Cromwell Valley Park Council
Minutes – September 10, 2018
CVPC General Meeting
In Attendance: John Canoles, Rick Childs, Charlie Conklin, Kirk Dreier, Thom and Claire Grizzard, Ken Keady, Sya Kedzior, Kristin McFaul, Pat Novak, Carol Parker, Kim Shapiro, Jenny Trust, Mia Walsh, Abe Yoffe.
Absent: Bill Curtis
1. PRESIDENT’S OPENING REMARKS
a. The President, Mia Walsh, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. A quorum was established. Mia introduced the agenda, and each introduced themselves with name and Council role(s). The Board currently has no representation from the leasing organization Talmar.
b. Volunteer recognition and donations (Mia)
(1) Methods of donations – The CVPC organization receives donations through membership contributions, donations from non-profits and corporations, and through our on-line registration system. Donations may be directed to specific projects.
(2) Thank you to volunteers –
(a) Mia recognized Kristin for her work in updating Quickbooks financial data and budget numbers for 2017 and 2018. Kristin, in taking on the office of Treasurer, invested a lot of time to perfect our records. Mia thanked Pat and Rick for recent volunteer efforts and Rick and Sharon for volunteering the evening of Night Out with Nature when Pat was unable to cover it. Kim thanked Mia for her work on CampBrain and the website update, Pat for handling Facebook postings and Mike Pierce for timely postings to the website.
(b) Pat will be taking a leave of absence due to upcoming surgery and will be handing off responsibilities. She is looking for someone to cover the October NOWN evening and will be reaching out for a volunteer. She expects to be back to duties sometime in November.
2. PRESENTATION – Gunpowder Valley Conservancy – Charlie Conklin:
(1) Introduction – Pat Novak – Charlie has been involved in the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy since its creation in 1989. He has been committed to land preservation and waterway health for decades and is a valuable resource for other preservation groups around the area. He is a tireless steward of our natural environment.
(2) Charlie also announced the Lifetime Achievement Award that Pat Novak received at the GVC gala and fundraiser on Saturday, September 8th.
(3) Charlie introduced his presentation with a historical recollection of a moment when Mrs. Sherwood, who owned a major part of the property that became Cromwell Valley Park, announced her decision to preserve the land rather than allow it to be sold for development. He gestured toward the vestibule only a short distance from the meeting room we were occupying.
(4) The presentation objective – to energize senior citizens to care for Mother Earth for future generations
(5) The presentation covered concepts of Maximum Daily Load and progress (or lack thereof) towards commitments for clean water, pollution impacts on human health; types of pollution of water, land and air and what each of us can do to help reduce it; sources of Bay pollution from agricultural and urban and suburban development. He addressed the work that needs to happen to meet preservation objectives through education, advocacy and action and what must be delivered through political will, funding, and management, personal and organizational commitment.
(6) GVC’s role has been successful in putting properties into conservation easement status, educational outreach, tree-planting, waterway cleanup, and particularly volunteer motivation and support and community advocacy.
3. AWARDS – Shining Star – presented by Pat Novak
a. Carol Parker – recognized for her quiet but committed work for the Park on event planning and many hands on activities from mailings to egg stuffing. Carol has worked as a volunteer for many years at the Park.
b. Bill Curtis – recognized for his work as a Director on the Board and his work to help promote the Park through creation of the Café Press online shop, including choices of items and a selection of print designs for purchase by Park enthusiasts. Bill has also contributed to the Park through his Volunteer Master Naturalist projects.
a. August, 2018 CVPC Meeting Minutes – Kim Shapiro asked if all had received the minutes and if there were any issues. No changes were requested, and the minutes were accepted.
b. Treasurer and Finance–
(1) Kristin submitted reports for the current year to date of revenues and expenses showing that we are on track with respect to the budget, showing that we are 92% towards projected revenues for the year.
(2) Mia said that we are following up on efforts to receive $10,000 from the Halten Garden Club for use to create the Accessible Trail in the Willow Grove area of the Park. Also, we received our first revenue from Café Press of $50.
c. Meeting dates for 2019 – Mia proposed changes from the 2nd Monday schedule based on past practice of skipping October and July and considering a change to November’s date due to the Veteran’s Day holiday. She also addressed dates that might be affected by religious holidays. It was agreed that there will be no meeting in July or October, that November’s meeting will move up to the 4th and that all other months will be the standard 2nd Monday.
d. Mia provided copies of the completed Annual Report.
a. Talmar was not represented at this meeting.
b. Communications – Mia has completed over 90% of the work needed for the updated website. This is a big undertaking and will improve our website look, content and capability.
c. Membership – Kim reviewed the research to determine our policy for tax deductible contributions as this relates to membership dues. Based on resources from Maryland Nonprofits, it is agreed that membership dues, no matter the level, are fully tax deductible. This will be captured in an updated Policy/Procedure from the Membership Committee. Current membership numbers are presented in the Membership report.
d. Staff Report – Attached
(1) Kirk’s workload has been much increased with the departure of Brina Doyle, and Kirk has received no timing from his management regarding when the vacated position might be filled. School group visits have been cut back 50% this year due to staff shortages.
