Members present: B. Phillips, V. Perrotta, D. Russell, K. & L. Schoonover, B. Dell’Agnello, S. Demiray, T. Anderson, M. Kay, D. Hunter, D. Durcho – Guests: Kendal and Elaine
Membership: Mike Kay submitted an application for membership to the board. His request to join the board was approved at the board level. Bethany Dell’Agnello also submitted a reappointment form and was approved at the board level. Both applications have been sent to the regional office for approval. The board also discussed the meaning and purpose of the board, and how sound forest management should be at the core of its mission. Individual perspectives and interests, particularly on how they shape the board, we’re also discussed. Another meeting is being planned for March 21st for members to discuss the board’s current status, and to determine the board’s direction.
Treasurer’s Report: We had 1 deposit as interest accrued totaling $0.11 of interest. No payments were made this month. The current account balance is $5,821.13.
Logging Site Exams: Only 1 logging site exam was submitted by FPO Jeff Powell. The harvest includes a 40 acre job on relatively flat terrain. The harvest proposes removing 205 trees, as well as all of the black birch present on site. The forestry board will set a date/time in the next two weeks to review the site.
1. County Events: Sonia is getting quotes for a custom display and table skirt for the upcoming events planned this spring.
1) The board plans to attend the Thurmont Green Fest on April 9th. We will have a table, display, and PowerPoint presentation for attendees. We will also be handing out free bare root trees, with a donation jar to help support the NRCC. Trees that will be handed out include swamp white oak, tulip poplar, and sycamore.
2) The board is also planning on attending the Middletown Annual Green Expo on April 23rd.
2. Urban Forestry: A Second Sunday Tree Walk was put on March 13 at Baker Park. There were only 6 attendees, with several dropping out due to the weather; 3 forestry board members also attended. Another Second Sunday Tree Walk is planned for April 10th. Board members will attend these tree walks in order to jump in when Bethany moves.
Bruce Phillips will be reaching out to, and planning visits to landowners that need MD Big Trees re-measured. A total of 26 trees need to be re-measured in 2022. A new state record hop-hornbeam was also recorded in Frederick County on board members Keith and Lori Schoonover’s property. This is the largest of its species, ever recorded, since the MD Big Tree Program started 97 years ago.
3. Website: Dave Barrow created the Second Sunday tree walk signup sheet for March. Published the weekly nature notes via email (213 recipients), Facebook, and Instagram. Added the latest news release “More Trees” to the site. Lastly, Sonia will be handling the website, when Dave is out of town.
Announcements: Sonia Demiray will continue to inform and educate the public about sustainable land management and forestry related topics through extensive bi-weekly feature articles in all local and regional media outlets. Sonia will also continue to announce and promote tree walk, the NRCC, and any event that the Board attends across the media and related websites. The Board’s website is now averaging 1,000 visits per week.
Articles: The FNP continues to edit submissions, changing the content (or even the headline). The FNP has corrected online publications and published corrections by request.
Nature Notes: There are 10 nature notes articles pending publication at the FNP currently, but could use some additional on spring related topics.
Tree Shelters: Mike Kay continued discussion on the tree shelter recycling/repurposing pilot program. The plan is to roll out the program using the website or an established marketplace like Facebook to connect people with old shelters to people who are in need of shelters, through an exchange and inform people at the events. A feature article was written by Mike Kay, which was not yet sent to the FNP due to resistance from some board members. The board is also looking into applying for a grant to fund and enhance this initiative. Lastly, the board believes that the 5-Million Trees Campaign should also address the removal and disposal of old tree shelters that cannot be repurposed, until such day that fully biodegradable tree shelters are used. A sign up for volunteers will be created on our website for this purpose.
Sugarloaf Mountain Plan: David Hunter and Vince Perrotta prepared statements, virtually, addressing concern with the additional forestry regulations planned through the Sugarloaf Mountain Plan. However, the statements they prepared were not shown/presented during the public hearing.
Unglesbee Park Tree Planting: A public tree planting is planned for April 22nd at 12 noon at Unglesbee Park in Libertytown. A total of 15 trees will be planted using Gift of Trees funds.