Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Feb. 15th, 2017

Friends of Way Park Meeting Minutes
February 15, 2017, 7:30 pm

Members present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Peder Jothen, Michelle Martin, Mary Poole, Ed Smith

1. Anne described the Living Legend Award Ceremony for Judy Swanson. The stage was set with pieces of art that Judy had designed for things like Christmas Fest at St. Olaf, the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Way Park, etc. The speakers described the award and nomination process, and then they described Judy and her contributions to Northfield. Dan Dimick’s remarks included a description of Judy’s efforts for Way Park, and hearing about her motivations and what she was able to accomplish was inspiring. Northfield’s poet laureate had written a poem for the occasion and it’s imagery centered on the hospital, the babies born there, the people treated there, and the idea that people today walk through that space and remember – that’s where my son was born (for example). It was a good reminder that we are carrying on a mission that she and others began when the hospital moved.

2. The discussion that followed was focused on the south end. Mary talked about the idea of the amphitheater as the healing garden or something, to make it more meaningful, more inviting. It’s not fulfilling its intended purpose. It’s barren and doesn’t get used. Talk turned to why it doesn’t get used as a stage/audience – no stage, no electricity, no shade (at the times when Books & Stars or the Vintage Bands are there). The group talked about trying to get someone to perform, both so that the amphitheater would get some use and so that we could get feedback from the groups about what would make it more appealing. Michelle suggested offering a grant ($100 for costumes and lemonade) to any group that wants to put on a show. Peder will ask the Counterfactuals if they would want to play there, why or why not, what would they need. Anne will ask Doug Bratland. Someone (Mary? Ed) suggested looking at other amphitheaters to see how they are landscaped and how they are used.

The other project at the south end that was discussed was memorializing the hospital. Peder noted that many new families don’t know that the park is the former site of the hospital, so any memorial should be done in such a way that it offers something to them. Ed described a clever memorial he had seen that appeared to show a space in its current and former shape at the same time. Anne committed to making a poster for the kiosk at that end that described the history and asked for help with an image that could show before and after. Ed also described the “home plate” that is right in the middle of Camp Snoopy at MOA to commemorate the location of the former ?? stadium. Anne suggested using stones flush with the ground to mark the footprint of the hospital.

A tentative plan was made to try to meet with Judy Swanson at the south end and talk to her about our ideas and how they mesh with the ideas of the original group, and then to talk to the city people about what type of changes would be possible (since maintenance must be minimal).

3. The picnic table project is somewhat clearer and more easily accomplished. The group talked about the sidewalk (“closing the loop,” finishing the path between the playground area and First Street) and about a larger area for more picnic tables. Many ideas were exchanged and Mary agreed to make a drawing that incorporates some of what was discussed so that we have something to look at and discuss at our next meeting.

4. Anne told the group about a conversation with Leif Knecht, in which he asked if we had a need for a tree. He and a group of friends would like to plant a tree in honor of a friend who recently passed away and who used to play in the park. Alternatively, they would like to place a plaque near one of the trees he already planted. The group decided that if he wants to move quickly, he
should just go with the plaque. The trees that the park “needs,” that are in the master tree plan, are along the east and west edges of the south side, and not really the kind that you would dedicate to someone. There is a desire for a climbing tree at some point.

5. Anne informed the group that Andrea Een is interested in doing a benefit concert for us. Everyone agreed that her offer is one we should accept, but once there is something to fundraise for.

6. Discussion of upcoming events was brief. Mary and Michelle will talk about that at our next meeting.

7. Anne described an idea that the Girl Scout troop has to create a backpack that can be checked out from the library with kid-friendly information about pollinators and another that will incorporate use of the musical plaza.

8. We did not talk about or approve the minutes. This can be point one on our next meeting agenda. Next meeting: March 15 at 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Jan. 18th, 2017

Friends of Way Park Meeting Minutes
January 18th , 2017, 7:30 pm

Members Present: Sara Payne (Vice Chair), Mary Poole, Mary Emery (Treasurer), Peder Jothen, Ed Smith, Anne Berry (Chair), Maggie Epstein, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary).
Location: Sara’s house.
Approval of October minutes. 