(2) A new exhibit on animal coverings has been installed at Willow Grove Nature Center on animal coverings has been completed by Laura Page, with the help of other staff members.
(3) Trail Guide Training is scheduled for next week. It is in partnership with Marshy Point Nature Center.
(4) Kirk was onsite at Historic St. Mary’s City this week doing primitive technology presentations and activities. Historic St. Mary’s City will reciprocate during our Primitive Tech Weekend on May 4th and 5th.
(5) The Fort Garrison Feast is fully booked.
(6) Ben (MPNC) and Kirk have been involved in CS-II position interviews for Banneker and Oregon Ridge parks.
(7) Volunteers are needed for specific roles at the Fall Harvest Festival. A sign-up sheet was passed around.
(8) Susan will be on vacation for 2 weeks in September. Debbie Trout will be helping out in the Park Office.
e. Buildings and Grounds – Rick Childs
(1) Rick passed around a report written by Jim Kelly regarding the 2015 France-Merrick Grant for the progress on the Lime Kiln and Merrick Log House initiative. This report is attached. Next efforts will be to obtain engineering assessments on potential use of the Log House for educational programming and exhibits.
(2) Abe reported on progress with the park entrance signage project. He took a look at the current structure and contacted Triangle Sign to get options for installations and associated prices. Rick also contacted a sign vendor and both are awaiting responses. Abe conceded that a $2,500 budget may not cover the cost of the project and the President suggested putting forth recommendations and a review of the budget could be made.
(3) Rick pointed out the ongoing issue with absence of field mowing. Fields, through lack of mowing, are in danger of converting to woods. County support is needed. Kirk said that this is not just an issue for our park.
(4) Our mower is also an issue in terms of maintenance support. The County has accepted ownership of the tractor but not the mower attachment. Ben at MPNC has been maintaining it for these past years, but may not be able to support that ongoing.
(5) Mia and John have been following up on the SHA grant money for purposes of getting approval from SHA to apply it to signage work for the Accessible Trail. Based on feedback from SHA, this would be an acceptable use considering the area of the Park intended. Available money for this grant is $8,000 – $9,000, based on the original portion of the lime kiln submission, which also included trail work.
(6) Planned work on Sherwood House by the County was supported by the Council. This includes both shutter and roofing repair or in-king replacement. These improvements will be on the agenda of September’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting, where the work is expected to be approved.
(7) Rick and Pat expressed concern about the lack of reporting by the County on the intention to deal with the infestation of buildings at Willow Grove (see minutes of August CVPC meeting). Kirk has received no County follow-up and Rick is looking at options for raising the priority for the County.
f. Programs – Ken Keady
(1) Ken contacted Sprout to determine how to collect on monetary commitments associated with social media shares. He also contacted an individual who can help with food for use in animal maintenance at the Park. He is waiting for a response on both of these items.
(2) Rick asked about support needed for the Blue Steel Stampede so that we are prepared to meet their needs and if all of the documentation had been submitted. Ken confirmed that all of the documents have been received and he will confirm the need for a vehicle to transport volunteers to the outskirts of the park for their event.
g. Volunteers – Sya Kedzior
(1) Sya is looking forward to the transition of responsibilities from Carole Ziegler.
(2) Sya will be attending a meeting on September 19th in preparation for the 2019 tour support of the Smithsonian Waterways project that the Park will be hosting. Gunpowder Valley Conservancy and Maryland Historical Society have major roles. Sya will get a better understanding of the role of our organization in this project.
6. OLD BUSINESS
Lime Kiln/Log Cabin Celebration – Mia thinks this can be pulled together efficiently. She will talk to Jenny Trust about the items that would need to be completed to get host this celebration.
Fall Harvest Festival – Pat requested that people take flyers and pass them out to local libraries and family connections. Kristin said that she will make copies for her restaurant and Ken Keady also asked for an electronic copy. Mia will send these out to the Board.
Kim suggested that we keep a watch out to make sure we are all current in the County system of background checks, as this is required for our positions on the CVPC board. Mia will also include instructions on completing this to those who are no longer current.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Kim Shapiro, Secretary, 9/11/18.
Next Meeting: Sherwood House @ 7 pm, November 14, 2018 Board Meeting
Executive Board Listing
April 2017 – March 2019
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July 2018 – March 2020
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STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS
Current membership year – voted annually *
Building and Grounds
Sya Buryn Kedzior, Ph.D
Remaining 2018 CVPC Meeting Dates
Monday, September 10th
Council Meeting (open to Public)
Wednesday, November 14th
Executive Board Meeting (closed to Board only) * Changed from November 12th Veterans Day
Monday, December 10th
Executive Board Meeting