Monday, November 14, 2016

Give to the Max Day!

Hello, Friends!

This Thursday, November 17th, is Give to the Max Day! As you're deciding how to donate, please remember Friends of Way Park.

With your support, we have been able to make regular to make improvements to the park. We've continued to add elements from the master plan and plant trees with that design in mind, and this summer we expanded the pollinator garden and built the musical plaza. Upcoming projects include updating the playground, designing a memorial healing garden for the south end, and adding more picnic tables, and installing a drinking fountain!

Your support also allows us to host events like Pumpkin Fest, Cocoa Day, and Explore the Outdoors!

It's easy to give! Just go to the Friends of Way Park page on the GiveMN site on November 13, or go now and pre-schedule your donation.

Thank you for your involvement and support!

-The Friends of Way Park Board

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Sep. 15th, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
Sept. 15th, 2016, 7:30 pm

FWP Members Present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Mary Poole, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Ed Smith, Michelle Martin, Peder Jothen, Sara Payne (Vice Chair), Maggie Epstein

Meeting location: Just Food Co-op meeting room.

I. Announcements and updates from the summer.

  • Sara has been working on the FWP brochure and it is improved for colors and content.
  • Board members introduced themselves for the benefit of the new members, Sara, Maggie and Peder.
  • May minutes were approved.
  • Music plaza: the boulders are in, but the three big benches not done yet; the concerns about the volume of the instruments now seem overblown as they are really not that loud, although we do need foam covers for the mallets of the big chime instrument.
  • Vintage Band Festival: FWP was only involved as far as spreading the word about the event.
  • Yoga in the park: we’ve had to cancel two of the 6 sessions so far due to weather, but still have two left. It’s decided additional sessions will not be added on now, but we may be able to hold some spring yoga classes with the remaining funds.
  • The closet in the warming hut is complete, although we still need a door handle; also a ramp will be built for the entrance. 
  • The 2nd street kiosk has been repaired and re-installed.
  • The Girls Scouts organized a planting session and pollinator plants were installed in the southeast rain garden.

II. Treasurer's report

  • Mary E passed out copies of the report. Balance is $16,835.72. She explained for the new members that our funds are the result of past fundraising efforts and grants.

III. Pumpkin fest

  • There was a meeting in the park to discuss having a ROMP dedication of the music plaza during pumpkin fest (tentatively: Matt Rohn, a Rotary representative, and Liz Shepley would speak briefly; then ribbon-cutting, and then a concert on the instruments led by Dave Hagedorn). We’ll invite the Park Board, the City Council and the mayor.
  • Oct. 29th; we’ll start the dedication at 5 pm, then the rest of the festival to begin at 5:30 (costume parade, etc.)
  • face painting: Michelle will talk to Donna and Sharon
  • advertising: sandwich boards, flyers (we’ll make a Spanish version), Greenvale newsletter (Anne), Northfield News (Cindy Carlson)

IV.  Possible ideas/topics for this year; where will our priorities be?

  • Relationships: new city staff on board (Jasper has left) so it will be important for us to continue to develop a good relationship with his successor and with TJ.
  • Infrastructure: healing garden, playground (getting a plan for next steps; splash pad?), water fountain
  • Partnerships: Cannon River Watershed, Arts Guild (maybe theater in the park), Q Block, etc.
  • Communications: mailing list, website, kiosk (maybe start a “By the way” series of posters with historical information about the park – Sara)
  • “Bee” city USA, we could become a bee-city, in partnership with Just Food, to promote bee awareness; one event/year

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes May 17th, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
May 17th, 2016, 7:30 pm

FWP Members Present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Mary Steen (Vice Chair), Keith Covey, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Matt Rohn

Meeting location: Mary Steen’s house.

I. Treasurer’s report:

  • Balance same as last month; current report includes a summary of the support for Music Play in Way Park. Current balance: $16,040.98

II. Music plaza:

  • Jasper received two bids for the plaza and chose the lower of the two. 
  • Around June 6th is target date to break ground on the plaza.

III.  Vintage Band Festival:

  • Anne met with Paul Niemisto of the Cannon Valley Orchestra. Our role will essentially be to publicize.

