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2024 Meeting Minutes

 Monday July 8, 2024 7:00 pm 

 On Zoom


1. In Attendance: Linda Carrington, John Fagan, Judy Bayard, Willie Juhlin, Ken Pokrowski, Lisa Miller, Cathy Wilson, Gail Biggs, Joan Belz, Susan Landau, John Landau.


2.June Minutes: Approval is tabled till July due to lack of a quorum.


3.Treasurer's Report

-We have approximately $15,000 in the account. 

-$2,000 of this balance is the NPSNJ Grant.

-The town has been paid $2,000 for Sandi’s bench and we have about $400 for planting and a small plaque or sign.  


4. Membership: We are approaching 320 people on our email list. 



-John Fagan has set up a marvelous feature on the website.

-First, when you mouse over (hold the cursor over) a photo, the name of the subject appears. Please help with accurate and complete identification if you can! 

Indicate the photo for John with its current label and the name of the photographer, give him the correct identification. John F. will update.

-Second, in the future photos will be searchable by animal and plant type. 

-All the photos have been taken in FPW and as you identify a subject, if there is any particular feature that you can note, like feeding behavior or an individual’s life stage, please include that as well. 

6. Restoration Projects:

    A. Jean Epiphan is guiding shrub, fern and ground layer species for fall planting in our south woods restoration patch. We have a $2,000 grant from the Native Plant Society of NJ dedicated to this. Susan has begun ordering from Pinelands Nursery and the delivery is scheduled for October 1 at 7:30 am. We are very fortunate to have enough grant and community funding to purchase five-gallon plants as opposed to one-gallon. Larger stock will be a more robust,  impressive planting.


    B. Jean Epiphan is tracking and collecting data on seedlings and saplings in our yards and public spaces. These can be volunteers (naturally germinated in the soil) or planted by people. She is providing cages and stakes to protect them. To join and support this project, a photo and simple data on each tree needs to be collected yearly. If anyone is interested in adding FPW trees to this project  and supervising data collection, please let Susan or John know!  And of course you can add your own trees as well! 

Email Susan or John for info.,


    C. Some town council members will tour FPW August 1. 


    D. The orange paint marks around the park are to help ID poison ivy for professional spot treatment. 

We guided the herbicide applicator first to areas where children could be exposed, second to areas that affect the general public, and third to areas where volunteers need to work. We are very grateful to the STC and town for this. The applicator used a formulation that is safe for wetlands.


7. Sandi’s Bench: 30 people have donated to Sandi’s Bench. The bench itself, along with plants and a plaque or sign are now nicely funded. The bench has been paid for and ordered. We hope to see it in place in September. We will need permission from Morristown to place a plaque on the actual bench. 


8. Other Topics: John L will post the laminated butterfly ID brochure. 


9. Our next meeting is on  August 12, 2024 

-6:30 at the dock weather permitting. 

-7:00 on Zoom if the weather doesn’t cooperate. 


10. Adjournment: Meeting ended at 7:34 pm


Respectfully submitted,


Monday June 10, 2024

6:30 pm in person at the dock


1. In Attendance: Michelle Packer. Thelma Achenbach, Jeanne Cunillera, Allen Wells, Joe Guerin, Diane Otto, Gail Biggs, Linda Carrington, Donna Orr, Lisa Miller, Joan Belz, Miguel Flores, Greg Lombardi, John Fagan, Chris Cioffi, Susan Landau, John Landau, Great White Egret. 


2. May 2024 minutes: Linda moved for approval, Gail seconded. Approved unanimously with one abstention. 


3. Treasury Report: New grant of $2,000 for NPSNJ has been deposited, current balance is approximately $14,000.


4. Website update: No major changes, wildlife listing is in development.


5. Membership: We currently have 310 plus people on our email list. 


6.Volunteers: Michelle reports that we have had 131 new volunteers this year due, in good part, to corporate volunteer days. And 916 volunteer hours have been recorded. 


7. Invasive/Restoration work: 

     A. Volunteer Sundays are now from 10:00 to noon.

     B. Main Meadow Trail and Marsh Trail were opened/weeded last Sunday.

     C. Poison Ivy is limiting our work, the town will contract to treat this summer.

     D. Signage will be proposed for the reforestation patch, hoping this will be a Girl Scout Gold Award project. 

     E. Huge shoutout to Jeanne and Thelma for heroic maintenance of the Loyola Gardens prior to the June 20th Music in the Gardens Event. 

8. Memorial for Sandi:

The proposal is a bench with plantings. 

Rotary funding might be possible through a grant. Susan will reach out to Jillian and Anthony for pricing and approval. 

FoFPW is collecting donations for this, and Deb is tracking/earmarking them for Sandi’s Memorial Project


9. Partners: 

       A. 2 Native trees were planted at Temple B’nai Or to celebrate the graduating “4’s”.

       B. Rotary/Deloitte/STC/FoFPW held a volunteer planting/weeding day in Lidgerwood Park to augment and maintain the woodland planting along the back fence. 


