Friends of Dicken Woods General Assembly

Minutes for the October 20, 2016 meeting at Dicken Elementary

Members present: Mason Barr, Mary Duff, Jack Eaton, Kay Holsinger, Angela and Bill Holzheuer, Stephanie Hunter, Debbie Johnson, Bitsy Lamb, Richard Westbury, Doug Wood.

 The meeting was called to order by Bitsy Lamb at 7:01 pm.


1.  Finances: A financial statement was provided by Deb Norbotten. The present balance in the Friends of Dicken Woods checking account is $6,472.12. Also, Bitsy put down a deposit of $1,000 for water so we can use a city fire hydrant to water the new bur oak trees from Lodi that were recently planted adjacent to S. Maple.  The fire hydrant meter, which is temporary, is attached to the hydrant on S. Maple between the sidewalk to Dicken Dr. and Pauline Blvd. It is our understanding that the city will apply charges for water usage against the deposit.

2.  Election of officers: Four candidates have been nominated: Bitsy Lamb for President, Jim Boyd for Vice President, Deb Norbotten for Treasurer, and Debbie Johnson for Secretary. These candidates were unanimously voted in.

3.  Volunteers: Stephanie said we have two new volunteers helping out on Thursday mornings. Chris is a student from EMU and Mack; both have been referred to us by NAP. So far this year (January through September) volunteers have worked 211.5 hours. Last year volunteers put in 514 hours, but we had more big work days that year. The next work day is private and will be held on Sunday, October 30, from 11:30 – 1:30. 15 middle school hockey players and their parents will be helping out. Stephanie will provide snacks and others in the group were invited to participate. We reminisced about some previous volunteers, including some engineering students and boy scouts.

4.  Wildflowers: We now have 360 feet of wildflowers along the S. Maple frontage, which makes a good pollinator corridor.

5.  Future plans: Doug said we should be focusing on eradicating the buckthorn and clearing around the trees we’ve been planting so they get sunlight. We should concentrate on specific areas to systematically get rid of the buckthorn. Doug is the only one with a brush blade, which works really well and makes the work go faster. Most of the buckthorn we can easily be cut down with the tools we have. We should clean up the trailhead and the paths by the school where we can see into the woods, and then divide the area into quadrants. We now have 3 CPAs (state-certified Commercial Pesticide Applicators: Mary, Stephanie, and Doug) so we can apply pesticide on the cut buckthorn stumps. It would be nice to have another person in the group with a brush blade, which looks like a weed whacker with chain saw teeth. When someone cuts the brush, a CPA follows and puts pesticide on the stumps. Bill said he would be glad to help out and has had lots of experience with chain saws. Doug said he would help him get started. Just prior to the workday, Doug plans to trim  the brush along the trails out to the edge markers, and the cut brush will be cleared by the workday volunteers.

6.  Miscellaneous: Rich asked if we’re still donating to the Science Center, and Stephanie said yes, we are, and have given them $1,000. Also, now the school is in charge of the Winter Walk, since it gotten too big for us to manage. Angela brought up the sunflower garden at the dentist’s office on Scio Church, but Stephanie said we can only use native plants in the Woods. We’ve gotten small plants from the native plants garden downtown which Mary tends. Rich asked about the plan for trees in the future. We have to be mindful as to the density of oak trees the woods can support because if we plant too many when they get large the canopy will block the sun for other plants. We’re now leaning toward bur oaks and white oaks.

7.  Jack moved to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 pm.

 Minutes submitted by Debbie Johnson.