Friends of Daley Ranch

November 19, 2014

Present: Board Members Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Dick Althouse, Jim Schafer, and Rick Mercurio; Guest Peter Benson
Minutes & Treasurer’s Report: Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the train depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. Dick had written his special brand of minutes from the last meeting, in September, and the Board approved them by acclamation, with thanks. Rick Paul submitted his treasurer’s report via email. Mike faithfully gathered donations from the iron ranger and delivered them to Rick P prior to the meeting. Dick presented a $100 cash donation from his Georgia friend who wants to support Dick’s great work on the renovations. Fred reminded the Board about a very generous donation from Bill Sherrard, and Rick M will write a thank you letter for that.
Benches at the Ranch: FODR received a letter from Nancy Bresnik asking if FODR could help arrange a memorial bench for her late husband who loved Daley Ranch. She had noticed the existing benches honoring Sally and Irene. The Board had a wide ranging discussion about this idea, noting the difference between benches in honor of FODR Board members vs. the general public. Peter told the Board about a program at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Wisconsin, where donors of $10,000 or more are entitled to a bench or chair with a bronze plaque. This could potentially be a “win-win” if we could raise money for FODR while adding a bench in a location agreed to by the loved one and the City. Rick M will contact Nancy and the City about this idea.
Building Project: Dick is actively working on building #2. He has jacked up one end 18 inches. The Board discussed whether it should be moved east two feet in order to align with the planned move of the other two buildings, or whether to leave it in its current position, which is permissible. Dick also cleaned up the space where building #3 once stood. He noted that the fence in front will have to be removed; Fred will ask Dan H about this. It was decided to schedule a planning meeting on site to finalize decisions. Fred said that the County grant application for building restoration and signage will be considered in 2015 by Dave Roberts’ staff.
Newsletter: FODR missed its quarterly target of a Nov. 1 newsletter. The Board decided to go ahead and produce one as soon as possible to catch up. Dick has already submitted an article on the restoration. Rick M will contact Brian Swanson about a bird banding article, and also about his help with a possible SDG&E grant. Fred will write a president’s message that features the second Sunday ranch house visits. Jim will submit photos. Wendy may also use a plant guide entry if she needs more. Peter suggested an item by James Dillane, and this may be a great future article.
Second Sunday and Interpretive Display: Fred reported that the first two Second Sunday ranch house visits were successful. However, guests just happened upon the open house, since there has been very little publicity. Signs about the event ought to be placed at the main ranch entrance as well as at the house. Our website and the City’s should feature this event. Fred will contact Dan H about Second Sunday signs, Spanish-English rule signs, and how FODR might assist the ranger staff with possible interpretive displays. Edson Ruiz visited the FODR booth at Grape Day and said he could potentially produce large display signs as a donation.
School Visits: Fred said that he has been in contact with the principals of all five middle schools, and they are enthusiastic. FODR will offer the two neediest schools, Mission and Del Dios, financial assistance with buses. Del Dios may send sixth graders rather than seventh graders this year due to changes in their curriculum program. We will have resources from the Rotary Grant, to be given at their December 2 meeting, and the Cox Cares grant, which we earned. Fred and Rick P attended a planning meeting earlier today about the next cycle of Escondido Charitable Foundation grants, and with the theme being the “Great Outdoors,” it ought to tie in nicely with our school field trips program.
Other Business and Next Meeting: Jerry Harmon had wanted to discuss a “Watershed Passport” proposal that he is working on with Rick Halsey and Simon Breen. It involves cultivating stewardship of the outdoor environment.
The Board decided to skip a December meeting, and to combine the January regular meeting with our annual strategic planning meeting on a Saturday. The best dates would be either January 17 or 24. Please indicate via email your preference.
Respectfully submitted,
Rick Mercurio