Forest Conservancy District Board
December 12, 2016 Meeting Minutes
Those Present: Tom Anderson, Claude Eans, Steve Thrasher, Lori Schoonover, Keith Schoonover, Vince Perrotta, Tyson Rose, Jim Arnold, Dave Hunter, Dawne Howard, Mike Kay
Keith called the meeting to order.
Treasurer’s report: Claude indicated that we received November interest of $.31 with our account. Claude gave Mike a check for $25 to cover the cost of Ginny’s congratulations cake we enjoyed at the last meeting.
Logging site exams: Mike did not receive any plans in time for this meeting.
Sustainability Commission: Tom indicated that the Sustainability Commission is looking for new members in case someone would wish to join. The Sustainability Commission is in the process of planning a spring meeting that will focus on water quality.
Big Tree program: Our group of intrepid tree measurers is planning a day of tree measuring on Thursday, December 15, 2016. The weather forecast calls for the arrival of a nasty cold front. We still plan to measure trees unless precipitation is in the mix. Plans are to measure four trees in Feageville, Brunswick, and Myersville.
High School Training: Dawne mentioned that Sarah Shriner of Middletown High thought it would be a good idea to sponsor a one day training targeted to high school students that are planning on participating in the Envirothon and FFA competitions this spring. Sarah sent the study guide that each student receives for these competitions. After some discussion most board members agreed that this would be a good project for the Board to undertake. After some discussion it was decided that we need to develop an agenda to get this project underway. The first item is to see if we can utilize the Scout Camp at the Walkersville Watershed and schedule a Saturday program sometime before the competitions begin. To these ends Claude volunteered to approach the Scouts to see if we can utilize their property. Also, Mike and Dawne agreed to contact Sarah to see what dates would be best. Mike will also talk to Aaron Cook who has completed a similar training in Washington County to see if he has an agenda he can share. Mike will also see if he can get some additional forester types to assist with this program. Hopefully we can work on this agenda over the next month and finalize it by the next meeting. Dave indicated that the Arbor Day Foundation puts out real informative tree id guides and we should consider obtaining some for the training.
NRCC: Dawne lead a brief discussion regarding recruitment for NRCC. Normally the promotional material comes out in the early part of the year and there is additional information distributed at the Annual Winter Meeting which will be Saturday, March 4, 2017. We normally begin recruiting for NRCC once the material is distributed and schedule interviews during the May meeting. (Last year we interviewed students at the May meeting, and twice during June as additional applications arrived. In total 6 students attended camp from Frederick County this year.) It seems like word of mouth and online notification is the most effective means of recruitment. Having some teachers/adults who promote the program is a very effective means of recruiting students. By sponsoring Envirothon/FFA trainings we will be able to directly communicate with numerous students who already have an interest in forestry. This seems like it could be a very effective tool. We decided to continue this discussion at the January meeting.
Nature Notes: Lori indicated that she received numerous articles since the last meeting and she has sent many to Karen Gardner. Lori mentioned that she is working to edit the remaining articles and send them Karen’s way as well. Mike mentioned that he received an invitation to speak at Worman’s Mill Garden Club about the topic of repeating numbers in nature, as per an article he did for Nature Notes. The Garden Club meets at the exact same time as our meetings (second Monday of month meetings beginning at 7:00 pm.) Mike has an idea of inquiring if the Forestry Board could hold a joint meeting with the Garden Club and perhaps include some additional speakers to discuss Nature Notes and other topics. Mike asked the Board if they would entertain this idea and members thought it would be a good idea. The Garden Club is looking for the talk at either their March or April meeting. Mike will make contact and see if he could set something up for March. Dawne suggested that Nature Notes run a series of monthly articles geared towards trees and shrubs which deal with “what to do this month to maintain these plants”. E.g. January – prune trees. Members thought this was a good idea; and, if we decide to do this we should run this by Karen Gardner to see if the News Post would run the articles in a particular sequence.
Web Site: Tyson mentioned that the Web Site is up to date. Tom indicated that he might be able to work more closely with Tyson on the site now that his classes are over.
Mike attended the Community Foundation of Frederick County’s yearly banquet to celebrate Ginny Brace’s acceptance of the Weirtenheimer Award for Excellence in Volunteerism. Much of Ginny’s accomplishments had to do with her activities as part of the Friends of Waterford Park and the Frederick County Forestry Board. Ginny gave an excellent acceptance speech where she mentioned the Forestry Board along with others. As part of the prize Ginny received $25,000 which she donated to the Friends of Waterford Park to be used for additional plantings, tree care, etc. within the park.
Winter meeting location: We briefly discussed locations for our winter meetings. The office at Gambrill was warn enough but some thought it was a bit cramped. Other suggestions included Dawne’s house, Keith and Lori’s house, and the Frederick Public Library.
Solar Co-Op Tom mentioned that the Office of Sustainability is trying to band landowners interested in converting their homes to solar energy to form a co-op. If a landowner signs up they will receive a visit from the designated contractor to see if their home is a candidate for conversion or not. Then, if it is feasible to install, the landowner will get a discounted rate. There are many payment plans available to the landowner as well.