IV. Closet and Kiosk:

  • Anne spoke with Scott Swanson and he will get moving on both projects, although he did not give a time frame. The city will cover $600 toward the closet project and Scott will try to come in under that. He will also get a bill for the kiosk restoration to the city to be submitted to insurance of the vehicle driver.
  • Mary P took the kiosk door that had blown off in the wind to the City, so they have that as well as the damaged kiosk.

V. SEMAC grant survey

  • One of the requirements of the grant was for us to gather information regarding use of the instruments. Discussion of how best to do this. Possibly arrange for volunteers to sit in the park and observe and record usage at several time slots of the day during a couple of chosen weeks after installation (i.e. right away, then another month later, etc.). Volunteers would explain what they’re doing to the park users.
  • We will also give a concert with the instruments as part of the grant, which we think we’ll do during Pumpkin Fest. Maybe we can get Dave Hagedorn involved in this.
  • Discussion of having some sort of “lesson plan(s)” designed for the instruments, with instructions in the kiosk and on the website, perhaps even for phone.

VI. New Members

  • Mary S, Matt and Keith are stepping down, so we need to look for 3-4 new members (we are currently at 9 instead of 10)
  • Discussion of various possibilities, neighbors of the park, people with children of varying ages or differing backgrounds that might be helpful to have on the board. We will start with our first round of invitations and work from there.
  • We should have the new members on the slate for the Annual meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 7th (Keith will see if the Fireside Rm at St John’s is available).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Apr. 19th, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
Apr. 19th, 2016, 7:30 pm

FWP Members Present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Mary Steen (Vice Chair), Mary Poole, Keith Covey, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Matt Rohn, Ed Smith, Michelle Martin

Meeting location: Mary Steen’s house.

I. Website:

  • some discussion of Blogspot, our website (which is a rather cumbersome system to use, although probably not worth changing to something else) and where the minutes and different components should go. It was decided to leave current minutes where they are, on first page you see (the “home” tab).

II. Treasurer’s report:

  • Mary E handed out a revised report for 2015 that reflected some corrections to expenditures related to the Rotary funding; also passed out a new report for 2016 that shows the Allina grant received.
  • Current balance: $16,040.98

III. The music plaza:

  • Jasper has the final budget for plaza; he is getting three bids and City will decide.
  • Discussion on the placement of the quotes and number of quotes. We decided to go with four quotes.

IV. Closet and Kiosk:

  • Anne will get in touch with Scott Swanson about these two projects. 
  • the door on the north kiosk got blown off in a storm, Mary P has the parts in her garage. The lock for this one keeps disappearing.

V. Outdoor Day (May 1, 1-3 pm):

  • Science Alliance, Waxwing Farms, confirmed.
  • Bob Bjorkland and the drummers can’t come this year. Cliff Martin may be able to come.
  • Mary P will do an art project, possibly May baskets.
  • Matt will have a sustainability table, with Community Solar info and pollinator garden info.
  • Mary P will get the poster to Anne for printing. Cynthia will translate it to Spanish.
  • Anne will check on the Girl Scouts and volleyball, and also slack-lining.
  • should we check to see if the library could have a presence? they’re busy with the grand re-opening preparations. Mary S will check.
  • we could have attendees do park clean up at the same time (parents, especially).
  • Michelle will check with Gear Resource.
  • Anne will check with Police regarding bike safety and registration.
  • Keith will be out of town.
  • Michelle will reserve the park.

VI. Misc.

  • July 28-31 Vintage Band festival
  • next meeting we’ll talk about yoga
  • Sat. June 4th is Volunteer Day
  • Matt’s daughter wrote up a proposal to Rotary to fill in the open spot in the south garden as a pollinator garden, will take approx $600 for the flowers.
  • Mary S and Matt leaving the board this year after three terms; ideally we should have a board of ten so add possible members to the google doc.
  • be in touch with Anne if your 2-year term is ending and you’re not planning to continue.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Explore the Outdoors, our Spring day of outdoor fun, is almost here!

Come join your neighbors this Sunday, May 1st, from 1 to 3pm at Way Park for fun and lemonade!

There will be art projects, science and farm activities.
Bike maintenance, registration, and decoration.
Volleyball, kickball and other sports.
Plus, there will be information about community solar,
pollinator gardens, and the new outdoor musical plaza.

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Mar. 14th, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
Mar. 14th, 2016, 7:30 pm

FWP Members Present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Mary Steen (Vice Chair), Mary Poole, Keith Covey, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Matt Rohn, Ed Smith, Michelle Martin, Mary Cisar; Cindy Carlson for ROMP present for the first half-hour.

