Tuesday, September 22, 2009 (Approved)
I did not have sufficient copies of the
Next I gave the Treasurer’s part of my report. I mentioned the $1,000 donation from Mary
Jane Bolle and a $100 anonymous donation, both using
our new “Friends of the
Mike Conboy gave the Land Steward’s Report. The oak savannah is thriving with 100% tree survival. The trees have been watered weekly, and 95% of the transplated prairie plants survived. For watering, about 10,180 gallons (14 ccf) were used over 10 weeks, for $52.92 of usage at $3.78 per ccf, using about 70 hours of volunteer time. Areas around nine trees threatened by overgrowth were improved as part of the Adopt-a-Tree program. The Thurston Nature Prairie survived the movie “Flipped” in an altered condition. Most plant species should be represented next year, with another year to fully recover. Nativescape provided the new plantings, and were paid for by Castlerock Entertainment.
Castlerock provided the $10,000
donation we requested for use of the Prairie.
In accordance with our letter sent to Castlerock,
1/3 is for the Thurston PTO ($3,333) and 2/3 is for
October 17th & 18th were set as our next Fall Work Days. We hoped to have a good turnout of happy helpful volunteers again!
Bill Phillips described his continued discussions on restoring Thurston Pond through dredging. He has been discussing options with dredging companies. If the pond can be dried out, removing the accumulated sediment would be much cheaper. Michigan DEQ approval would be needed, but Bill has been talking with the DEQ and they are familiar with the pond. We need to find out how the pond was designated by the DEQ when the Aqua-Swirlers were installed in the summer of 2009. Using channel dirt to build up observation areas was discussed.
The possibility of pursuing a new grant with J.F. New was discussed. The sense of the committee was to pursue a restoration grant in coordination with the Huron River Watershed Council (a 501(c)3). Neal said he would contact Joan Martin at the watershed council to discuss collaboration.
A few more points on the oak savanna were talked about. Reporting to the
The OHMHA Fall Festival was coming up on
We discussed problems with over-zealous moving by landowners adjacent to the Orchard Hills Athletic Club outlot along the eastern edge of the pond, north of the OHAC pool. We agreed that improving discussions with landowners would be helpful, including appropriate maintenance such as removing buckthorn, keeping some views, but leaving native plants. Neal said he would pursue finding the last letter sent to landowners in 1993 and that he & Mike would reach out to neighboring landowners to join our discussion. We suggested the need for a new land management plant and community involvement.
Neal talked about the water quality sampling plan of 4 days in September, 2009. Nitrogen, phosphorous, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH were sampled, primarily by Neal.
Brett Springgay reported on the new Thurston Elementary Parking Lot. The sense of the committee was that keeping as much vegetated area as possible was desirable. Asking the school system
Our last point of discussion was the condition of the berm that was raised over the summer by a J.F. New contractor. The area along the berm is at risk of flooding and blow-out because of the remnants of the old water channel that had previously formed along the area. Sandbags were placed to try and block off some of that flow. J.F. New has said that an improved berm extension in place of the sandbags is coming.