FODR Board Meeting Minutes

May 18, 2021


Jerry Harmon opened the zoom meeting at 7 p.m. Participants included Jerry, Brocade Wu, Fred Woods, Dick Althouse, Ron Franzese, and Rick Mercurio.

Minutes from the April meeting were approved by acclamation.

Treasurer’s Report: Rick had emailed the final April line item accounting and the to-date accounting for May. Rick will contact Scott Peck about his interest in FODR.

7th grade program update: Fred and David Woods successfully launched the 21-part video series on FODR’s website, the EUSD server, and on You-Tube. Many positive responses have been received, including from Krystle Miller of the EUSD. Earlier today Fred and Rick participated in a zoom meeting with all the other partners who provide outdoor education to EUSD students. For next year, field trips are a possibility, but spacing requirements on buses due to Covid could make the trips problematic. We may have enough funds “left over” to finance trips next year, but many things are uncertain.

     Reports are due to both ECF and SDF for the grants that funded the virtual program, and Rick and Fred will coordinate these.

Barn restoration update: Dick spoke with the City and things are looking good. He is waiting for the architect’s drawing and then he will resubmit the plans. Jerry has been helping Dick on this project, and he said that the architect may help with the pedestrian bridge reconstruction.

Website update: Brocade discussed working on the front page of the website. She and Don Piller will work on the best next steps.

Social Media update: Brocade says that FODR has gotten lots of positive feedback on social media. There is lots of engagement and “likes” on Facebook. She is posting items that get responses, including 3000 views in one instance.

Input for Interpretive Trail project: Rick has submitted a grant application to SDF for the multicultural trail. We will not hear back for about another month about its status. Rick asked the Board for any input on this project, ongoing. He said that even if FODR does not receive the grant, he would like to proceed with a scaled down version.

Bill Sherrard lunch meeting: Jerry and Rick took Bill Sherrard to lunch yesterday to personally thank him for his generous donation. Bill said that FODR may use the money in any way we see fit. He does not have any specific ideas or suggestions.

Ron would like some of the Board to meet a representative from the Deer Park Monastery. We might meet on Wednesday, May  26, maybe at 1 p.m. Jerry and Rick can also use that as an opportunity to bring Ron up to speed on FODR. Jerry noted that Ron is an equestrian and hopes that Ron might help FODR reach out to that user group. Ron is on board with that possibility.

Jerry suggested that FODR have a meeting in person for June's regular monthly meeting.  We are all vaccinated, and we will stay outside. Jerry and Brocade will host the June meeting. We hope to restore the system of one month at the train depot and the next month at a residence.

Jerry recommended that FODR sponsor a fund raiser/dinner sometime in July or August, with Brocade and Jerry hosting, and featuring the barn restoration project as a theme.  We will shoot for an August date. Jerry also discussed his connection with the Escondido Chamber of Citizens to bring together like-minded environmental groups. There will be an event hosted by Hellhole Canyon this summer.

Jerry also spoke about the Harvest Hills proposed development near Safari Park, which would build 550 homes on open space and prime habitat on the wildlife corridor that connects to Daley Ranch. A number of groups are opposing this project. FODR has already officially join the opposition.

Rick received an email from the California Statewide Outdoor Learning program, CalSOL, asking for FODR’s support for Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo’s bill to fund outdoor education with $200 million. Previously FODR had officially endorsed CalSOL. Rick will write a letter of support for this legislation, which could help fund our 7th grade field trips.

Rick received an email from a resident, Mark Skok, who lives on the west side of Daley Ranch. Mark suggests that FODR look into purchasing the property known as Council Springs in order to expand the ranch and provide equestrian access and prime viewing locations. Jerry will reach out to Marc to give him a perspective on the history of that property.

The next meeting of the FODR Board will be June 15 at Jerry and Brocade’s Oceanside house at 5 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio