Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

May 17, 2017


Present: Colleen Mackinnon, Jim Schafer, Jerry Harmon, Rick Paul, Dick Althouse, Fred Woods, and Rick Mercurio


Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Colleen opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the home of Rick M. No minutes were taken at the April meeting because no quorum was present. Those attending the April meeting at the train depot were Fred, Colleen, Rick P and Dick.

Rick P issued an oral and a printed treasurer’s report. It includes three new donations, and payments made for school visit expenses.


New Technology/MailChimp: Colleen explained to the Board about how MailChimp is an effective tool. She said new members who sign up on the FODR website are automatically added to the MailChimp list. Rick M will work on adapting to this new system, but will also keep the existing excel database with addresses and other information on our membership.


Annual Lunch Meeting in November: The Board agreed to again sponsor our annual general membership lunch gathering on November 12, the Second Sunday at the ranch house. We will ask for shuttle service to allow all people to attend. This will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the grand opening of Daley Ranch, so we will plan to have appropriate celebrations and speakers with lots of publicity. Colleen has located photos at the Pioneer Room of the original event in 1997, and she may make large copies for the occasion.


Seventh Grade Visits: One trip remains, on Friday, June 2, due to a rainout. On May 3, visitors from the Escondido Charitable Foundation visited, and spoke highly of the program. Colleen is monitoring survey responses from students and teachers, and we want even more. Fred said he would send out reminder emails. Most invoices, but not all, have come in, and Rick P and Fred will work together to take care of them. We have submitted grant applications to SDG&E and to Rotary, but we need to stay on the lookout for other grant opportunities.


Fifth Grade Visit: A teacher at Conway Elementary has asked FODR to help plan an outing to Daley Ranch for 100 fifth grade students on June 6. The Board was adamant that the students not be allowed to walk up La Honda due to its narrow width and steep slope. Instead, the students could be bussed the short distance from Conway to the main entrance of DR, then hike trails as they learn various science lessons that fit with their curriculum. Another goal of the teacher is physical exercise, which the uphill hike at DR could accomplish. Rick M moved that FODR pay for half of one bus, if available, to shuttle students in two trips each direction. The school/teacher would have to pay for the other half of the bus. Colleen seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Colleen will coordinate with the teacher and Dan Hippert to arrange rangers/docents for this visit. The Board did not want content of lessons to duplicate the seventh grade lessons.


Kiosk Project: Jim is working to build new access doors to the FODR kiosk at the main La Honda entrance. He brought a prototype to the meeting to show the Board, and to explain the difficulty of this project. He will be building three of these, in order to more easily place information onto the kiosk. The windows will be made of polycarbonate for more protection from the sun. Jim mentioned the idea of installing a solar light at this kiosk.


Utility Building Project and Historic Farm Implements: Dick has been very busy working on plans and City approvals to strengthen/reinforce Building 4. He has consulted with City planners as well as a structural engineer. One idea is to set concrete anchors at all four corners with metal brackets to hold the structure in place. Some rebuilding of the south wall will also be necessary. He hopes to begin this project in June. Dick met a Valley Center man with construction skills and persuaded the man to join FODR and the restoration project.

The Board discussed ideas for the dilapidated residence on the hill across from the ranch house. It could be rebuilt as a multipurpose room with interpretive displays. Or the area could have a native garden, or possibly a gazebo.

Dick is also in the process of securing a “belly dump” farm implement, one that was originally used at Daley Ranch. It would need some woodwork to make it whole again. The Board is thrilled to be able to obtain an original farm item from DR for display.


El Caballo Park: Rick P said there is no further update on the proposed sign at the Caballo Trailhead. The park effort is currently concentrating on a playground there.


TECC and Encuentros Project: Colleen said that TECC did not receive the grant for this project. Ann Van Leer of TECC, however, said she still wants to pursue the goal of working with Encuentros youngsters at DR, where she hopes to have them learn, work and possibly camp overnight in a community-building event. A state grant may be available. The Board supports this effort.


Next Meeting: The next Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the train depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. The next Second Sunday at the ranch house will be June 11.


Respectfully Submitted,

Rick Mercurio, secretary