Upper Merion Parks and Historic Foundation
Annual Member Meeting
Roberts Elementary School Library
7:30pm – 9:00pm
Meeting Minutes Taken By: Katie Ferry, Secretary
1. President’s Report (Steve Patterson)
a. 2006 Botanical Study was done
b. 2010 Invasive Removal Property Management Plan was done
c. We realized there was a lot of work to be done and started discussing hiring an Executive Director.
d. Last year we hired an interim Executive Director, Vytas Masalaitis.
e. 4th quarter last year we were in the middle of a search for an Executive Director, and thus did not have a member’s meeting at that time. Russ Johnson was hired January 1, 2012 as the Executive Director
f. We are now looking to have a broader footprint, including environmental education and historic preservation and Russ is helping us achieve those goals.
2. Executive Director’s Report (Russ Johnson)
a. We now have an annual work plan and budget, a bulk mail permit, and other cost saving measures. We are trying to run the non-profit like a business.
b. We had a presence at Earth Day, UM Library, and “Stories in the Woods”. A Recreation Department program will be in McKaig with Russ as “Naturalist for a Day”. For the Old Roberts Schoolhouse, we will write a script for a schoolhouse reenactment to use for Roberts and possibly other schools. We want to balance taking care of our treasures while broadening our service.
c. We are starting a strategic planning committee to figure out where we’re going with UMPHF. We are having a fall plant sale. The Board is organized into functioning committees. Vytas set up a new website.
d. Russ has been in environmental education for ~30 years and has been involved in startup of different environmental centers.
3. Property Management (Russ Johnson and Jim Weiland)
a. National Trails Day (June 2) – The Laurel Trail was moved and we are trying to restore it, and put a switch back in steepest section of the John Mason trail. Youth Work Day is planned for May 31st.
b. Streambank Restoration – impact of stream on Boltuch Bridge, the bridge abutments are eroding away so restoration measures need to be put in place. Scout projects are planned.
c. The basement of the Roberts Schoolhouse has been addressed with a humidifier and releveling the ground, etc.
d. Jim has been in charge of Scout projects. Scouts must act as project manager, come up with the idea, plan it, do the work, and report on the work. There are 4 Scouts interested in McKaig projects, 3 doing stream restoration. One scout is doing restoration along the lower creek. Two are working on the Boltuch bridge area.
e. Monkey Rock became a concern, that someone might fall, so it is closed for the time being to prevent foot traffic causing further erosion.
f. Boltuch Bridge was eroded in Hurricane Irene. More substantial measures will be put in place. Rather than shoveling in dirt, only to be eroded away, we are trying to put more permanent measures.
g. We are trying to close Wildcat Trails, unofficial trails. Walking repeatedly over an unauthorized area makes a place look like a trail and others use it and eventually it will become a gully or area for erosion. Some wildcat trails have been shut down.
h. In February there was a brush fire started by teenagers. Brush was burned, some shrubbery, but no trees seem to be harmed. Seeds are now coming up, and we will watch the seedlings to make sure invasives don’t take over. A 40-50 year old Norview milk bottle was found by Jay Walker among the burn debris.
i. There is a young man bringing down trees around the nature center, snapping substantial young trees. Last year a woman reported she saw a young man pulling down the trees. There have been two recent pull-downs, a cherry and a beech. We’ve requested additional police patrol from now through graduation.
j. A Member requested protection for trailing Arbutus near Monkey Rock.
k. A Member asked if anyone patrols trails after a storm. Russ walked the trails after the last storm. The Property Management Committee and some volunteers deal with immediate needs. Last year the Board and volunteers addressed the situation immediately.
l. Committees include Executive, Property Management, Schoolhouse, Finance, Special Events (Plant Sale). Members are welcome to help on committees and can email the President or info@ email if interested in volunteering.
4. Election of Officers
a. Jim Weiland – Vice President
b. Katie Ferry - Secretary
c. Steve Patterson - President
d. Ron Marburger – Treasurer
e. Motion to have secretary cast a ballot for each candidate and elect the candidates on the ballot. Motion passes unanimously. Ballots cast.
f. Bylaws have been changed to have annual meeting sometime in between January - June