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2024 Meeting Minutes

Monday April 8, 2024

7 pm on Zoom

 

Before beginning our meeting we sadly acknowledged the loss of our very dear Sandi Mayer. We will plan a remembrance for her, suggestions include a bench, tree, and engraved bluestone at the FPW entrance. 

 

1. In Attendance: Linda Carrington, Greg Lombardi, John Fagan, Scott Wild, Lisa Miller, Thelma Achenbach, Kathy Hourihan, Lori Pucek, Ken Pokrowski, Kristine Herbst, Willi Juhlin, Jeanne Cunillera, Allen Wells John Landau, Susan Landau.

Special welcome to our meetings to Kathy Hourihan and Lori Pucek. 

 

2. March 2024 Minutes: Kristine moved for approval, Ken seconded. March minutes were unanimously approved. 

 

3. Treasurer’s report

A. Deer protection expense was about $800 more than the estimate due to availability and sourcing. But it’s great quality and can be reused indefinitely. 

B. Our balance is about $15,000 but about to drop substantially as we pay for trees and plugs for spring planting and the deer protection. 

C. Recent expenses include: 

       $17 bird box shavings

       $180 seed

       $3,400 fencing  ($2,600 approved)

4. Website

John Fagan shared his screen to show where all meeting minutes are posted under “What’s New” - since 2020!

Favorite wildlife and plant photos can be seen under “Galleries”. Please take a look, they are just stunning.

And John is building a wildlife catalog that looks to be beautiful, using our FOFPW photographers' work in FPW.

 

5. Membership

Kristine reports that we have approximately 300 email members

And 70 contributing members. 

She may repeat the appeal for contributing members in a few months. 

 

6. Invasive/restoration Work and Volunteers

A. Volunteer Sundays continue from 1-3 and are super well attended! We average 15-20 volunteers each week— thank you all!

B. Verizon will join us Saturday and cub scouts on Sunday am before our regular volunteer hours 1-3. April will be busy with corporate days!

C. Our Pinelands delivery will arrive April 9, Tuesday around 7-7:30. I’m grateful for all who are volunteering to help unload! 

D. Jean Epiphan will visit before Saturday to guide/design tree placement in our first forest restoration. We will be ready to begin planting on Saturday and Sunday!

7. GSWA Plant Sale: Factory days April 29 - May 3. Signup is here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040E4CAFA82AA7FC1-48401293-weneed#/. Please join if you can!

 

8. Other topics:

A. Linda gave us the goose update. She, Jeanne and Greg are watching. 

The FPW pair looked to be nesting in their usual place but have not been seen in the last couple of days at Foote’s. No nesting activity has been seen at Windmill Pond. 

Greg has checked out the all the boxes and re-lined the wood duck box with fresh cedar chips

B. Karen Reuther joins as our Youth Education Advisor!

John moved to add Karen to the Board as Youth Education Advisor

Alan seconded

Karen is welcomed to our board with an enthusiastic, unanimous vote. 

C. Linda brought this interesting USGS Earthquake reporting site.

www.earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes

 

9. Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be on May 13, 2024 --7 pm on Zoom or possibly earlier at the dock at 6:30. TBD depending on weather. 

10. Adjournment: Kristine moved that we adjourn at 7:54. Susan seconded. We adjourned following a unanimous vote. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan

Monday Mar 11, 2024

7 pm on Zoom

1. In Attendance: Linda Carrington, Sandi Mayer, John Fagan, Judy Bayard, Jean Epiphan, Thelma Achenbach, Chris Cioffi, Jeanne Cunillera, Kristine Herbst, Willi Juhlin, John Landau, Susan Landau.

 

Special Welcome to Jean Epiphan, our Rutgers Natural Resources Extension Morris County Extension Agent, ecologist, and forester!  

2. February 2024 Minutes: Motion to approve by Jeanne C, seconded by Judy. All approved with Linda abstaining. 

 

3. Treasurer’s report:  

  • We have approximately $13,000 in our account. 

  • Our next big expense to approve is deer protection for the trees we will plant in the south woods. Jean E. described the necessity for deer protection and set our expectations for how long it will need to be in place (many years, depending on species).

  • John L moved that we approve up to $2600 for deer fencing, assorted stakes, and other things required. Susan seconded, the vote was unanimous to approve.

 

4. Website:

  • John F. screen-shared the favorite wildlife photos selected from the last round of voting. They are gobsmackingly beautiful. Everyone is encouraged to visit the website to view them:  https://www.fofpw.org/gallery/favorite-wildlife-photos

  • Susan will add this link and the link to all photos in the email with meeting minutes. 

 

5. Membership: 

  • Kristine used the power of MailerLite to send our annual report and membership appeal to our 294-person email member list. She reports 10-11 memberships and donations have been received and this is not unexpected because we received some very generous donations at the end of 2023. 

  • Of the 294 email members, 76 are contributing members.