  • Minutes approved with two minor changes.

Treasurer’s Report: 

  • Mary E passes out the report. We received $1,734.25 in new donations this month. $17,647.93 is the current bank balance. Mary E sent out thankyou notes to everyone who donated for GiveMN and at the end of 2016.

Bee City update:

  • Our contact Lauren from the co-op has relocated to the Cities, but Sara met on her own with Tim Behrendt and Wanda from the City to discuss the bee city initiative. She learned of an effort the city has been working on, with collaboration from City Council member Erica Zweifel, to participate in a program to support pollinator friendly best practices and to seek a “pollinator-friendly” city designation. It looks like efforts associated with this program overlap a lot with the Bee City program (reductions in the use of anything that’s destructive to pollinators, moves from “turf to pollinators”, etc.), so this may be where we should place our efforts rather than with the Bee City option. The City needs help with the education piece of the pollinator-friendly program, and that may be an area we could help with.  
  • Sara was invited to a meeting off the environmental quality commission by Tim, and Erica is sitting on that committee too, as is Nancy Braker. They’d like to form a subgroup of the EQC (a pollinator working group) that would focus on the pollinator questions and try to identify how to involve the community and get support and participation. Sara gave them her contact information and will serve as a sort of liaison between this city initiative and FWP to identify ways we might support this effort in the park (e.g. we should have information in the park kiosks about an existing program that offers free seeds, as well as the rain barrel reimbursement program). 

Give to the Max report:

  • Ed updated our website and our information on the GiveMN, and set everything up for Give to the Max Day. Donations added up to just over $825!! We sent a mailing to our list, and placed info in the kiosks; with minimal input, we got a significant return.

Mailing list/membership/communications 

  • Maggie now has the spreadsheet with our mailing list and has access to our gmail account. She set up a Google Group for us and is starting to take over the tasks associated with mailings and membership. [Post-meeting she also set up some shared folders for us on Drive to simplify archiving and sharing information].

Park Board- and City-related

  • Sara attended the most recent PRAB meeting and met Tim Behrendt (the new Jasper). There is about $60,000 budgeted for any new amenities in all parks for next year.
  • Peder is now on the park board.

Future projects

  • Discussion of the plan to expand the picnic table area.
    • We could design it ourselves, we could find someone, such as Roger, from Aloha, who was at the music plaza dedication, to create a design for us. We need to get to know Tim B better and see if possibly he could design it for us (Jasper did a lot with the Music Plaza in the end). We should determine our wish list for this and then set up a meeting with Tim. There was support for making this effort a focus of our work this year. This project could also be a goal for fundraising. 
      • more and differently shaped and arranged picnic tables.
      • extend the sidewalk, make it a true figure 8. 
      • water fountain.  
  • The healing garden. 
    • This is going to be a long-range project so we probably need to work on it simultaneously with the smaller picnic area project.
    • Should we work to make the amphitheater be a more pleasing, meditative space? We have not used it for any community activities besides yoga. Would be helpful to have electricity near it.
    • We should create a display that highlights the hospital for the south kiosk, especially until the healing garden is completed.

Musical Plaza update: 

  • After the dedication ceremony, Matt Rohn finished filling out all of the follow-up paperwork for the SEMAC grant and sent it in.

Pumpkin Fest update:

  • went well; it was well-attended, with many city officials there. Many stayed until the end in the warming house. We moved everything into the warming hut closet for storage (sandwich boards, tables, wagon, leftover yoga mats, cooler, etc.) Mary Poole and Anne Berry have keys. 