10. Other Topics: 

      A. Joan shared success speaking with and educating landscapers and their parent companies to reduce gas leaf blower use. The printed town flyer is helpful. Greg added that the non-emergency police line can be used and we can report to Chris Russo, our 4th Ward Councilperson. 


      B. Foxes in our area were discussed along with snakes and frogs and snakes munching on frogs. (IYKYK!) 


     C. Chris C. Is off to college soon, his presence for the past 6 years has been wonderful for FoFPW. We wish him all the best! 


11. Our Next Meeting is July 8, 2024, 6:30. In person at the dock again. On Zoom at 7 pm if the weather doesn’t cooperate. 


12. Adjournment: Linda moved to adjourn, Diane seconded and all approved.

Meeting adjourned at 7:35


Respectfully submitted,


Monday May 13, 2024

7 pm on Zoom


1. In attendance: David Lustbader, Michelle Packer, Thelma Achenbach, Gail Biggs, Joe Guerlin, Lisa Miller, Ken Pokrowski, Marcia Graydon, John Landau, Susan Landau, Jeanne Cunillaera, Scott Wild


2. April minutes: Gail moved to accept the April minutes, Jeanne seconded. April minutes approved unanimously. 


3. Treasury report: 

We have $10,800 in the FoFPW account.

A generous $800 GC of M donation has been received and is pending in the account. 

We expect an additional $1,200 from the Garden Club of America; a P2P grant is in process. 


4. Membership: We currently have just over 300 on our email list. 


5. Invasive/restoration work 

   A. In June, Sunday Volunteer Day hours shift to morning, 10-12.

   B. Reforestation patch update:120 trees have been planted and are leafing out beautifully.

Hickory tubelings and blackhaws remain to be planted.

The high school students, who have been key to our volunteer work, will be less available as the school year reaches its close. 

ADP is coming Thursday to sheet mulch and possibly plant. 

Sheet mulch was discussed as an unusual tactic in a forest but necessary for us to control, in particular, invasive vines. The vines have robust roots in the soil and they can grow 20 -25 feet in a season and threaten our new trees. Invasives' seeds in the seed bank will be viable for 7-20 years depending on species.  The sheet mulch should substantially suppress the invasive roots and seeds.  

There is very little, if any, valuable native vegetation on the forest floor in question. 

   C. Katie, Barb, Nigel, Susan, and John spent a morning weeding, seeding, and cleaning up the TJ rain garden. The plugs planted last June are thriving. 

   D. Adopt a spot/species volunteers: 

We are particularly grateful to knowledgeable volunteers who are working independently:

Jean and Thelma for their weeding near the dock and working on that troublesome thistle in the Loyola garden.  

Joe has joined us and is currently a mugwort/thistle specialist

Erin is working with Susan on the stream bank near James Street. 

Michelle will resume her work at the main path/social path junction near the old bridge. 

   E. Garden Club of Morristown is coming tomorrow to weed Darby's Garden and extension. 


6. Volunteers:

Michelle reports that we have had 121 new volunteers this year,  that includes corporate and scout groups. 

To date: 756 volunteer hours, which equals 31.5 days.


7. Memorial for Sandi

A bench for sitting and watching the pond surrounded with native trees was discussed. 

Possibly placed near the big rock and dogwood on the pond side of the path opposite the main meadow. 

This is close to the dock and other benches. 

Bench on the south side would offer more spacing-- if there is a good site.

FoFPW would need to raise at least $2,500 for the bench. Susan will ask Jillian if the town could contribute the cement pad which generally costs another $2,500. 


8. Partners: 

     A. Temple B’nai Or. We are now in conversation with the temple and we will be planting two trees with the four-year-old graduating class from their public school program. 

     B. TJ Elementary, Science Day: Katie, John, and Susan will be teaching the TJ students at FPW on May 30 to support Science Day. And we will support a Summer Academy at TJ. 

     C. Garden Club of Morristown: GC of M has scheduled two weeding and planting days in Darby's Garden and extension. 

     D. ADP will join us for a volunteer day working on the reforestation project

     E. Rotary / Deloitte have scheduled a volunteer day in Lidgerwood. They are contributing funds to extend the plantings and volunteering a day for maintenance of the bed planted last year. 


9. GSWA Plant Sale: The sale was successful, 25,000 native plugs sold and delivered, thanks to all who volunteered!


10. Other topics:

   A. A squirrel has happily taken up residence in the gray owl box. 

   B. GSWA Music Fest is on the 19th, 11-4 , Platt Property on Loantaka-- info on GSWA web site:


11. Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be on June 10, 2024 -- at the dock at 6:30.  Zoom at 7pm is our backup if the weather doesn't cooperate. 


12. Adjournment: Susan moved for adjournment and Jeanne seconded. Meeting adjourned at 7:29 pm. 


Respectfully submitted,


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: 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.


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,


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:

  • 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,


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:

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,


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,


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