  • There were 6 bounce-backs from the March 1 MailerLite send and a whopping 60% open rate.

  • Kristine and Susan will look at the bounce-backs together.

 

6. Instagram: Michelle continues to post information about the GSWA plant sale and FPW photos on Instagram.

 

7. Invasive/restoration Work and Volunteers:

   A. Volunteer Sundays continue: Michelle has logged 171 volunteer hours to date, 19 new volunteers, and an average of 17 volunteers each Sunday. 

   B. Corporate groups ADP, Deloitte, and Verizon have scheduled volunteer days with us. Ricola may join as well. Rotary would like to volunteer on June 6 and that’s a possible conflict with Ricola that needs to be resolved. 

   C. We will be unloading 120 trees from the Pinelands Nursery  truck on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 am! Please email Susan if you can help unload! 

   

8. Tree Crew Work: We lost a large maple and huge pin oak near the bench on the James Street side of the pond. The highest branches were hazardous. Brian of our Morristown Tree Crew generously made a lovely bench from some of the wood and left trunk segments sawed into assorted lengths. We took the taller ones, about 2 1/2 -3 feet, to the back side of the pond for resting stumps and the remainder of the shorter segments were arranged to make a line “stepping stumps”. These can be nice spots to rest and look at the pond and wildlife. The high school crew did most of this work and are commended for making the most of a cold, damp uncomfortable day! 

 

9. Other topics:

A. Linda brought a McCullough Hall event to our attention. Their bird-watching and grounds tour may extend to FPW on Apr 6, 9 -10 AM  

B. Geese: Linda let us know that we need to begin to survey FPW and Windmill Pond for nesting geese. We have written permission from Windmill Pond to be on their property for goose mitigation. Linda and Susan will arrange meeting dates and email with those committed to this project. 

C. Bluebird boxes: Most of the bird boxes have been cleaned out. Linda and Greg will finish and add cedar chips. Cedar chips are recommended by the Friends of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. 

D. We are a pickup site for the GSWA plant sale again, Landau house, May 4, 1-3 pm. Plant sale Factory Days are April 28 - May 3. The SignUp Genius will be included in the mail with these minutes. 

 

10. Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be on April 8, 2024 -- 7 pm on Zoom.

 

11. Adjournment: At 7:52, Susan moved for adjournment, Kristine seconded, all were in favor. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan

Monday February 12, 2024

7 pm on Zoom

1. In attendance

Sandi Mayer, John Fagan, Thelma Achenbach, Michele Packer, Kristine Herbst, Jeanne Cunillera, Greg Lombardi, Lisa Miller, Judy Bayard, Ken Pokrowski, Lori Pucek, Susan Landau, John Landau

 

2. January 2024 minutes 

Judy moved that the January minutes be approved, Susan seconded, no discussion, all approved. 

 

3. Treasurer’s report 

-We have $12,486 in our account. A healthy portion of that will be spent for planting this spring. Species selection is guided by Jean Epiphan. 

-Kristine moved that FoFPW spend approximately $3,000 toward trees from Pinelands Nursery, $2,000 in native plugs from New Moon Nursery, and $200 in seeds from Ernst Seeds. Judy seconded and the vote was unanimous. 

-We will have quotes for deer protection to vote on in March. 

-Trees will be delivered April 9 at 7:30 am. Susan will be asking for help to unload the truck or she will hire some local college students. 

-Jean will help with tree positioning in the woodland. 

-We need to have all planted by June before it gets hot or hold in pots until fall. 

-We discussed deer pressure coupled with invasives adding up to non-regenerating landscapes. Our woodland has very, very few seedlings to regenerate our forest as we lose tree canopy to age, storms, disease and invasive pests.  Seedlings are eaten by deer or buck rubbed to death. The native understory layers have been devastated by deer as well and any regrowth is crowded out by invasives. 

-This meeting about Jockey Hollow's Forest health applies to us: https://engagedpatrons.org/EventsRegister.cfm?SiteID=4662&BranchID=1000003052&Branch=19%20Blue%20Mill%20Road&EventID=511023&PK=

4. Website

-John F. posted new photos from Bob DeCroce and the new "Going Native" brochure . 

-The wish list still lists rakes (metal leaf rakes are best) and a Gorilla cart. 

-John shared his screen and brought us up to date with the wildlife photo contest. 15 favorites will be selected from a pool of 60-80  photos. It’s just about ready to go live and when it does, please send it to your friends! 

 

5. Membership

-Kristine reports that three new people have joined the email list, one requested removal because he is moving away. 

291 members are on the list to date.

-When our Annual Report is ready ( soon!), Kristine will use MailerLite to make it pretty and distribute it. Susan will write a narrative to add and this will be our 2024 appeal for contributing members and donations. 

 

6. Instagram

-Michelle reports that we now have 65 followers. She has begun cross posting/following other land-stewarding/environmental advocate organizations like GSWA and Friends of Jockey Hollow. She will add Friends of Brightwood Park and we will send along other appropriate groups. 

