Cromwell Valley Park Council
Minutes – August 13, 2018
CVPC General Meeting
In Attendance: John Canoles, Rick Childs, Bill Curtis, Kirk Dreier, Ken Keady, Sya Kedzior, Kristin McFaul, Pat Novak, Kim Shapiro, Mia Walsh, Abe Yoffe.
Absent: Tracy Hauser, Kristin McFaul, Jenny Trust
1. PRESIDENT’S OPENING REMARKS
a. The President, Mia Walsh, called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. A quorum was established with the late entry of Kim Shapiro. Mia introduced the agenda, new board members Sya and Ken, and Abe Yoffe the nominee for one of the Director positions.
b. Abe Yoffe’s election (resumé included in meeting packet)
(1) Rick brought the staggered schedule of elections to the floor, so Abe would understand how his term fit into the future schedule of elections. Mia confirmed that Bill’s and Abe’s positions are up for election in March, 2019, while John’s and Jenny’s are the following year.
(2) Mia asked if there were any nominations from the floor. There were none. Abe Yoffe was elected unanimously to the position of Director.
c. Mia expressed appreciation as follows:
(1) To Bill Curtis for setting up Café Press offerings for promotion of the Park
(a) Bill provided the 3 designs that were developed for the Park over the last few years for use on mugs and shirts: lime kiln, Park logo and “Go Take a Hike”.
(b) Mia purchased mugs as gifts for each of the board members and Kirk. She gave these out to each of us.
(2) To Kim Shapiro for work on the Fall Newsletter
(3) To Pat Novak for posting Park events on Facebook
(4) To Kirk Dreier and Susan for their efforts to keep work in hand considering Brina’s departure.
(5) To Charlie Conklin for a $250 donation/membership.
(6) To Sprout, a new organic food market in Towson, for a Park fundraiser based on social media shares at $1 per. Mia reported that shares currently stand at the $400 level. The process needs to be worked out regaring how these funds will be transferred.
(7) From Pat to Carole Ziegler, Carol Parker, Sharon Childs for putting together the newsletter in one marathon session from 9:30 – 2 p.m.
(8) From Kim to:
(a) Mia for her work on the website design and maintaining CampBrain data population.
(b) Carole for leading the newsletter assembly for mailing.
(c) Pat for keeping Facebook up to date – promoting Park programs.
(d) Mike Pierce for fast response on website content updates.
a. June, 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. Kim will forward June minutes to the new board members.
b. Shining Star – Pat Novak asked for nominations for our Park-specific award for outstanding volunteerism. Chosen winner(s) are to be announced at the September general meeting. Pat nominated Carol Parker and requested others to email nominations by 8/20 and she will ask for selection by email.
c. Finance –
(1) Mia was not aware that Kristin planned to be absent. Rick confirmed that Kristin had told him that she and family were in the midst of moving and that Kristin would not attend this meeting. Mia will ask Kristin to email the financial summaries that had been fully prepared.
(2) Mia asked Bill about transfer of Café Press funds. Bill said that funds will automatically transfer once the amount of profit accumulates to $50. Currently they stand at ~$30.
2. TRAINING – Mia explained that the planned board review of drone videos will have to wait as the untimely storm kept her from getting home to get her computer. Mia talked about Shafreel Joenaidys who is interested in doing a short promotional documentary for the Park covering aspects history to programs and facilities. He has offered to do this work for us gratis. Mia said he has some impressive video equipment to work with.
a. Park Staff Report – prepared by Kirk – see report included in meeting documents. Here is a brief summary:
(1) Summer Camps – sessions were full. Staff worked up camp agendas fully and included senior staff involvement throughout, which is a departure from former approaches at CVP. School session field trips are complete and brought over one thousand children to the Park this spring. Besides the summer camps, the staff was also off site with program visits to other facilities. Kirk will be at Nixon County Park in PA in the near future, part of a reciprocity arrangement between the two parks.
(2) The young turkeys have a new fence. Jerry Trout and another volunteer did a lot of this work. Material from fencing once used around the Children’s Garden was used for the job. The feathers of the young turkeys has been clipped to help keep their feet on the ground.
(3) Anne Wedgeworth’s daughter Annie has finished her Girl Scout Gold Award project on the Little Free Library. It is located outside of the door to the Nature Center. The unveiling is Saturday, August 18th from 1 to 2 p.m.
(4) The torrential rains this summer have damaged the Willow Grove Trail and brought a number of trees down.
(5) Mimi finished signs for the Wellington Woods loop. These are getting some good reviews from visitors.
(6) Public Works has contacted Kirk regarding upcoming work to refurbish the sewer line that runs along the Minebank. Plans are to minimize damaging to trees and the Minebank Run itself, considering the line crosses the Minebank. Kirk suggested that the project managers place signs to inform Park users of the purpose of this work.
