Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

March 15, 2017


Present: Colleen Mackinnon, Fred Woods, Rick Paul, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon, and Rick Mercurio

 Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Colleen opened the meeting at 7 pm at her home. She reviewed the minutes that she had written from the February meeting. The Board approved the minutes. Rick P shared his treasurer’s report. We have continued to receive donations. He is working on filing taxes for FODR, and he discussed new classifications for the budget, including adding “San Diego Science Education Conference” as a separate category. Colleen moved to reimburse Rick M for newsletter-related expenses from January. Fred seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 School Visits: Fred reported that today was the first of 11 school field trips to Daley Ranch, and it went very well, other than some minor bus problems. Rain is possible for next week’s visits, and rescheduling is problematic. He suggested that FODR purchase coverings for learning station presentations in order to be able to proceed in light rain. Fred said the needed money is already in the budget. Rick M moved to buy three 10 X 10 pop-up canopies with sidewalls at about $200 apiece. Colleen seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Fred has been in touch with the Escondido Charitable Foundation about using leftover funds from last year’s grant for the current program. He created a budget spreadsheet as part of his formal response to ECF. In addition, some ECF dignitaries will be attending one of the March school visits to see the program in action. Colleen and Rick P will join them.

 Digital Infrastructure and Email: Colleen met with Dave Woods to work out details for FODR’s transition to new email and communication vehicles. They decided to go with Google, which has “cloud applications.” We will be transferring all of our domains to Google, and our new email address is The Board agreed to look into compensation options for Dave’s ongoing professional services.

 El Caballo Signage: Rick P has communicated with El Caballo Park leadership about FODR’s offer to pay $6900 above the grant funding for the Daley Ranch sign at the Caballo Trailhead. So far there has been no progress, and Rick P will keep the Board apprised.

 Tracking Team: Denise Harter recently held a successful class on tracking at Daley Ranch. Seven enthusiastic people attended, and two of them came back the next day to participate in an actual tracking event. Several animal tracks were observed. Rick M moved to reimburse Denise Harter $154.02 for expenses related to her tracking team session. Jerry seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 Save1000Acres: Rick M said he will be conducting a mail outreach to our membership to encourage donations for TECC’s property acquisition effort. He shared a draft letter, which will be printed on FODR letterhead. Colleen has printed FODR customized legal size envelopes and smaller ones. TECC has supplied the return envelopes. He will send this to everyone on the FODR database as well as our email contacts who have physical addresses, except those who have already donated. Later we may also conduct an email campaign.

 TECC and Encuentros Partnership: Colleen has been working with Ann Van Leer of TECC to complete a San Diego Foundation grant for “Adventures in the Creekshed.” They have submitted the grant application, which involves collaboration among several non-profit organizations, including FODR, TECC, and Encuentros. The proposal would encompass educational activities, as well as a camping experience at Daley Ranch, for youth.

 Building Restoration: Dick has been actively pursuing two projects, both in the early planning stages. One involves protecting/reinforcing utility building #4, and the other would be the rebuilding of the old, crumbling residence on the east side of the road across from the ranch house. Dick has made contact with City planning officials, who would be involved with issuing needed permits. Dick is encouraged by initial City reaction. Colleen suggested that the residence structure be called a “Youth Center,” and Dick envisions scouts and other youth groups using it for overnights, cookouts, and as an interpretive facility. He may contact Rotary to suggest collaboration. Meanwhile, Colleen would like the key to the foreman’s quarters to work on furnishing it with period-appropriate items.

 Newsletter: The next FODR newsletter is scheduled for April. The Board agreed on the following items for inclusion, with an April 1 deadline:

1. A president’s message from Colleen that would incorporate a congratulations to Don Piller for his recent City award, and the naming of Daley Ranch as a top hiking destination by

2. An article by Denise Harter on wildlife at Daley Ranch. Rick M will contact her.

3. The photo of the raging torrent near the ranch house after the rains, supplied by Rick P.

4. An article by Rick M on the Akin legacy gift, focusing on the lives of Royal and Perla Akin, and an appeal for others to include FODR in their own wills or trusts.

 Next Meeting: The next regular FODR meeting will be at 7 p.m. on April 19 at the train depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido.

 Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, secretary