Thurston Nature Center Committee (TNCC) Meeting Minutes
June 30, 2011 at Colin Brooks' house.
Barry Johnson, Neal Foster, Colin Brooks, Jim Vallem (father of prospective Eagle Scout David Vallem)
The minutes from the May 12th, 2011 meeting were read and approved. It was suggested that future minutes should be sent to the Thurston PTO since are a committee of the PTO.
Mike Conboy had sent a Land Steward's Report via Barry. He said the tulip tree is doing well, two paw-paws are doing fine, the ginko is doing well, but the peninsula tree is not doing well. The sassafras tree died.
Barry reported that Frank Commiskey had not replied to two calls, so we are not sure of his continued interest in helping TNCC with fundraising ideas. Neal had to leave at this point.
As of June 30th, we had not seen any evidence of a drawdown in the pond, although Scott Dierks's e-mail of June 28th had said it was supposed to have started by then.
Jim Vallem presented on behalf of his son David Vallem from Troop 4 who wanted to improve some trails and clear brush in an area on the western edge of the Thurston Nature Center for his Eagle Scout project. Land Steward Mike Conboy had previously endorsed the project on June 12th, 2011. He presented a project map. Based on input received from AAPS Grounds Director Randy Trent, no herbicide application was to be done. His Eagle Scout project description included these primary objectives:
Remove a huge mass of live and dead scrub brush to open up the area for native specimen trees
Remove invasive species from area: buckthorn, honeysuckle and a large spreading patch of
deadnettle ground cover (Lamium Galeobdelum).
Create brush piles away from trails to maintain the habitat of animals and birds that use these for
protection, nesting and food sources.
Fell large dead trees, mostly ash, and use the trunks to edge new paths.
Organize trails for students and community members to use to travel through the area and observe
Introduce additional native Michigan specimen trees to the Nature Center.
Transplant some native wildflowers from other areas of the Nature Center to line the new trails;
supplement with purchased native wildflowers.
To impact appreciated species as little as possible while doing the above.
David did not request any funds, as he was planning on covering his own costs, including soliciting local donations from neighbors to cover his costs. The Committee recommend he send his plan to Colin so that he could forward it to Randy Trent so he would know the work is going on, as the area is AAPS property. The Committee further endorsed the project, adding to Mike's earlier endorsement.
To close the meeting, Colin said that as he was now the Chairperson, TNCC really needed a new Secretary-Treasurer because he was still doing those roles, including updating the website at www.thurstonnaturecenter.org.
Colin Brooks, TNCC Chairperson, (v.2012.01.12)