Friends of Daley Ranch

Annual Retreat, January 24, 2015

Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Jim Schafer, Rick Paul, Dick Althouse, Colleen MacKinnon, and Rick Mercurio
Minutes and Treasurerís Report: Fred opened the annual retreat meeting at 9:30 a.m. at his own home. The minutes from the November meeting were approved by acclamation. Rick P emailed his treasurerís report. He mentioned that the US Bank was charging $5 per month for the Daley Ranch Volunteers Association account. Therefore it was decided to move that money out of US Bank and into a sub-savings account at Mission Federal under FODRís general account. Mike moved to reimburse Rick M $198.55 for newsletter printing and postage, and $290 to Fred for Word Press on the FODR website. Jim seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Word Press will allow for daily back up for the website and other benefits. The Board thanks David Woods for helping us with this. The Board also thanked Dick for his generous contribution of nearly $800 towards the building restoration project.
School Visits: Fred said that all five middle schools have scheduled a total of 10 trips this year, servicing about 1900 students. Besides scheduling, Fred has taken on many details, including ordering lunches, securing the Native American and Birds of Prey presentations, modifying and printing the student learning booklets, and volunteering to speak to the school board and maybe city council, offering a general invitation to see for themselves our school field trip program. In addition, Fred and Rick M have been working on an Escondido Charitable Foundation grant for the 2016 school trips. The letter of intent was submitted earlier this month, and in February we will learn if we can proceed to the next step in the process.
Utility Building Project: The Board is pleased to have received a $12,500 grant from Supervisor Dave Robertsí county Neighborhood Reinvestment Program for the utility buildings and informational signage. Rick M will notify the City about our success. Dick will immediately begin the process of planning, and securing needed permits from the City, since all funds must be spent within one year. We may need to obtain the services of a structural engineer, and Dick will look into this. Jim will take on the lead role of the informational signs, and determine the exact intent of the grant, and working with the City. We hope to include a sign about the Engelmann oak woodland habitat. Jim will also contact Roberts with an offer of Daley Ranch tee shirts for him and his family as a thank you.
Signs at the Ranch: Rick M reported that a large number of the plant ID signs are either missing or damaged, especially those on the Jack Creek trail. Jim and Mike suggested using polycarbonate material, which would be more resistant to vandalism. Fred will contact members of Sunrise Rotary to see if they would again like to help with this project.
The Board also discussed the need for simple signs, in both English and Spanish, displaying three important rules for DR: Do not remove plants, Stay on the trail, and Keep dogs on leash. They ought to be posted fairly close to the trailheads on Ranch House trail, Jack Creek trail and Cougar Pass trail. Colleen will contact Dan Hippert about this idea, also mentioning that FODR has a volunteer who may be able to make the signs for free.
Dan is currently looking into making signs to advertise the second Sunday open houses.
Interpretive Display: Rick P noted that the Daley Ranch Volunteer Association has earmarked almost $10,000 for the creation of interpretive displays at the ranch house. At the first opportunity, he hopes to ask DRVA members whether they still wish to use these funds for that purpose.
The Board discussed the ongoing issue of membership. We could do another US mail solicitation, as we did a couple years ago. We could also send customized emails to members reminding them to donate, though this would be a time-consuming proposition. We will continue this item to a future Board meeting.
Fred mentioned that Mission Middle School has an award-winning video production program. He will contact the school to see if they might be interested in creating a short video touting the wonders of Daley Ranch. This could be posted on our website, and used in other promotional venues.
The Board decided to publish our next newsletter in mid March. Fred will write a presidentís message about our successful grants; Rick M will contact James Dillane to write an article on the oak tree die-off that is now occurring at DR and in the region; Rick M will contact Dan to see if the rangers have any information they would like to be included, and whether ranger Greg might write an article on the second Sunday program.
Board Elections: Nominations for the four officer positions were opened to the floor. All incumbents volunteered to continue serving in their current positions, and no new names were submitted for consideration. Rick P moved to approve the current slate of officers for another term. Jim seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. The officers will continue to serve as follows: President, Fred Woods; Vice-President, Mike Whalen; Treasurer, Rick Paul; Secretary, Rick Mercurio.
Next Meeting: The next meeting is slated for 7 p.m. on February 18 at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park.
Respectfully submitted,
Rick Mercurio, secretary