Meeting location: Anne’s house.

I. ROMP update (Cindy Carlson)

  • Anne spoke with Jasper today, the instruments have been ordered (bases are green, tops alternate between moss-colored and taupe). Jasper is ready to receive the money from us. Cindy will check in with Barry to see if the Rotary grant money ($15,000) has to pass through us first or if it can be paid directly to the City.
  • The SEMAC grant ($10,000) funds have come to us, so we will pass them on to the City.
  • We will also pass on the money raised by the music concert last year (approximately $1600) as well as the $5,000 that FWP pledged toward the project (we have already spent $2, 085 of this amount on the Concept plan, so we will forward the balance on to the City). We will write a check for this at the end of the meeting.

  • Discussion of the paver colors for the music plaza. Two choices. Plus background cement color. Anne will put the samples out in the park so we can walk through and get a sense of which would look best with the existing park wall.

  • Discussion of having quotes related to music stamped in the cement around the plaza. Cindy passed out a handout with some possible citations for this purpose. General agreement about this; consensus that they should be relatively short quotes. They’ll need to be chosen by the end of March. We will circulate the final possibilities via email so that we can vote on them. Cindy will check in with Liz Shepley who might be a good resource for these.
  • Discussion of possible wording for a plaque or other commemorative acknowledgement for the funders.  

II. Treasurer's report
  • Mary E passed out copies of the report. Balance is $22,436.98.She will amend the report to move the Fireflies Play Environment expenditure from the ROMP section to the regular section of our spending, as it is related to the nature play plan, and not the music plaza.
  • There have been difficulties with the Oracle website (and Amazon Smiles, as a possible source of matching funds to whom someone named FWP as a recipient) and there was consensus that it is not worth our (Mary’s) time at this point, so no need for her to go to further trouble setting up an account.

III. Events reports
  • “Cocoa Day” was a success, perhaps we should do “Lemonade Day” in the spring or summer.
  • Yoga: we got the Allina grant again, for 8 sessions. The specifications of the grant would like to see the same people to attend each week (there will be a drawing for a gift card from Heartwork from among those who attend 6 times). We’ll shoot for 9 am Saturdays again, in August and September. Ed will get the word out already so people have it on their radar.
    • Katie Felland is interested in teaching again, and she’d like to share the job with another instructor. Mary P will check on this.
  • Outdoor Day: discussion of possible dates. Sunday, May 1st, 1- 4 pm is chosen.
    • maybe Maypole, May baskets, plantings, Science Alliance, Bike Northfield for tune-ups…
    • will be canceled if bad weather.
    • Suzie Nakasian is interested in doing some kind of “east meets west” event – perhaps this event could be advertised on the east side too.
    • discussion of creating a pollinator garden: Beth Kallsted (sp?), as part of Rotary is interested in promoting this and supporting this in the park. Perhaps we could have some kind of information on this at Outdoor Day. There is room for more planting in the south rain garden where the Girl Scouts started a pollinator garden before. We need to have a way to maintain it. Matt will contact Beth.
    • it would be good to have coordination of volunteer efforts. 
    • maybe we should have a volunteer weeding training? one of them could be at outdoor day? and possibly instructions posted in the kiosks?
IV. Web report
  • Ed will update the site with the meeting minutes; he’ll also do brief blasts about the different upcoming events as appropriate: yoga, outdoor day, pollinator gardens, etc.

V. Building report 
  • No news on the closet in the warming house, or the kiosk. Anne will get in touch with Scott Swanson.

VI. Park Board report
  • Anne will find out if there is a meeting this Thurs and let Mary S know, as she would be able to attend.

VII. Next meeting: April 19th 7:30 pm Mary Steen’s house.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Jan. 19th, 2016

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
Jan. 19th, 2016, 7:30 pm

FWP Members Present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Mary Steen (Vice Chair), Mary Poole, Keith Covey, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Matt Rohn, Ed Smith.

Meeting location: Just Food Co-op meeting room.

A. Treasurer's report. 
Balance $30, 737.48. Total donations for the year were $2350. Give MN donations were more than $1000 this year. 

B. Building report.
Kiosks and closet. Matt talked to Scott Swanson, and Scott has submitted an estimate for the kiosk to TJ, which was then submitted to City Hall. So it’s moving forward. 

