May 18, 2016
Present: Fred Woods, Rick Paul, Jerry Harmon, Colleen Mackinnon, Dick Althouse, Jim Schafer, Rick Mercurio: guests Su Scott, Don Piller, and Bruce Swanson
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at Jerry’s home. The minutes from the April meeting were approved by acclamation. Rick P will email his official treasurer’s report. Cash has been collected from the iron ranger, and we have received a few donations. Fred wrote checks related to the school trips. Rick P and Fred worked out items related to a new checking account.
Dropbox: Don provided detailed instructions for Board members to use Dropbox for FODR photos and other purposes. This will be an easy way to share photos and files. Don and Bruce began to discuss ways to email the newsletter starting with July’s. Don is also working on a new email server for FODR. Thank you Don!
Plant Donations: Las Pilitas Nursery, which specializes in native plants, announced it was closing its local facility, and was willing to donate plants. Fred and Jerry sprang into action to pick up a large quantity of specimens, including deer grass, oaks, and sage. Fred and Jerry delivered them to the City rangers for use at Daley Ranch, Lake Dixon and Lake Wohlford. They worked with Russell Riello, who works at Wohlford, and with Georgie Birch of the Lake Hodges Native Plant Society. The retail price of the donated plants may be considered a tax deductible donation to FODR due to our 501c3 status. Thanks to all for this unexpected gift.
Building Update and County Grant: Dick announced that he got final inspection approval from the City last week for Building 3. The City would like FODR to build a split rail fence in front of Building 4, and Dick has already begun to look for materials. He and the City inspector discussed ideas for reinforcing Building 4 and the barn, but decided to put those on hold for now. Meanwhile, Fred and Dick have done considerable paperwork and accounting to complete the report to the County for their grant. Rick M moved to pay a refund of $57 to the County for various items. Jim seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
School Visits and ECF Grant: Fred reported that all 11 school visits are complete, with no rainouts and enthusiastic reviews. He would like to conduct a survey to students and/or teachers, and Su and Colleen volunteered to work on this. Fred will also contact principals, teachers and office managers to begin to choose dates for next year’s program in order to keep bus costs low. He and Rick M completed the interim report for the ECF grant, in which we ask ECF to allow leftover funds to be used for future trips. Fred suggested that FODR stay in touch with other sponsoring organizations as to how their money was spent. He also would like to organize student notes, pictures and teacher responses for final reports and for future outreach material. Rick P wanted to make sure that all five middle schools participate next year. To help encourage this, he suggested that Fred compile a “history” of which schools visited DR in each year since the program started.
Akin Family Trust Legacy Gift: The Board is grateful that one of our members, Perla Akin, had named FODR as one of the beneficiaries of her trust, which may come to fruition in the next year. The Board expressed a desire to invite Perla’s daughter to one of our meetings so we could personally thank her, establish a relationship, and ask her to relate her mother’s feelings toward Daley Ranch. Rick P agreed to extend her an invitation to one of our train depot meetings.
Second Sundays and Shuttle: Su asked about the status of the proposed shuttle service by the City for Second Sundays. Rick M agreed to remind Dan Hippert of the availability of the mini bus with driver which could be obtained through the San Dieguito River Park. Su and Colleen graciously volunteered to sponsor a FODR booth at the parking lot for the June Second Sunday event.
Interpretive Displays: Rick M has been in contact with Kathy Boyd, the City’s Volunteer Coordinator. Kathy said she is reaching out to DR volunteers and docents to try to find leaders for the movable interpretive display project. She also is looking into examples of display cases. Rick M is impressed with Kathy’s enthusiasm, and he will stay in touch with her as this project unfolds.
Foreman’s Quarters: Colleen reported on her progress in researching period-appropriate items and furnishings for the restored Foreman’s Quarters. She said that Dan H. was most concerned with security for the structure. Dick will look into options to better secure that structure.
Plant Signs: Colleen has agreed to work on updating some of the missing or damaged plant identification signs along DR trails. The Board encouraged her to work with Sunrise Rotary, which was instrumental in the original project. Mike Whalen gave Rick P some of the “leftover” signs and posts from that time.
Teacher Science Conference: Su and Colleen reported on the success of this year’s conference, for which FODR accepted an SDG&E grant. Su asked if FODR would be able to hold $2000 in unspent funds to be used for next year’s conference. Rick P moved to authorize this. Rick M seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Shirts and Hats: Colleen suggested that FODR use our website to showcase our tee-shirts and hats for prospective donators. She will look into shipping costs, and will consider the logistics of who will follow through on orders.
Habitat Corridors and TECC: Rick M noted that the Escondido Creek Conservancy is aggressively pursuing the purchase of at least three large properties near DR, all of which would greatly enhance the preservation of wildlife habitat and corridors. The Board supports this enthusiastically, and Rick M will write an official endorsement letter.
Next Meeting: The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m. at the train depot in Grape Day Park.
Rick Mercurio, secretary