2007 Year in Review

Minutes of the Winter 2007-8 Meeting
Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation
January 27, 2008

Attenders: Susan Agger, Suzanna Black, Janet Burns, Susan Coolidge, Lance Drane (recording), Nancy Haslett, Claudia Hill, Janet Kovner, Lore Levitt, Herb Pearce, Squizzle Plekavich, Rebecca Ramsay, Margie Richardson, Paul Robillard, Susie Robillard, Grenelle Scott, Barbara Strell, Elizabeth Wylde

Elizabeth opened the meeting with the statement that the Friends group is now 6 years old, with a membership of about 200 people. She described some of the changes that took place in 2007, including the formation of the Fresh Pond Reading Group, the new Stewardship Program, and the Planning Committee. After introducing and thanking the members of the Committee, she thanked other people at the meeting who were active in FFPR during the past year. This included the majority of the people at the meeting.

She asked if anyone knew of a source of funds that might be directed toward the publication of landscape historian Jill Sinclair's book on the history of Fresh Pond. The Friends group has given Jill $500.

Finally, Elizabeth observed that a number of the ideas for programs in 2007 and the beginning of 2008 came out of last year's annual winter meeting. She asked that attendees divide into two groups with Planning Committee members facilitating, and to again share ideas including what they did and didn't like during the past year.

Notes from Group 1, Barbara Strell and Suzanna Black facilitating

Programs and activities that people liked last year included Tree Silhouettes, the History of Fresh Pond ("please repeat!"), the new walking areas (in the Northeast Sector), information on the Information Boards, exhibits at the Water Department Visitor Center, the FFPR website, and the weeding schedules.

People did not like the invasive species that are on the Reservation and a few dog issues.

Program Suggestions (including repeating programs from past years): a drawing from nature class (led by Clare Walker Leslie), animal skeletons (led by Susan Coolidge), microscopic components of soil (led by Susan Agger and Janet Kovner), lichens, urban forestry and how to take care of neighborhood trees, gardening green (organic gardening?), water quality testing, and another walk with Peter Alden.

Other Ideas: Create a plan for monitoring newly planted areas, ask volunteers to oversee invasive plants removal, put up a sign so people will know there are public restrooms in the Water Department building, update the maps on the bulletin boards.

Notes from Group 2, Janet Kovner and Susan Agger facilitating

Program Suggestions Pond life, including drawing macro-organisms (On May 4 the Water Dept, Cambridge Public Schools and FFPR will co-lead a program on water quality testing using Black's Nook as the test site.); more bird walks; animal tracks; a night walk; astronomy; a walk to look at the breeds of dogs at Fresh Pond; walks in the newly planted areas bees, butterflies and other pollinators (Susan Agger would enjoy leading this); early morning sounds; more records of observations; phenology project, maybe in the new Butterfly Meadow (perhaps using 1 meter study quadrats); cover boards for programs about invertebrates; flowering trees; nature drawing; invasive plants and animals; parenting in the world of birds and other animals; lichens.

Other Ideas: Add a note at the bottom of each month's program flyer, "If you would like to help during a program for 10-15 minutes, please let us know." i.e. help with parking;
make an effort to let people know when programs are handicapped accessible; a book to record bird observations: photographs for the website