Friends of Wolsfeld Woods 2020 Annual Meeting Minutes
October 1, 2020
7:00 p.m via zoom

Attending: Liz Weir, Ellie Crosby, Ann Thies, Maggie Merkow, Walt McCarthy, Clara Ueland, Deb Jindra Joyce Eckes, Bob Gasch, Kari Wallin (DNR representative), Fergus Weir, Mary Morrison

Call To Order: Liz Weir, Chair

Minutes: The minutes of the 2019 annual meeting were reviewed and approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Prepared by Ellie Crosby, Treasurer

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October 2019 - October 2020
BALANCE 10/19 $1370.97
INCOME for 2020 $2976.00
Total $4346.97

Expenses for 2020

W. Hennepin Pioneer Museum, upkeep of cabin $500.00
Ellie Crosby for Go Daddy (website) $600.35
Stephanie Chapman, web updates 2019-20 $420.00
Total expenses 2020
$1520.35

Balance as of October, 2020

$2826.62
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A discussion was held regarding the current member dues, which remain at $40 for family memberships and $25 for gift membership for 2021. It was decided to keep the honoraria for activity leaders at $150 per event, and the FOWW annual contribution to the Pioneer Museum at $500. The members also agreed not to contribute to the Medina Celebration event in 2021, since the event now receives city funding.

2021 Calendar of Events

The proposed Calendar of Events for 2021 was discussed. We will check with event leaders to finalize the dates and times below and post them on the FOWW website, subject to changes as necessary to address Covid concerns. Details of all events will be confirmed by email to members.

  • Maple syruping … Sunday, March 28 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Spring wildflower walk … Sunday, May 9 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Spring warbler walk … Saturday, May 15 – 8:00 a.m.
  • Bat walk … Friday, August 13 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Fall warbler walk … Saturday, August 28 – 8:00 a.m.
  • Mushroom walk … Saturday, September 4 – 1 p.m.
  • FOWW annual meeting … Thursday, October 7 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Fall color horseback ride … Sunday, October 10 – 2:00 p.m.

Most of our events begin in the Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot.

Review of the Woods: Prepared by Ann Thies

  1. Liz Weir mentioned the ravine bank stabilization project proposed by the City of Medina for the ravine and stream draining into Wolsfeld Lake from the southwest. The bank has eroded significantly in the last few years and a considerable amount of sediment is washed into the lake and degrading its quality. The City of Medina and the DNR will meet to determine whether the project can proceed under the Scientific and Natural Area rules applicable to Wolsfeld Woods. Holly Bernardo is the DNR contact for this project.
  2. Ann Thies reported that the trails in the Woods are especially well-traveled this season and are in relatively good shape because the summer was not as wet, although there is lots of overgrowth in spots. Some of this year’s downed trees have been removed by FOWW members, but currently there are downed trees near the east entrance. Fergus Weir volunteered to investigate these downed trees and perhaps remove them.
  3. Ann recognized and thanked John O’Reilly and his colleagues at Otten Brothers for building a new footbridge at the south end of the lake, which allows hikers to cross the stream while leaving a fording path clear for horses.
  4. It was noted that many of the signs on the Woods are worn with their red stripes missing and falsely indicating that bikes are permitted. The signs also do not indicate clearly when a traveler is leaving the Woods and traveling onto private property. Kari will raise this issue with Holly Bernardo.
  5. The return of buckthorn following major buckthorn removal projects conducted by Minnesota Native Landscapes and Great River Greening and volunteers efforts was discussed. Much of it is coming back thicker than ever and it was questioned as to whether the stumps and small shoots were treated effectively following removal. Fergus Weir mentioned new procedures 3 for removal and spraying that are more effective. Kari noted that the DNR policy is that any spraying must be done by professional staff or contractors, not volunteers. She will raise this issue within the DNR. Ellie noted that FOWW might have funds to contribute to professional spraying if this can be coordinated for an effective removal effort.
  6. Liz Weir stated that the foot brush at the Trinity Church entrance is broken. The DNR has limited funds and staff to replace it. Joyce Eckes volunteered to replace it with funding provided by FOWW.

Diamond Lake Regional Trail Proposal

One of the proposed routes for a new north-south bike trail in the area would run close to Wolsfeld Woods. There will be a public meeting via zoom on this topic at 5:00 p.m. on October 7 th , at tinyurl.com/DLRT-route-meeting.

Western Hennepin County Museum Report

Bob Gasch reported that due to Covid, the museum is not currently open to the general public, but arrangements can be made for one or two people at a time to visit it or to have access to research materials and photographs from its collection.

Other Business

Joyce Eckes announced a lecture on Conservation of Minnesota’s Big Woods given tonight by Lee Frelich, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology and sponsored by the Minnesota Native Plant Society. It will be available for viewing at a later date.

Kari Wallin will address within the DNR our members’ concerns about the condition of the road to Wolsfeld Lake from County Road 6, which is badly deteriorated. It should be drivable for emergency vehicle use. Many old trail erosion logs are severely compromised and have exposed spikes. She will report back to the Friends on these issues, signage, safety access via the original road, and buckthorn eradication.

There was also discussion about having an information sign for FOWW near the Trinity entrance and for there to be two meeting per year for the membership.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Mary Morrison, FOWW Secretary