Minutes of The Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation
Annual Potluck Supper and Members' Meeting

January 22, 2012

Twenty-five Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation members attended the Annual Potluck Supper and Members' Meeting, where we celebrated the Friends group's tenth anniversary with sparkling wine and cider, and a decorated chocolate cake.

As they arrived, participants were asked to write down 5 words that they think of when they think of Fresh Pond, to be used as part of a computerized "word cloud"; and to check off from a long list of Friends group programs the ones they would be most likely to want to attend.

After the meal, coordinator Elizabeth Wylde gave a summary of the group's activities over the past decade. She said that since its inception in 2002, FFPR has planned and publicized more than 630 educational programs on the Reservation, including 140 bird walks. Members have contributed thousands of hours of stewardship, including monitoring bird boxes, removing invasive weeds, making inventories, creating maps and other information for the public, and planting gardens.

Elizabeth introduced the other members of the Planning Committee, the group who share the work of running the organization. They are:
Susan Agger: Coordinator of the Maynard Ecology Center, Maintains bird feeders.
Deb Albenberg: phone registrations, Water Dept. programs, movie night, Stewardship coordinator, Kids walks
Suzanna Black: Treasurer, program outreach
Susan Coolidge: Sends e-mail announcements, US Mailings, Yearbook Artist
Janet Kovner: Submits web publicity, editor
Betsy Meyer: Makes publicity write-ups, Designs yellow and green fliers and posters; makes photocopies; sharp-eyed editor
Rebecca Ramsay: Designs orange This Weekend posters, posts them on the Reservation, often via bike
Barbara Strell: Does program outreach, leads presentations. Reading group moderator
Elizabeth Wylde: Webmaster, does program scheduling, manages e-mail account

The members of the committee feel the loss of Susie Robillard, who moved to Oregon this summer. Elizabeth invited anyone who would like to join the Planning Committee to speak with her. She also invited people interested in gardening with native plant species to volunteer to work in the Woodland Restoration Project.

Treasurer Suzanna Black gave the treasury report. At year's end there was $4456 in the FFPR checking account. Expenses in 2011 included $1730 for honoraria, $479 for postage, $892 for office and educational supplies, and $300 for a gift to Neville Place. Suzanna explained that FFPR is not a tax-exempt (501(c)3) organization because we do not have enough income to require that we become a non-profit, in order to avoid paying taxes.

A toast was offered to Elizabeth for her 10 years of leadership as coordinator. Elizabeth then offered a toast for Ranger Jean Rogers (not attending) who was co-founder of the group. Members of the Planning Committee brought out a chocolate cake inscribed with "Happy 10th Birthday FFPR. Thank you, Elizabeth." They also gave Elizabeth a gift card for New England Wild Flower Society's plant nursery.

As the cake and other desserts were served, Rebecca Ramsay introduced a game at each table where people chose a plant or animal found at Fresh Pond that they would like to be, and shared with table mates why they liked their choice. Then Susan Agger led a group activity during which we simulated a summer rain shower, using finger taps and clicks, hand claps, and foot stamps to make the sound of rain. Susan then created the word cloud in a program called Wordle. The largest word - "water."

The final activity of the evening was a raffle in which there were enough prizes for everyone. Items included thistle feeders for birds, books, notecards, soap, plants, chocolate, and seed packets.

Respectfully submitted,
Lance Drane
January 22, 2012