Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

Annual Retreat
January 17, 2023


Present: Jerry Harmon, Brocade Wu, Dick Althouse, Ron Franzese, and Rick Mercurio

Board Elections: The FODR bi-laws require the Board to conduct an annual election of officers. The Board nominations are as follows, moved by Ron and seconded by Dick. It was approved unanimously.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Jerry called to order the meeting at 10 a.m. at his Oceanside home. The minutes from the November meeting were approved by acclamation. Rick presented his final 2022 Treasurer’s report, as well as the December and January to-date line-item accounting.

Wildlife Cameras: Brocade reported that she has been working with Dave Roberts and Liz Ridder on the topic of wildlife cameras at Daley Ranch. Liz’s study is complete, but there is a Home School group that wants to participate. Liz is willing to let FODR “borrow” some of her cameras going forward. Dave’s cameras are set up in the Engelmann Oak area, whereas Liz’s were on Jack Creek meadow. This project, Jerry emphasized, could further our efforts to promote biological monitoring, and funds could be part of Bill Sherrard’s donation. Dave may be able to install new or used cameras for our use.

2023 Budget: Rick presented a proposed budget along with totals for 2022. After discussion, Ron moved to approve, Brocade seconded, and it was approved unanimously.

Planning for March 26: Brocade has put together a preliminary plan for the day, which includes plans with names of volunteers for each task. Rick will send out an email blast and will print and mail postcard invitations to those who do not use email, about a month before the lunch. We will ask for RSVPs by a week before the event. Jerry will take charge of the program. Ron will help with a “shuttle,” and Rick can also use his private vehicle to shuttle folks. Rick will create a master sign in list with names of members and their donation record. Jerry and Brocade will visit MFCU to obtain information so that donors may use Venmo, Zelle and/or a credit card swipe device.

Barn Restoration: Dick and Jerry have been working each weekend as weather has allowed. He has more rafters to install, and he needs to drill holes for the foundation and get them tested. The framing inspection is also coming up.

Interpretive Trail: Rick has contacted Supt. Brian Thill to request that FODR representative(s) be present for the City’s Appearance Committee. When and if the trail signs and kiosk construction are approved, we will set a date with the city to install the signs and build the kiosk, under the direction of Dick and Jerry.

Rick would like to schedule a “grand opening” of the trail after it is installed, when we can invite all the participants of the project, as well as Rangers and City Officials, to celebrate.

New Board Members: Ron moved to add Dave Roberts to our Board. Rick seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. WELCOME, DAVE! The Board will contact a few other prospects as well.

Trail Guide Project: Rick met with Sandy Zelasko recently to brainstorm ideas for the printed pamphlet that she is organizing. Once we have photos from the four quadrants at Daley Ranch, including Sandy’s, Lee Dezan’s, and Gregg Anderson’s, we will draft text to help users plan their trail route appropriate to their individual interests and abilities. The pamphlet will have key photos for each quadrant, and a QR code to allow users to link to more detailed information and additional photos on our site. Brocade has volunteered to help organize that online site once we have produced the pamphlet. The group has twice gone out to Daley Ranch to take photos. Tomorrow’s trip is cancelled due to excessive rain and mud, but another visit is slated for February 1.

7th Grade Field Trips: Fred and Rick have now met with Rangers, including Supt. Brian Thill, and with EUSD leaders, to plan this spring’s trips. All dates are set, and the district has created a “project-based learning” unit to complement the day at Daley Ranch. Students will be researching a specific topic, then creating a proposal to potentially implement in the community. On the day of the trip, the hike learning station will be focused on students observing evidence of a specific animal or plant as they relate to the entire habitat.

Rick and Fred have submitted a Letter of Intent for the ECF grant cycle. If given the green light, FODR will have one month to submit the full-length application, which would fund trips in 2024.

Biological Monitoring: FODR has the promise of private funding for larger scale projects, and the Board discussed options. Biological monitoring could be a big cost item that would be useful. We will have a meeting with Bill to explore this idea. Rick has forwarded the newsletter article from two years ago about the agreement among the CA wildlife agency, the city, the Rangers and FODR. This will serve as a starting point.

Long Range Planning by Topic: The Board decided to incorporate a broad topic for discussion at some of our regular Board meetings in the coming year. Jerry has Ron’s list of topics from last year in order to schedule them for meetings.


Next Meeting: Monday, February 13 at 2 p.m. at the Train Depot.

Secretary/Treasurer, Rick Mercurio