Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting Minutes

Annual Retreat - February 2, 2013

Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Jerry Harmon, and Rick Mercurio
The Board assembled at the home of Mike at 8 a.m. and proceeded to the ranch for a group hike. Fred visited the rangers at Dixon Lake to discuss the school visits while the other four hiked to the ranch house. On the hike we discussed possible locations for Sally’s and Irene’s memorial benches, and a low rock wall. We also examined restoration progress on the ranch house, and the current condition of the utility buildings.
The five Board members re-assembled at Mike’s home to begin the meeting. We agreed that we would like to commence planning the low rock wall to be built at the first turnout on the ranch road near the Manzanita plant sign. This site has a good view of Stanley Peak and other viewpoints. In the future we could install information signs around the wall. Its exact location would determine where we could place Sally’s bench, and later Irene’s. The Board expressed hope that Dick Althouse, with Jim Schafer’s help, would coordinate the necessary drawings and photos to bring the plans to the City’s committee for approval. We believe the new wall, which would be curving with a gradually rising and falling height, could follow the basic appearance of the existing rock wall by the ranch’s main entrance kiosk. Possible sources of the needed rock include Pyramid Granite and the City’s own supply at the HARF treatment plant.
Rick M began a discussion on some ideas to improve our newsletter, our website, and our increasing presence on social media like Facebook. The goal is to obtain a steady supply of content, which would be used for all of these. Rick P suggested a quarterly newsletter (both printed and emailed versions) with firm deadlines: February, May, August and November. The Board agreed with this, although the next newsletter will probably not be possible until March. Rick P will ask our media team of Linda Shipman and Wendy Barker whether they will be okay with this schedule. Also, we hope that together with Don Piller, they can post new material on at least a monthly basis and use our Yahoo email account as the clearinghouse for new material. Rick P also suggested appealing to our own members for articles, and the Board agreed. Rick M hopes to also engage several interest groups in supplying material, both written and visual. He will try to contact groups, including biking organizations like SDMBA and IMBA, the VC Trails Group, the Horseback Patrol, the Native Plant Society, Audubon, the Tracking Team, the DR Rangers, the Sierra Club, the Humane Society, El Caballo Park, and the Charros.
The Board discussed our membership goals. We agreed that it is important to increase the number of people who are “friends” of Daley Ranch. A good way to get a commitment is to ask them to donate through membership fees, though we welcome non-paying members as well. The Board decided to send a membership appeal to those in our database who have not paid dues for over a year. This will be a letter on FODR letterhead expressing our goals and why we need funds (e.g. to support the school visits which bring young people into the natural environment). We will include a remit envelope. Rick M will draft and print the letter and deliver them with the address labels and envelopes to Jerry, whose group will assemble them for mailing.
Fred summarized the progress on planning for the 12 school visits, which will begin on Feb. 26 and continue until the end of April. He and Rick M have met with the EUSD superintendent and other district administrators, principals of all five middle schools, the ranger staff, Ben Cueva of the Charros, and the seventh grade teaching teams from four of the five middle schools. Fred has assembled a student packet for printing along with teacher guidelines. Fred has also facilitated the purchase of large posters of animals that the rangers requested for their presentations. He is coordinating lunches for the docents and volunteers. Rick M is working on a history learning station that will include large photos as well. The Charros are planning a high-interest presentation that will feature horses. Fred and Rick M have created a short pre-and post-trip survey for the students that will assess their interest and knowledge.

Mike showed the Board the DR hats he recently purchased. They omit the “like, hike and bike” wording, and just read “Daley Ranch.” Mike also has inventoried our stock of tee shirts and has been in contact with potential suppliers. The Board agreed to purchase a new supply of both short and long-sleeve tee shirts in various sizes, again with only the words “Daley Ranch” on them. Mike also suggested the creation of a Daley Ranch calendar, featuring photos from the ranch. This could be distributed during the fall as part of an outreach campaign. The Board showed interest, and Mike agreed to look into the cost of such a calendar.
Rick M expressed hope that FODR could once again set up booths on the weekend at the main entrance to the ranch. This could reach out to users by offering information, selling tee shirts and hats, distributing calendars, and seeking new members. Rick M will write a newsletter appeal to our own members, seeking volunteers and/or a coordinator for the booths.
Jerry asked about the Rotary Club work program for April. Mike had met with Rich Aeling of the club, who has already furnished new plant signs for those that have been destroyed or stolen. Rich has not yet identified another Daley Ranch project that works for April. Rick P suggested a new fence for the Cougar Pass parking lot. Mike will ask Rich about this idea.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, at an undetermined location.

Respectfully submitted,
Rick Mercurio, Secretary