Present: Board members Fred Woods, Rick Paul, Dick Althouse, and Rick Mercurio; guests Su Scott and Bruce Swanson.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the home of Dick. The minutes from the February meeting were approved by acclamation. Rick P said there were no updates from his previous treasurer’s report. He received $378 in checks and cash from the iron ranger. Rick P did an outstanding job in working with a new system to file FODR’s 2015 federal and state tax returns.
Second Sunday and Shuttle: Colleen Mackinnon and Rick M were present at DR for Second Sunday on March 13. Free water and trail maps were made available, along with a reminder that the ranch house would be open later that morning. The turnout was overwhelming, and lots of goodwill was generated. Colleen and Rick then transitioned to the ranch house, where a great number of visitors seemed happy to see the interior and learn the history. The Board repeated its hope that the Sunday shuttle service would resume. Su suggested the possibility of using a van from the San Diego River Park. Rick M will connect the SDRP contact person with Dan Hippert to pursue this idea.
School Trips and Grants: Today was the fourth of 11 school visits, and all have gone very well, Fred reported. The newest “learning station” is a ranger-led hike near the ranch house, and the students love it. Fred, Rick M, and Su attended the kick off lunch for SDG&E’s Environmental Champions program last week. Rick M and Fred are working on their grant application for the 2017 school trips. Other grants will be pursued as opportunities arise.
Utility Buildings Restoration: Dick has been leading work parties on most Saturdays. The roof was installed, using the original metal panels. Dick will continue to work on Building 3, which is nearly finished. He is exploring the acquisition of historic farm equipment for display in the utility buildings, including a wagon located at Mountain View Park.
Newsletter and Email: Assignments for the April newsletter were made. Rick M will write an article on the 7th grade trips, and hopefully will write a “volunteer spotlight” piece on Bill Sherrard. Dick will write an update on the building project as well as provide photos. Fred will submit photos from the school trips. Bruce will try to obtain the logos of the organizations that provided grants in 2016, and he will take the photo for the volunteer article.
Bruce discussed possible solutions to the issue of emailing the newsletter. He is working with Don Piller on using Mail Chimp or other methods. The Board appreciates the efforts of Bruce and Don.
Development near DR: Escondido Creek Conservancy recently drafted a letter of opposition to a proposed housing development on the west side of DR. Rick M suggested that FODR co-sign this letter. The Board will consider this via email, and if there is consensus, see if TECC is okay with this idea, and if there is still time to add FODR’s name to the letter.
Interpretive Displays: Rick M drafted a letter proposing movable interpretive displays for the ranch house, using $15,000 in funds from the DR Volunteer Association and FODR. Fred signed three letters and they were mailed last week. We will await a response from City officials.
Science Convention: Su is heading efforts to organize the annual Science Convention for educators to be held at Grossmont College on April 9. She expects around 500 attendees. Although the Board decided not to have a booth for FODR at the event, we did agree to assist Su’s efforts. Su will email a new application proposing that FODR serve as a fiscal sponsor of the convention. In this way, Su can use FODR’s status as a 501c3 non-profit in order to accept a $5000 grant from SDG&E. This money would then be passed on to support the convention.
Outreach and Next Meeting: Rick P told the Board that he is reaching out to the teaching staff at Cal State University, San Marcos, in hopes of locating professors who may be interested in Daley Ranch.
The next meeting is set for Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the train depot.
Rick Mercurio, secretary