Next meetings

  • 3rd Wednesday of the month for our next meetings.
    • Feb 15th
    • Mar 15th
    • Apr 19th 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Oct. 25, 2016

Friends of Way Park Meeting Minutes

October 25, 2016, 7:30pm

Members present: Maggie Epstein, Sara Payne (Vice Chair), Anne Berry (Chair), Mary E (Treasurer), Ed Smith, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Mary Poole, Peder Jothen

Meeting Location: Co-op meeting room.

  • Lauren (education coordinator for the co-op) and Andrew (an audio technician) to talk about the bee city question for first ten minutes.
  • opportunity to be the first bee city in the state.
  • raising credibility as being a pollinator friendly area. establish a healthy pollinator habitat, ensure survival of animal species, raise awareness of how our food grows – opportunity for education and outreach, improve plant nursery markets. Dissemination of info about best plants. could have a local honey fest 
  • Lauren:  thinks a lot of the community would be supportive of the idea. We’d have cooperating partners within the city – Girl Scouts, the Coop, the Key. Would require holding an annual event – maybe a concert, a gathering in Way Park. The project needs to be sponsored by a non-profit and the Co-op is for profit. FWP and the Garden club also could be partners.
  • Jasper’s replacement starts Nov. 1st.
  • annual fee, but the co-op would cover the cost.

Treasurer’s report:
  • $364.64 left in the Allina grant due to the rain days from yoga. Final bank balance is $16,005.72.
News and updates
  • Yoga – All follow-up paperwork has been submitted. Two dates in spring? Next year? maybe do more dates and add our funds to supplement? spring weather unpredictable too. If we want to do the grant again, the app will come due in Feb or March.
  • ROMP – Stone benches are in place. Grasses in spring (TJ says we need to wait to spring to do this). We have yet to get mallet covers. The tall tubes just don’t sound that good – they have to be hit perfectly to sound right.
Pumpkin Fest/ROMP dedication of Music Plaza.
  • If anyone can come at 4:30 to get set up that would be helpful. facepainting and art project in warming house. Pumpkin carving. Monster puppets in warminghouse. Apples with caramel, hot apple cider. Anne has the microphone and will charge it. Fire pit. Cynthia will bring wood. Older kids to do the apples again. Tools and tarp for carving. What do we do if it rains? If light rain, go ahead, hard rain: cancel. Formal invitations went to park board, arts commission, art teachers, etc. See Google planning doc for what’s left to do.
Give to the Max day – Nov 17th
  • Using Pumpkin Fest to educate public about future plans? Vote with spare change game?
  • We should try to grow the mailing list – have quarter sheet with Give MN info, but not hit it hard for fundraising at this event. Discussion of the picnic tables, re-doing the patio area near the playground – make it more useable; maybe a sidewalk connecting that side of the park.
  • Pea gravel and border of playground – in a two-year time frame for removal . Playground – a 6-year time frame – this according to Jasper. We should go to park, look at this, go to Jasper’s replacement and see what he thinks, maybe ask him to come to one of our meetings.  He starts Nov. 1st. Wanda is their secretary, friendly and a good contact.
Looking farther ahead
  • Winter events
  • Spring events
  • Bee City
  • Park designs
Task handoff – from Anne to others
  • Mailing list (an excel document – names and addresses from long ago, plus new emails as they get added) – Anne would be happy if someone else wanted to take on that task.  (gmail, communications, etc.)  Maggie volunteers.
  • Agendas
  • Equipment – microphone – Anne will pass it to Mary.
  • City relationships
  • Treasurer? Peder volunteers to take over from Mary E. at the end of the year when her term is up.
  • Technology?  Ed will put something together around re-doing the website for one of our upcoming meetings. Sara will look into why she can’t post photos to our FB page. Ed checks and it looks like anyone should be able to. Blogspot is horrible to use. Discussion of whether or not it’s worth it to switch to a different blog site – like wordpress. Need to identify what we really want the website to be in order to find the best program for doing it. E.g., how much is it going to be updated? Anne will look into the requirements of being a non-profit to make sure we know what is needed there.