(7) The requested rainflys were purchased by the Council and were put to good use during the summer camps. The structures that support the tents were made by the staff, resulting in a money savings.
(8) Smokey the Bear signs were finally completed.
(9) The Copperhead Exhibit is done and set up. It is VERY realistic.
b. Buildings and Grounds – Rick
(1) Rick talked about the issue of fields that have been allowed to go un-mowed for too long. It is suggested that the County establish a mowing schedule to assure that these fields to “go to tree”, which happens after about 3 years. It is then a problem for mowing. John mentioned that he and Charlie Conklin had
previously had a discussion with Chris McCollum and had determined that a late fall mowing would best work for County resources; but this is not happening. Rick suggested that contact with Property Management may be more effective as they have the best roll in management of that work for the County. John said that it is better to do the mowing now rather than not do it at all. This is not the proper time of year for maintaining these fields, but it is better than letting that work go.
(2) Rick discussed the problems with the barns and apple cider house regarding insect infestation. The monitoring plan that was originally agreed has not been happening, and the result is infestation of multiple buildings, including a triple attack on the Barn – termites, bores and beetles. Kirk said that an inspection has been done, but he has not seen a report yet.
c. Communications – Kim. See attached report.
d. Membership – Kim. See attached report.
e. Sherwood (comment by Mia, not a standing committee) – Plans for work on the Sherwood Mansion roof and shutters are moving forward.
4. PROJECTS & TASKS – Mia
PROJECT #1 – SMITHSONIAN WATERWAYS EXHIBIT
When: Presentation expected timing is May 2019 or later in the summer
Upcoming: Meeting on Wednesday, September 19th from 3-5 pm. Water/Ways Partners Meeting at Historical Society of Baltimore County.
Ann Royston Blouse – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Graff, HSBC Water/Ways Project Manager
Introduction to Water/Ways and HSBC, Discussion of Main Street Program, MD Humanities Program Coordinator (Theresa Worden)
RSVP To Ann Blouse re: meeting
Discussion: Mia described the need for our organization to have a role in the Smithsonian event that we will host at the Park in 2019. Sya has background in this type of work. Mia will send Sya additional information that she has on the project. Sya may be able to attend the scheduled meeting in September.
PROJECT #2 – SIGNAGE AND POLES AT MAIN ENTRANCES OF PARK
What: Organize and build on top of the existing stone walls metal poles to which event signage may be placed. Should fit standard vinyl banner lengths
When: prior to 12/31 budget end period
1. Determine best products for the installation upon existing entrance walls
2. Purchase materials
3. Arrange for installation
Consider standard sizes as guidelines: Mia provided a list of standard sizes for banners for planning purposes.
Discussion: Mia said that we need someone to look into a permanent structure at the Park entrances for showing promotional signs for special events at the Park. Rick said that the system Mike Pierce designed worked well but the materials are showing wear. Several ideas were mentioned from size to style. Kirk has some ideas for it. Rick and Abe stepped up to work on this.
PROJECT #3 – STATE HIGHWAYS GRANT FOR EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS FOR ACCESIBILE BIRDING AND NATURE TRAIL
What: Develop project plan for utilizing SHA funds to create educational signage for future accessible trail
When: Ongoing, Spring 2019 completion
Action Items: Page 4
1. MOU has been submitted to the SHA to utilize these funds. Review pertinent paperwork.
2. Follow SHA and State Guidelines for Procurement
3. Utilize the vendors that we have used in the past for artistic rendering, photographers
4. Utilize the vendors for outdoor signage
5. Follow this project through completion.
Discussion: Mia submitted the MOU for utilization of funds. Bill and John worked together on early design for the accessible trail. John and Mia met with Chery fro SHA who was helpful regarding the process. Kirk also is interested in getting some funds for educational signage. Pat said that there are some old kiosks that need some work. Rick and Pat both support the subject of birding as a focus for the new signage. Kirk said it is good for Parks to have signs about a variety of topics. He has in interest in including water-related topics among other things. Mia said the projected timing is April 2019 installation. Kim and John expressed an interest in this. Abe said that he may be able to help with procurement.
TASK #1 – VOLUNTEER DIRECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES
What: Coordinate meeting with Carole Ziegler to obtain her lists for volunteers and volunteer requirements
When: 30 days
1. Contact Carole Ziegler email@example.com
2. Coordinate meeting and pass-off of Volunteer database and items.
3. Assist with volunteers for Fall Harvest Festival if needed
4. Next up – Volunteers for Holiday event in December
Discussion: Mia asked Pat to facilitate the transfer of responsibility of volunteer responsibility from Carole to Sya. Pat agreed to this and said that she is working to get a master list of volunteers from Carole. Carole has been the main source of organizing volunteers for our big annual events.
