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