Thurston Nature Center Committee (TNCC) Meeting Minutes
June 17th, 2008
In attendance: Neal Foster,
Mike Conboy, Barry Johnson, Colin
Brooks, and Beth Caldwell.
The minutes from the April
20, 2008 meeting were approved.
TNCC Secretary-Treasurer Colin Brooks
shared the new TNCC web page location at www.thurstonnaturecenter.org
& said he would be completing it soon.
The previous “new” location was hosted by Comcast, who removed the site
& didn’t seem able to restore it successfully. Colin found a better, longer-term web page
host at the Huron Valley Community Network, the same group that hosts the Huron
River Watershed Council web page. Colin
spent $20.38 purchasing the web address for thurstonnaturecenter.org &
reimbursement was approved by the Committee, once we had a funding account set
We briefly discussed purchasing of new trees to plant around
the pond, but the sense of the group was to wait until the berm
Mike Conboy gave his Land
Steward’s report. He mentioned that this
has been a “fantastic growth year” but with no overgrown specimen trees. Buckthorn continues to be all over the place
and there’s more poison ivy, but the garlic mustard appears to have been
controlled. Mike & Beth have
continued to work on the wood chip pile; we discussed having Pack 160 help
again. The burned prairie is looking
beautiful. Chipping the dead ash trees
is desirable, particularly since they’re not good for woodpeckers. Trash levels have been low. The kiosk is broken again; someone keeps on
vandalizing it every time we repair it.
Eight ducklings were spotted as recently as one week ago. The new dogwoods aren’t doing well. We have Kentucky
coffee trees and tuliptrees growing at TNCC.
Neal & Colin described how Colin netted pond creatures
for the June 6th Ice Cream Social at Thurston Elementary, and Neal
& Georgia White-Epperson helped explain them. Photos are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/26340564@N02/sets/72157605710883491/. We found fathead minnows, water striders,
backswimmers, goldfish, and damselfly nymphs.
Colin described how Thurston Pond wetland areas are being
used by his colleagues at the Michigan Tech
Research Institute (MTRI) as a spectral reflectance study site for phragmites and
The Committee agreed we need a letter to Scott
about moving forward with the berm, especially with
more water coming because of the soon-to-be installed Aqua-Swirlers. A new 24-inch pipe is supposed to be
installed in July; it is being bored under the stairs from the Bluett pipe. This
will add 13 million gallons to the pond annually. We discussed how we needed elevation and a
control point for the pond outlet for eventual outlet redesign. Scott Diersk has a 3-D CAD file of the pond that Colin could use
to help show how shallow the pond is.
We discussed how some residents have been mowing &
removing vegetation right down to the pond’s edge. Property lines do not go down to the
pond. The Committee agreed that talking
with OHAC & OHMHA would be helpful in communication with property owners.
Margaret Weiss (local
resident, wife of Colin Brooks) found the 1967
“We’re on our Way” film at the National Archives! Barry Johson agreed
to follow up on acquiring the video using the instructions Margaret found by
e-mailing the National Archives. We can
get a digital copy made for us so we can finally have a copy of this video,
which features the pond and local students in 1967, along with Lady Bird
Submitted by Colin Brooks, TNCC Secretary-Treasurer, email@example.com