December 15, 2003 Thurston Nature Center Committee Meeting

7:00-8:00 pm, Thurston Elementary School Library


Present: Janet Baty, Vicki Botek, Beth Caldwell, Mike Conboy, Tom Edsall, Neal Foster, Michelle Hart, Heidi Koester, Tim Markel, David Miller, Dave Szczygiel, Elsa Stuber, Lia Van Leer


Guests: Chris Wiseman, Thomas Wiseman


Heidi announced that Scott Dierks from the Miller’s Creek Study would not be addressing the group at this meeting.


Thomas Wiseman attended to fulfill an assignment for Scouts to observe a community meeting.


Chris Wiseman presented a description of his Eagle Scout project: the kiosk/sign he had built to be erected in the nature center.  (Several members had been by his house to look at the components of the kiosk/sign, which would be assembled for installation in the center.)  He answered questions from those present.


Chris left the room so that the members could discuss the project and vote on whether to allow installation.  None were opposed and none abstained.  The school had approved two locations: near the amphitheater or near the prairie.  It was agreed that the amphitheater site would be most visible.  It was suggested that weather (rain, wind and sun) could affect the sign and the contents of the bulletin board.  Heidi, Mike Conboy and possibly Mike Tucker (who wasn’t present at the meeting), would “fine-tune” the orientation of the sign at the site.  It was brought up that it would have to be decided who would hold keys to the case.  It was suggested that contents for the bulletin board could include contributions from students at Thurston and Clague. 


Chris returned and was informed of the committee’s approval.  The committee thanked Chris for his work on this project and for his and his scout troop’s work clearing buckthorn and the woodpile in the center.


Vicki presented more information she had gotten regarding the purple loosestrife control project from MSU.  Neal is interested in following up and attending the meeting at MSU in the spring.  Vicki will find out more about the publications on the topic available from MSU.


Elsa presented a condensed version of the by-laws she had researched for the committee.  They include having the principal of Thurston as a member.  Heidi will invite her to join.  It was agreed that even if the principal doesn’t want to attend meeting, she would be included in the e-mail group.  The former definition of the committee membership was very specific as to makeup and terms.  It was agreed that we could be less rigid and that our current membership adequately represents concerned parties, but that new members are welcome.  It was suggested that attendance at two consecutive meeting could allow a person to be a voting member at the next meeting.  It was also suggested that to have membership open specifically near the beginning of the school year, after meetings could be announced in the school newsletter.  Longtime members might continue to attend meetings, but defer voting rights to new members if they wish.  Elsa will consolidate the discussion and suggestions so that the committee can make specific decisions at the nest meeting.


Neal has begun work on the website for the center.  He presented some ideas for things to include and members made suggestions:


Interviews with people who remember the creation of the center and other events

Ann Arbor News articles


Links to pictures or information about plant and animal species found in the center


Eagle scout projects


It was discussed where to advertise meetings and information about the center and the website. 


Dave said he would work on benches that need repair or replacement.


Someone would try to get the original TNC logo from Betty Anderson, who designed it, so that we could use it on the website and elsewhere.


As Scott Dierks has not been able to attend, it was decided that the Water Work Group could keep us on track by gathering together the data they collected about water and biological quality of the pond this summer, and presenting it at the next meeting.


The next meeting will take place on January 19 at 7:00 pm in the Thurston library.