-She has posted mosses, lichen and other current photos as well as Linda's water reflection photo.

-She will post info about the photo contest and eventually the favorite photos.

-Michelle posted Jean Epiphan’s excellent tree document as we spoke. 

 

7. Invasive/restoration work and volunteers

-Volunteer Sundays are back! Michelle reports 11 new volunteers, 13 High school students and 92 volunteer hours to date! Using a Signup Genius for high school students is very useful for clear communication. 

-Jean Epiphan walked the park for 2 1/2 hours with us, strategizing about winter/spring plans and plants. Super helpful.

   

8. Tree Crew Work

-Hazardous branches overhanging the main path have been removed. 

-Soil was rutted along the main path toward the dock from the truck used to remove especially dangerous branches. The tree crew carefully filled the ruts with branches, a lovely repair.

-Brush pile near the dock still needs to be chipped. It’s on the February agenda for the STC.

 

9. Other topics

-Susan thanked everyone for helping write the plant labels for GSWA.  

-Sandi noted that Board of Adjustment has an opening and needs a good volunteer.

-Judy let us know that she had just heard a screech owl outside — a lovely way to close our meeting. 

 

10. Next meeting

Our next meeting will be on March 11, 2024 at 7 pm on Zoom.

 

11. Adjournment

Sandi moved to adjourn at 7:47, Kristine seconded and the vote was unanimous. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan

Monday January 22, 2024

7 pm on Zoom

1. In Attendance - Susan Landau, Linda Carrington, John Landau, Lisa Miller, John Fagan, Michelle Packer,Thelma Achenbach, Kristine Herbst, Jeanne Cunillera, Greg Lombardi, Judy Bayard, Ken Pokrowski, Marcia Graydon, Phaedra Singelis.

 

2. November 2023 Minutes - Linda moved to approve, Susan seconded. All approved.

 

3. Treasurer report 

-We start 2024 in great shape with $12,400 in the account.

-We have applied for a grant from the Garden Club of America

 

4. Website 

-John F. reports that a second photo contest could be staged at any time. The subject will be Wildlife. John F will launch this soon, in conversation with Michelle and John L. 

-Our wishlist page is stale, please send any additions to John. 

-Susan to ask Barb and Katie about a rain garden page.

 

5. Membership 

-Kristine reports that we have 69 contributing members and about 290 on our email list.

-We will send a 2023 report and 2024 plans to all via MailerLite in February. 

 

6. Instagram 

-Michelle will take over management of our Instagram account. 

-Please send photos and content to Michelle and/or John F. They will coordinate posting on Instagram and our website as appropriate. 

-John can post your photos in our general gallery on the website or make a "gallery" for you. Of course just posting on Instagram is also a choice. 

 

7. Invasive/restoration work and Volunteers

    A. Volunteer Sundays resume starting Jan 28, 1-3 pm, weather permitting 

    B. Michelle reports that we had 919 volunteer hours in 2023. She will send interesting stats from her volunteer tracking spreadsheet, breaking out the number of new volunteers, discrete volunteers, children, etc. for the annual        report. 

    C. Susan is using  Sign Up Genius for the MHS students who volunteer with us. 

    D. Priorities for 2024: 

        1. Rake and seed several areas in winter

        2. Forest restoration area

        3. Restore School areas that children see from the playground and the area around Grade Level trees. 

    E. Jean Epiphan will walk the park with us again and guide our work. 

 

8. Plant orders

-Susan is putting plant orders together. Please let her know the species you are interested in for private planting. Plants are available at our wholesale cost plus 10% for FoFPW and any possible shipping costs. 

-Last year over $6000 were ordered for private use, earning at least $600 for FoFPW.

 

9. Other topics

    A. Dinner deliveries to Sandi are sorted. Sandi certainly appreciates the delicious meals and support. 

    B. Linda notes that goose monitoring will begin weekly Mid-March at Foote’s and Windmill. Susan will request letters be sent to all Windmill residents for 2024. Jeanne will join the effort and Phaedra will join as she can. 

    C. Morristown DPW/Tree Crew 

        1. Plans to chip the downed ash branches gathered in the area between the dock and school.

        2. Plans to chainsaw downed logs into lengths that we can move to line the paths and otherwise use. 

    D. GSWA native plant sale is on again this April. Susan is organizing the wooden stick plant labels. Please let her know if you can help!

    E. Earth Day is Monday April 22. FoFPW could plan an event. Please send ideas to Susan for discussion at our Feb. meeting.

    F. Judy reports that the Morristown’s leaf blower ordinance has passed. Outreach is the next step. FoFPW is apolitical and cannot take an active position on this ordinance. If you would like more info, please contact Judy. 

 

10. Next Meeting - Our next meeting will be on February 12, 7 pm on Zoom.

 

11. Adjournment - Linda moved for adjournment at 7:51pm, Susan  seconded. All approved. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Susan

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