Meeting Minutes 10/20/2004

Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes of the Friends of Dicken Woods Meeting Wednesday, October 20th 7:00pm

Attending Marlene Gates, Stephanie Hunter, Tom Ivacko, Naela Jenkins, Theresa Leite, Deb Norbotten, Burt Perry, Erik Stalhandske, Marian Williams, Doug Wood

Meeting opened at 7:05pm by President, Erik Stalhandske

Everyone introduced themselves and welcomed visitor, Marlene Gates. Marlene lives in the area and is interested in helping by volunteering to help maintain Dicken Woods.

The following areas were then discussed:

Budget-Erik stated that the Mayor received the ceremonial $50,000 check at the trails dedication ceremony and a real check as well. After giving the city our donation, we have $1384.16 left in the bank. This amount is before the grant program monies of $915 are removed. There is another $500 donation pending and we still have donations trickling in from other members of the group. The group discussed that option for people to donate money for a specific purpose, rather than just to our general fund. Among the few people there and the steering committee, everyone felt this was an acceptable practice. Bob Palmer presented the idea that we eventually gear fundraising efforts towards specific programs, like the micro grant program. The group agreed that people liked to know what purpose they were giving their money and once we had some set programs in place, we could pursue this.

Dedication Ceremony-approximately 57 people were on hand to see us give the Mayor a check for $50,000 on October 17th. The festivities included a few words from Erik, Mary Anne Jaeger, and the Mayor. Other city officials present included John Sattorino of the PAC, Ron Olson, Margie Teall, and Marcia Higgins to name a few. After the check was presented, the group went on a walk on the newly chipped trails and then proceeded to the school for warm drinks and snacks. Unfortunately, the Ann Arbor News did not attend for coverage; however, Erik is working on getting some coverage after the fact.

Prioritizing Task List-The group discussed that as we move from preservation to stewardship, we should as a group prioritize the tasks that need to be done, or we feel we would like to do. The task list will become available on the website soon and all members will have the opportunity to vote on the items that are important to them. Once the votes are in a few key people will work with NAP to help implement the ideas they feel are appropriate. Watch the website for your chance to vote!

Grants Program-Four teachers submitted proposals and we were able to fund all four. All 3 first grade teachers requested a guided tour of the woods next spring. Dave Szczygiel of the AA Public Schools will be doing this. Carol DeKeyzer, 2nd grade teacher, will also work with Dave on setting up a trail camera to get photos of the wildlife; they will tour the woods this fall, winter and next spring to photograph plants. Using the Big 6 research method they will write research reports, compile a guide book of plants that would be given to the school, and write poetry about the woods. She requested a budget of $360 and the trail camera purchased would become school property so that other teachers/staff may use. Theresa Erickson, art teacher, requested $380 to buy special supplies so that the students can go out and sketch from life. The students will use some special techniques for their work. Leslie Lawther, 4th grade teacher, requested that Dody Wyman return as a guest speaker for all the 4th graders to do her Raptor presentation. In addition, they would review with Dody an appropriate location for a screech owl house. Burt Perry has offered to build one for the students. We also discussed that Dave Szczygiel could possibly do a tour for the kindergarten students. Their teacher asked about this after the dedication ceremony. Tom Ivacko to follow up with her. Tom will also be the coordinator of this program next year. Thanks Tom!

Annual Calendar-Erik talked about us choosing some activities that will happen yearly and generally choosing a time of year for each to occur. From the discussions, the following activities were chosen with corresponding season.

  • Buckthorn removal-fall/winter
  • Wood chipping trails with Dicken Students-Spring
  • Trail maintenance/Clean-Up-Spring(May or June) and Fall (Sept or Oct)
  • Elections-June, staggered
  • Yard Sale-Spring/Summer
  • Ark Concert-? Fall
  • Micro grants-Fall
  • Wild seed collection-Fall
  • Frog/Bird Count-Spring
  • Lantern Walk-Winter (A nighttime walk through the woods with trails lit by lanterns made out of coffee cans)
  • General letter to members for fundraising-To be determined. A fundraising committee is now in place and consists of Erik Stalhandske, Stephanie Hunter and Naela Jenkins. Anyone else interested in joining please contact any of us.
  • Electronic Newsletter-Twice yearly The newsletter would be available to all members via the website. It would include a calendar of upcoming events, columns about fundraising, some info from Dicken, and any other fun and important info. Erik to speak to Jack Eaton to complete. Currently, Erik, Naela, Stephanie, Deb, Tom and possibly Mary Anne Jaeger to write short columns and submit to Jack within two weeks, so that he can begin work on the first issue.

Meetings-Next meeting will be in January, date to be determined. After this they will be bi-monthly. Watch the website for more information.

Meeting closed at 8:30