated that NAP provided FoDW with great accolades in their most recent newsletter.

New Business
Sally Steward, informed the group that Dicken Elementary is celebrating their 50th anniversary in May 2008. She said that she would appreciate any input from FoDW in regard to celebrating this upcoming event.

Inge Ferguson stated that she was approached by Dicken Principal Mary Ann Jaeger in regard to toxic berries along the school perimeter next to Dicken Woods. The group discussed possible actions related to this problem.

Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Minutes by Amanda Koeller and Tom Ivacko