Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting Minutes

November 16, 2016

Present: Board members Fred Woods, Jim Schafer, Rick Paul, Colleen Mackinnon, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon, and Rick Mercurio; guests Peter Benson, Denise Harter, and Arminda Stump.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Jim took minutes for the October meeting, and Colleen summarized them. She will follow up with Don Piller over the issue of emailed newsletters. The minutes were approved by acclamation.

Rick P shared his treasurer’s report, which was printed out. He just received $688 in cash and checks, plus $50 via PayPal. The Board had previously approved reimbursing Rick P for the annual hosting fee to Dot 5 for our website. Rick M will send a letter of thanks to former FODR Board member Carol Stanford who donated $500 recently.

Daley Ranch Tracking Team: Denise Harter explained the function of the DR Tracking Team, which regularly monitors the movement and numbers of various fauna. The San Diego Tracking Team is the official body, and it sanctions regional teams, like DR’s, which have their own groups of volunteers. The DR team is especially interested in the wildlife corridors between DR and open spaces to the east as far as Rancho Guejito. Their goal is to conduct quarterly surveys. Denise would like to train more trackers and needs support. The Board expressed their appreciation for this critical function, and wishes to aid Denise and her team. She will submit an article for our winter newsletter, and will hopefully write an item for every edition. The Board also welcomed her request for financial support, and asked Denise to come back with specific items she needs for our consideration.

Annual Picnic: On behalf of the Board, Fred gave a “huge” thank you to Colleen and her husband Phillip for their hard work in making our annual picnic a success. She believes the turnout was comparable to last year. Lots of networking took place, including with the current president of Hellhole Canyon. Jerry suggested a social event with Hellhole’s board and our own Board to further goodwill and cooperation.

Save1000Acres Matching Campaign: Rick M worked with Ann Van Leer of TECC to draft a Memorandum of Understanding between FODR and TECC for a matching campaign fundraiser. The MOU calls for FODR to donate $50,000 toward the campaign in order to help acquire two parcels of open space near DR. If neither of the two properties is able to proceed, the funds will go into TECC’s acquisition fund for the upper watershed of Escondido Creek, meaning the area near DR. Rick M moved to approve the MOU. Jim seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The Board will discuss an outreach effort at the January meeting.

Newsletter: The next quarterly newsletter is scheduled for January. Colleen will write a piece with a photo about the picnic, Denise Harter will write an item on the tracking team, and Rick M has an article on Diania with photos.

Akin Gift: The Board asked Rick P to contact Nina Akin to ask for some input: 1. Is the Akin family okay with FODR publically acknowledging the gift? 2. Is the family okay with FODR dedicating a bench or other feature in the Akin name? 3. Does the family have any specific requests of FODR? 4. Should credit go to Perla Akin alone, or to Royal and Perla Akin?

Fred suggested that the Board learn more about how to organize and publicize the concept of legacy gifts, such as the Akin’s. He believes that the San Diego Foundation may be able to help us with these matters. Fred also suggests that eventually we publicize this concept via our newsletter and social media.

Kiosk and Stanley Peak Signs: Jim has been busy working on improving the kiosk at the main entrance to DR. He is installing an opening mechanism for the display case, along with a polycarbonate shield for UV protection and some sanding and staining of the wood. He is also working on a new version of the signage atop Stanley Peak. The end result should be a sturdier metal sign that would still contain the landscape features and identifiers on the current photo sign.

Historic Building Project: Dick is casting his gaze on a possible project, and it is a big one. He is discussing the idea of rebuilding the structure atop the hill on the east side of the road across from the ranch house. This is the site of an older Daley family residence, even though the current dilapidated structure is not the original. He envisions new construction of a large single-room building that might retain the historic stone fireplace/chimney. Scouts could be involved in the construction. The room could be used for overnight stays by scouts or other groups. It could also potentially house interpretive displays. Funding would be the major obstacle.

El Caballo Park: Rick P shared designs for four large signs at the proposed El Caballo Park in east Escondido, an amenity that FODR has actively supported. One of the signs would serve as a gateway to Daley Ranch, specifically for the Caballo Trail. The Board expressed its approval of this sign that would read “Daley Ranch,” and the Board indicated its willingness to help with its funding. Rick P will follow up with specifics for future consideration.

20th Anniversary Celebration: The Board discussed the upcoming 20th anniversary of the opening of DR. We would like to contact the City about cooperatively sponsoring a repeat of the opening day 20 years ago. Fred said we should talk to them before our January planning meeting as time is short. Fred said he could ask Dan if he has heard anything, and does he think FODR’s offer to help would be accepted.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be the annual “retreat” planning session at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 7 at Jim’s home.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, secretary