Re the closet: TJ has $600 to contribute towards it. Scott will look at the plan from Keith and give an estimate to TJ and to Anne before moving forward, and he will look into material for the door to hold against kids kicking it in with skates. Some discussion of whether a light in the closet is necessary but general consensus that we can get by without one to keep costs low. 

C. ROMP update.

Cindy and Barry Carlson and Jasper Kruegel (project coordinator) and Dave Bennett (new city engineer) and Anne and Matt had a really productive meeting. The City is going to do all the project management; they may even do some landscaping around the instruments. We won’t know what the costs are going to be until March, and we will know about a pending Union Pacific grant application then as well. The City will do the purchasing, and then we will reimburse them. The $15,000 Rotary money will have to come to us first anyway.  There needs to be a down payment of half of the price before they can actually be ordered. The City is going to work with the design that Camille did  as the instruments are installed and the surrounding area is landscaped. They should work directly with Camille on this and don’t need to go through us. 

We had put $1500 aside for screening trees  - then Distads didn’t want the trees, but then they moved…now that money could be used to assure the landscaping around the cement area of the instruments.

D. Park Board news.

Mary S attended a previous park board meeting, and there is another one this Thurs. at 7 pm that Mary S can’t go to. Anne will try to go to it. It’s at the police station. In case Jasper mentions this, or if TJ is there, to ask him about liability, etc., it would be good to have someone there from FWP. (This mtg was later canceled for lack of quorum).

E. Website

Thoughts about keeping it current: yoga is most recent thing on website right now, which was a  long time ago.  We will maybe put up old photos from winters past – maybe have quarterly photos for website. We’ve been using Facebook a lot  more, making the website fall to the back burner but we still should make sure it’s up-to-date.

We may have a spontaneous cocoa and skating event, and just advertise a few days ahead. Mary P will check weather and if it looks good, she’ll alert rest of board, especially Anne and Ed, to get the word out on FB, website, and email. She’ll arrange for the cocoa; if it works out we could get the fire ring from Michelle to use.  Maybe Feb 6th or 13th.

F. Yoga. Anne got the information for the Allina grant, due Feb 1st. Anne will fill it out with essentially the same  information as last year, but based on the past success of the event, we’ll  ask for funding for 8 weeks instead of 6. We could try to apply for funding for other events as well; discussion of trying to do something with  maybe with bikes? We can apply for up to 3 activities.  Maybe have a bunch of striders for little kids available for an afternoon?  Maybe contact Bike Northfield –is the contact  Laura Decker?  Matt will check on the name. 

G. Found key. no one has claimed the car key found in the park last fall after pumpkin fest.

H. Next meeting – Feb. 16th. 7:30 pm at Keith’s. 

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Nov. 17th, 2015

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
Nov. 17th, 2015, 7:30 pm

FWP Members Present: Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Mary Steen (Vice Chair), Mary Cisar, Mary Poole, Keith Covey, Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Matt Rohn.

Meeting location: Mary Poole’s house.

A. Treasurer's report. 
● Mary E shared paper copies of the monthly report. Current balance is $29,218.86. Our total Give to the Max donations are not yet known.

B. Reflections on the retreat
● Michelle will type up our notes from the retreat at Mary C’s. The format of the retreat was helpful in organizing our priorities and roles on the board.

C. Kiosk news
● We need to keep content updated. Mary C will check with David about working up a “Did you know…” type of poster for the kiosks.

● Replacement of 2nd Street kiosk: the City has the damaged kiosk; we will contact Scott Swanson to get an estimate for the replacement costs, which will be covered by the driver’s vehicle insurance.
D. Warming house 

● TJ Heinricy was in favor of us going ahead and having a closet built inside the warming house; he is interested in having a metal-lined door to deter vandalism. Keith has checked with Scott Swanson and he is willing to do the job.  Board approves the cost expenditure of up to approximately $1500.

● Mary P has located a wall of cubbies we could have that could be used for storing skates if we were to get a skate-lending program going. It sounds like from the City’s perspective, and the question of liability, such a program would have to be located at the ice arena, however.

E. Vintage Band Festival 

● The Vintage Band Festival (Paul Niemisto) would like to have a liaison from our board to assist with their planning and some volunteers to help during the festival this summer. Board members who have participated in the past noted that there seemed to be a surplus of volunteers so it is not clear how much we are needed beyond providing a connection to the park. We will help with publicity, Anne will be the contact person. 

