September 8, 2016 – Fern Ridge Library

Minutes of Friends of Zumwalt Park (FOZP)

Thursday evening, September 8, 2016

Meeting opened 6:30 pm

Present: Helen O, Tom B, Mary M, John C, Steve W, Karen W, Cindy T, Dan T, Johnny, Marek, Toni M, John R, Leslie B.

Coffee and the most amazing scones ever provided by Toni M… thank you!!

  1. Important meeting: We are encouraged to attend a PAC meeting on September 12. The comprehensive plan for Lane County Parks that caused so much controversy last year was rejected by the County Commissioners. Now there is another planning process underway to create a new Parks Master Plan which will incorporate all 70 Lane County Parks, including Zumwalt. An official Parks Planner has recently been hired, and will be at the meeting, as will Tim Elsea, the newly appointed Director of Lane County Public Works. This is an opportunity to state our desires and concerns for Zumwalt and thank the county for bringing in external planning experts.
  2. Winter Projects: Helen met with Ed Alverson from the Parks Dept. and he suggested two ideas for work we can do during the winter months. The first is to reinforce the bank where trees are threatened. We can cut willow stakes, and plant them horizontally for erosion control. The second is to assist in creating a fire break where the woodland borders the meadow.

At this point, there was discussion about our frustration at the lack of progress on controlling erosion along the lake shore. The tree roots are exposed along there, and the trees are in danger of falling over. The best way to reinforce the area has been researched thoroughly. We know the materials needed and John C. estimates that the project could be done in only 2 days. The problem seems to be deciding who will foot the cost. Toni M. will make appointments to speak with the County Commissioners and request the issue be put on their agenda. She will also speak with Ed. Alverson from the Parks Dept.

  1. October 8th mowing: Work can include widening the trails and hacking the blackberries back. Helpers don’t need to have a mower to help. Bring a pruning tool or a weed eater with a cutting blade, and come help!

There was further discussion about naming the two meadows, so we can be clear what area we are discussing. We could ask the complete FOZP membership to get in on the voting. The new names will be just for us, but could become established over time. There was also discussion about asking the park ranger, Todd Bowen to send a crew in to take out the holly using the “cut and wipe” method. This is the only way to wage war on the infestation that is overtaking the wooded areas, as it is already well established. We also need to take action against the highly invasive grass, Brachypodium sylvaticum, or false-brome. Helen agreed to speak with Todd and Ed Alverson about this.

  1. Publicity: (a) Helen has prepared a generic flyer about helping at Zumwalt which is not time-sensitive. It directs attention to our FOZP website which will be kept up-to-date, or the central notice board in the park for those who are not on-line. These flyers can be put up on area bulletin boards, e.g. in the library and post office, etc. (b) Brant has set up a Facebook page for FOZP which is linked to our website. Helen will let the membership know about this. (c) We discussed putting flyers on the cars of people who come to use the park (but people don’t want too much of this!). Alternatively, volunteers could carry some flyers to distribute to people they meet in the park. (d) It was suggested that there be a letter to the editor of the Register Guard about our situation. Several of those present agreed to meet to decide on the purpose of this letter and flesh it out. (Meeting to be held at the Ellmaker Oak tree in the park on 9/14, 6 pm.)
  2. Social event ideas: Various ideas for bringing our people together socially were suggested. For example, there is a dog training video available created by a highly regarded local woman. We could plan a time to watch it together.
  3. (a) Cindy T. volunteered to plan a yard sale at the park in the Spring. Money raised will go to fund park maintenance. Helen will clear this with the park ranger. (b) We have not yet settled the issue of donations being tax-deductible. Steve W. suggested we approach Mid-Lane Cares so see it they would allow FOZP to come under the umbrella of their 501C3. (Mid-Lane Cares is an agency that serves Elmira, Veneta, Crow, Lorane, Noti and Walton.) Steve spoke to a representative from the group during the Country Fair camping time at Zumwalt, and will pursue this.
  4. Financial assistance from the City of Veneta: We feel that some of the money generated from the Country Fair campers ought to come to FOZP. Tom B. will write to the City of Veneta requesting such funds to help with park maintenance. Mary M. will talk to Todd again about finding us a tractor that has been retired from service with LCPD.
  5. Damage to meadow by parked cars: Toni M. explained how cars driving on the meadow (such as happens during Country Fair camping time) kills the grass and encourages weeds. Buford Park has strict rules limiting vehicle access to the meadow areas for this reason. Low-to-ground camping grills are also causing damage. These are sensitive issues as we need to preserve our cooperative arrangement with the Country Fair and the City of Veneta. Toni M. will speak with Ed. Alverson to find out how LCPD feel about this.
  6. An FOZP Service Award was presented to John R. for the many volunteer hours he has contributed over the past year. Toni Marsden was also a recipient of a FOZP Service Award this year, which was presented at the picnic in July. Both John and Toni regularly attend meetings, park mow days and work parties. They are dedicated to the welfare of the park, and generously donate their time and experience to helping FOZP make positive decisions regarding our stewardship. Thank you John and Toni!

Meeting closed at 8 pm

Minutes taken by Karen W., edited by Helen O.