Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes
March 14, 2023
Present: Jerry Harmon, Brocade Wu, Dick Althouse, Ron Franzese, and Rick Mercurio; guest Scott Hansen from the San Diego Mountain Bike Association.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Jerry opened the meeting at 3 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. The minutes from the February meeting were approved by acclamation. Rick had emailed the final line-item accounting for February and the March report to-date. He recommends that FODR take out higher interest CDs at MFCU. Ron moved, Brocade seconded, to invest $60K into a six-month CD. The motion passed unanimously.
SDMBA: Scott Hansen is a retired firefighter in San Marcos. He has been active with SDMBA for many years, and he loves Daley Ranch. This group has partnered with FODR on past projects, and they promote multi-use trails. He expressed dismay that the existing trails were built by the Daley family, and most are unsustainable, subject to erosion and habitat impacts. The past four years, Scott has been working to address this. They have trail counters at three places at Daley Ranch from a grant, and he shared the results: 123,000 annual visitors and 52,000 were on bikes in 2022. He will regularly share these figures with FODR. Another grant, partially paid by FODR, was a trail assessment, which determined how poor the existing trails are. He helped 28 people complete 30 hours of training to do trail maintenance this year, for smaller trail projects. He hopes that FODR will continue to collaborate to advocate for Daley Ranch at City Hall.
March 26 Picnic: Brocade put out an organizational sheet that includes volunteers and responsibilities. Rick reported that 17 people have RSVP’d so far. Rick spoke to Ranger Gregg about the possibility that the SDG&E project may impact this event. Jerry and Brocade are looking into Mission Federal Credit Union avenues for folks to donate via Zelle, Venmo or credit/debit cards. Rick will ask Don to send out another email reminder.
Interpretive Trail: Rick reported that nothing has been done at the City administrative level to move forward our revised proposal for FODR’s voluntary donation and installation of two clusters of signs at pre-approved sites, and four site specific locations.
Barn Restoration: Dick said he’s waiting for the weather to cooperate before resuming Saturday work days. A local carpenters union has volunteered to help with restoration projects, and Jerry will invite their leader to the March 26 event to get him involved. One project they could help with is the “white building” near the Ranch House that has deteriorated. Rick received an inquiry from Michael Gaano who would like to help with the barn.
Camera Project: Brocade said that Dave has worked with Liz Ridder to get an extension of her project so that we may continue with her work and use her permit. She also is lending more cameras for our use.
Newsletter: Dave Roberts will write a self-introduction, which will be accompanied by a photo of himself and possibly a couple photos of wildlife he has taken. Rick will write a summary of the picnic event, which will hopefully include a photo. He will also include a list of donors since January of 2022, and another appeal for volunteers for the 7th grade trips.
Seventh Grade Trips: Rick said that the SDG&E project had made the Ranch House area unusable for the March trips. We instead had the learning stations at Dixon Lake Recreation area, and the first three trips have gone well. Rick said that ECF did not approve FODR’s Letter of Intent for grant funding for the 2024 trips.
Future Board Member: Ron will reach out to a TECC member and send her our questionnaire.
Next Meeting: April 18, 3 p.m. at the Train Depot.