Friends of Wolsfeld Woods 2021Annual Meeting Minutes

Wolsfeld Cabin
Medina City Hall
2052 County Road 24
Medina, MN
October 7, 2021
7:00 p.m

ATTENDING: Liz Weir, Ellie Crosby, Lucy Bruntjen, Ann & Chuck Gehrman, Irma Thies, Bog Gasch, Terry Kerber, Robin & Craig Passow, Pam Farmer, Ann Thies

CALL TO ORDER: Liz Weir, Chair 7:02pm

There were brief introductions of those attending the meeting.

MINUTES: The Minutes of the 2020 annual meeting were reviewed and approved.

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Prepared by Ellie Crosby, Treasurer

FINANCIAL REPORT
October 2020 - October 2021
Balance October 2020 $2,826.62
Income 2021 $2,870.00
Total $5,696.62

EXPENSES 2021:

W. Hennepin Pioneer Museum, upkeep of cabin $500.00
ERC for web domain name $414.83
Suzanne Galloway, flower walk $150.00
Bill Marengo – spring and fall bird walk $300.00
Ed Joice – mushroom walk $150.00
Christine Peterson – bat walk $150.00
Stephanie Chapman, web upkeep $420.00
Steve Pflaum, trail repair $2,256.74
Total expenses 2021
$4,341.57

Balance October 2021

$1,355.05

WOODS REVIEW

Increase in Dues: A discussion was held regarding the current member dues. Due to the increasing costs of maintaining the trails and to keep qualified people to lead the various walks in the Woods, it was decided to raise the individual dues from $40 to $50. The Honorariums will increase from $150 to $200 per event.

OLD BUSINESS:

Diamond Lake Trail update: After much input from concerned citizens regarding the negative impact to Wolsfeld Woods from the Diamond Lake Trail to be situated adjacent to Wolsfeld Woods, together with the negative response from local city councils, Three Rivers Park District has decided that the final plan for the Diamond Lake Trail will not be placed near Wolsfeld Woods. Thanks to all who voiced concerns to local city councils and to Three Rivers Park District.

Wolsfeld Cabin update: Bob Gasch reported that the cabin is in good condition and does not need any serious maintenance. As everywhere, there are a lot of boxelder bugs and a few holes in the siding to patch to keep out birds, bats, or bugs. There is no need to contribute this year to the WHCPA for upkeep to the building.

NEW BUSINESS:

2022 PROPOSED CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The Calendar of Events for 2022 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 events will be confirmed by email to members.

  • Sleigh Ride ... with Lisa Ringer, early to mid-February– 1 pm
  • Frog walk ... with Liz Weir, Friday, May 6, 7:30 pm
  • Spring wildflower walk ...with Sue Galloway, Saturday, May 7, 10:00 am
  • Spring warbler walk ... with Marengos, Saturday, May 14, 8:00 am
  • Ecology Walk ...with Lee Freilich, Director UM Center for Forest Ecology, Saturday, June 11, 2 pm
  • Fall warbler walk ... with Marengos, Saturday, August 27, 8:00 am
  • Annual Meeting ... Thursday, October 6, 7:00 pm
  • Fall colors Horseback ride ... Sunday, October 9, 2 pm

Many of these events begin at the Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot, located at 2060 County Road 6, Long Lake, MN.

We alternate years with the bat walk and mushroom walk for financial reasons.

Review of the Woods:

Thanks to a number of volunteers and members who removed limbs and trees along the trails, including Fergus Weir, Hilton Erskine, Clint Morrison, Mary Morrison, Ann Thies.

Many thanks to Joyce Eckes and husband for replacing the foot brush at the main entrance off the Trinity parking lot. This has been used by many visitors to remove invasives from their footwear.

Many thanks also to Chuck Gehrman who used his mule to haul materials and then he constructed the people and horse bridge over the wet area on the east trail near the entrance by the Wahlfors’ property.

One area of the trail, on the east side of the creek where there was continuing erosion, was repaired with rock and wood chips by Steve Pflaum and his crew. It appears to be holding up well and will help to keep everyone on the trail rather than skirting around it. Many thanks to Steve for his persistence in seeing this through.

Buckthorn continues to be an issue in Wolsfeld Woods. Liz Weir and Mary Morrison checked into pricing for buckthorn control in certain areas, which was quite expensive. The DNR informed us that they need to do their own pricing and actual work, but they do not currently have funding for buckthorn control.

It has been noticed that some signage is missing, and others are defaced. This is a new issue since 2020.

The City of Medina received a grant to work with the watershed district to improve erosion and sediment runoff from the ravine on the southwest side of Wolsfeld Lake. The DNR decided that it would be too disruptive to gain access to that area. The purpose of a scientific and natural area is often to let nature take its course.

Mountain Bike concerns: It had been noted that mountain bikers were seen on the trails. Liz Weir wrote to the Orono Superintendent to request that the mountain bike club leaders and members were informed that mountain biking was not permitted in Wolsfeld Woods. While it was not known whether the bikers that were seen were from that club, we wanted to remind as many people as possible that biking in not permitted in a SNA. We will inform Gear West of the same restriction for them to pass on to any bikers.

The Friends have been informed that the City of Orono has been asked to allow mountain biking at Lowry Hills in Orono. There is concern of the damage to this area that would be made by biking. Also, there is not any public access but an expired temporary easement to this landlocked area. The Friends could offer some advice as what the concerned residents might do. Those concerned also could contact The Nature Conservancy, if they were originally involved with protecting this acreage.

Projects for next year:

It was suggested that we might look at remedying the eroding trail east of the bridge on the trail leading from the Trinity parking lot. There was concern on how we might access the area with necessary materials, but it is something we can evaluate.

The meeting adjourned at 7:52 p.m.

Ann Thies, Acting Secretary