F. Master plan “report”

● Matt, Mary C and Keith talked a bit about what they’ve learned in checking on this, they will report more at the Feb meeting. 

G. Musical Plaza

● The current choice for the instruments for the park is the Premium Ensemble. The City will likely order the instruments in January, so if we would like to go with an alternative collection, we will need to get in touch with them soon.

H. Future meetings. We will not meet in December but will resume meeting on the third Tuesday evening in January.

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes Oct. 13th, 2015

Friends of Way Park (FWP) Meeting Minutes
Oct. 13th, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

FWP Members Present: Matt Rohn, Anne Berry (Chair), Mary Steen (Vice Chair), Cynthia Kauffeld (Secretary), Mary Emery (Treasurer), Edward Smith, Michelle Martin, Mary Cisar, Mary Poole, Keith Covey.
Meeting location: the Hideaway.
A. Treasurer’s report: Mary Emery passed around paper copies of the monthly report. Current balance is $28,922.71.
B. Fall Festival update: Mary P. Pumpkin carving, ready to go. Parade, apples and caramel, all set. Tables from Matt’s garage. Face painting and an art project in warming house, all set. Bonfire. Mary P will bring wood, Michelle will bring fire ring and matches. The drummers will be there in time for the parade. Posters are up around downtown. We should put membership materials in warming hut and on apple table instead of a separate table. We’ll put out the sandwich boards. Mary P. may pass the wagon on to Keith for storage after this event due to space needs in her garage. Michelle has light-up bracelets and will bring them. Mary P will get supplies to add hot apple cider  this year. We could use camping lanterns, bring them if you have them. Anne will call TJ to arrange to get the warming house unlocked. Ed and Anne will send the first email blast and take care of the FB post. On Friday Ed will do a slideshow post on FB. We should all bring our cameras.  Anne distributed fliers among board membrers to put up in additional spots around town.
C. Give MN is Nov 12th: We need to define our fundraising: what are we raising money for? The healing garden, for example. We have enough funding so we don’t need to have the fundraising target be the instruments. Ed gave a quick run-down of the process for setting up Give MN site (there are various options and details on the long checklist Give Mn provides, such as looking for matching grants, and setting up customized receipts). He will take care of setting this up but will be gone in November so someone else will need to manage it then. 
D. Storage update. Keith checked on options for long-term storage of our FWP equipment. The hospital will not let us use the ambulance house, so another thought is getting permission to construct an interior closet in a corner of the warming house. We would need a space of a  minimum of 4’ x 6’  to house our supplies, and would likely cost on the order of $1,000. The board agreed that Keith should pursue this possibility with the city (TJ). We would have to have access to the warming house, perhaps there could be a combination lock such as those on the kiosks. 
E. Liability. Keith and Anne started looking into this.  There is a place on the city website addressing this issue, and it looks like as long as our events are carried out with the city’s knowledge and approval, it looks like we are covered under their umbrella policy. Long ago, FWP gave the city a $100 check as a sort of damage deposit, which they keep on hand for future events as needed (it has not been needed yet).  Michelle typically fills out the City paperwork for our events under the “neighborhood” events category, which is free. Michelle also calls the fire dept. to let them know about the bonfire.
F. Retreat. Sunday, Nov. 1st, 2-4 pm at Mary Cisar’s. Anne and Michelle shared a facilitation technique (the World CafĂ© model ) and there was discussion of this method of discussion and the possible agenda items for the retreat. Michelle will take the lead as far as guiding the discussion, with Anne’s collaboration.  In preparation for the retreat, we should all take a look at the google doc about FWP priorities and duties again. Anne will re-send us the link .

G. City updates. Matt passes out some paperwork regarding the status of funding for ROMP. It seems like things are moving forward, and it looks now a little more like a city project than a FWP one, although there are many little details to getting things done. The instruments must be ordered in January (Anne has talked with Jasper about this), so that construction can start next spring.  As things stand, we are set to order the big ensemble combination of five instruments, but we could still shift things around and choose different instruments and/or purchase them “a la carte”, if our thoughts have shifted at all after having seen the installation at the zoo and some other places.  We should make a decision about this at the next meeting. Anne will send again the locations of the parks that have these instruments: the zoo, Maple Grove, Jackson Sq Park, etc.