TASK #2 – TAX DEDUCTIBLE MEMBERSHIP DUES
Who: Kim Shapiro, Kristin McFaul and Bill Curtis
What: Determine CVPC’s official stance on what percentage of membership dues are tax deductible.
When: Prior to 11/30/2018
1. Review link on Maryland Non Profits:
2. Review other Nature Center’s verbiage
3. Write our tax deduction statement for the membership letters. Currently:
The IRS requires, for our records and yours that an estimation of the dollar amount of a non-cash contribution be given. IRS publication 563, Determining the Value of Donated Property is helpful for individuals, partnerships, and corporations who make non-cash contributions. If a non-cash contribution exceeds $500, the taxpayer must file IRS Form 8283.
Discussion: Mia presented that we have no set policy on how we determine what art of membership dues should be considered tax deductible, and we definitely should have one. Bill Curtis offered to help with this proposal for the board.
TASK #3 – CONTACT SPROUT
Who: Ken Keady
Abby Rowell, Regional marketing manager for the Towson Sprouts Farmers Market AbbyRowell@sprouts.com
What: A) Contact the Regional Marketing Manager to see how the donation of $400+ will be allocated from the FB Sharing Campaign. B) Visit or call the local Sprout store to see Towson and ask if we can have their old produce for our animals. Grapes, kale, bananas, avocado, blueberries, etc., are not cheap, and as they supported us with their online FB marketing.
When: 30 days
Action Items: Page 5
1. Contact Regional Marketing Manager regarding Facebook Campaign Donations
2. Contact local Sprout Store regarding food donations of their old produce for our Willow Grove Nature Center animals.
Discussion: Mia said that this is a two-part task. We have a deal with Sprout which is based on Social Media shares, which are worth about $400 currently. We also have a need for food for our captive animals that would be greatly helped by produce from the market that is no longer salable and would be tossed. Ken will contact Sprout on these two items.
TASK #4 – GUEST SPEAKER FOR SEPTEMBER BOARD MEETING
Who: Pat Novak
What: Find a guest speaker for September 10th open meeting. Speaker will have approximately 30 minutes for presentation.
When: Due September 10th.
1. Review suggestions presented at August board meeting.
Charley Davis – The Natural History Society of Maryland; P.O. Box 18750; 6908 Belair Road Baltimore, MD 21206 ; Phone: 410-882-5376
Jim Meyers – Hawk Expert – Cannot do it, but save for another time. firstname.lastname@example.org. He suggested Mark Miller said he would be glad to do it. Mark has been a long time hawkwatcher at CVP and is well qualified. He asked that you give him a call at 410-227-6249 to verify.
Discussion: Mia said that since Jim Meyers cannot do the hawk presentation, we need to determine who will speak at the meeting. Pat feels that Mark can do a good job of this and will talk to him.
TASK #5 – ARRANGE MINI-PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER FALL FUNDRAISER
What: Arrange for photographers to donate their time for portraits in the park. Clients pay a donation of a set amount directly to CVPC.
When: Through November
1. Write up action plan to provide information to photographers
2. Obtain photographers names and contact information from the release forms obtained from the Park office
3. Reach out to photographers to see who would be willing to participate
4. TWO PHOTOGRAPHERS ALREADY SIGNED UP AS INTERESTED – See Mia for details.
5. See project through fruition
Discussion: Mia said that we have been approached by a photographer on this subject. She will talk to Jenny about taking this on.
TASK #6 – ARRANGE FOR A PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST DURING THE FALL MONTHS
What: Put together a Photo Contest giving CPVC use of images for our social media, website and advertising and potential publication of CVPC 2019 Calendar
When: Through November
1. Review Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest for Guidelines http://dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/photocontest.aspx
2. Write up action plan to provide information to photographers
3. Determine contest rules and submission requirements.
4. See project through fruition
Discussion: Mia has been wanting to do this for a while. From it we will get material for a calendar and other promotional efforts. She will see if Jenny can help with this. Page 6
5. OLD BUSINESS
Lime Kiln/Log Cabin Celebration – Rick is interested in working on this. Mia has the list from Jim Kelly for invitation but thinks more names should be added. October is coming fast so we need to get moving on making this happen. Jenny may want to help as well.
Fall Harvest Festival – Rick is concerned about the route for the hayride. Pat assured him that a new route has been agreed with Talmar and it will use their grounds.
GVC has provided 4 tickets to their annual fundraiser event. Rick got 2 and Kim also got 2. Thanks to the GVC! Rick and Sharon and Kim and Mike will have to go for those silent auction items.
Sign up for bringing food/drink contributions for the September meeting: Appetizers:
John – veggie tray
Sya – wine
Rick – beer
Abe – brownies
Ken – cake
Kim – fruit