May 7, 2019 Board of Directors Meeting
Friends of Lake Norman State Park held at Visitor’s Center May 7, 2019
President Michael Polzin called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m. Those in attendance and constituting a quorum were:
Present: Michael Polzin, Shannon Johnson, Ashley Thompson, Katie Wurtz, Patrick Wurtz, Jenni Wyatt, Debbie Page, Kathie Kemp, James Pogue, Vicki Taylor, Sheila Riddell, and ex- Officio Greg Schneider.
Visitors: Greg Cain, Exceptional Children’s teacher at Community School of Davidson. Michael Polzin initiated the meeting with a welcome and an around the table short introduction as there are many new board members. Each board member introduced themselves to the group.
Partnership presentation by Greg Cain:
Greg Cain attended the meeting and gave a brief presentation on a potential
partnership with his advisory program at Community School of Davidson, Lake Norman State Park, and FLANO. They have previously worked with a private non-profit education/therapeutic center in northern Iredell County.
The advisory program goals are to eat together, celebrate together, and serve the community together.
He has experience building trails, clearing trails, cleaning trail signs, painting, trimming branches, pulling weeds, maintaining the beauty of the park, and having the children help him to do so. Has experience with maintaining the Mountains to Sea Trail.
Looking to meet between six (6) to seven (7) times during the 2019-2020 school year. They will meet once per month on Friday anywhere between 9:30-1:30/2:00 p.m., and have about ten (10) to fifteen (15) students and three (3) to four (4) of them will be disabled.
Katie Wurtz indicated it would be a good idea for a FLANO member to be involved, if they are able, to promote community awareness with FLANO. Michael Polzin said it would be good to publish this on our website to continue to involve the community.
ACTION ITEM: Greg Cain will be in contact with Chase Bennet who is the Volunteer Coordinator for LANO. Greg Cain will attend our July 9, 2019 meeting to provide us with more information and dates for the upcoming 2019-2020 school calendar year.
Annual Meeting Feedback: Katie Wurtz reported we sold $400 worth of T-shirts at our Annual Meeting held on March 30, 2019. The annual meeting went smoothly. Our only concern is how we can attract more people to attend the meetings in the future.
Fishing Line Project Feedback: Per Katie and Patrick Wurtz, this will be rescheduled to allow for more volunteers. They are discussing to possibly include this with a shoreline clean-up.
ACTION ITEM: Reschedule date and decide if we want to include a shore clean-up at the same time.
Patrick and Katie Wurtz reported that the Fishing Line Recycle containers were assembled by a small group of volunteers on April 6, 2019. Katie will choose a date for the installation of the four assembled fishing line recycle containers and may include a shoreline cleanup on this date. She will email announcement to FLANO members.
Katie announced that the REI Grant Award of $6,000 from REI to help support group campground renovations at Lake Norman State Park. We would like to thank Joy Shuck Marketing Coordinator and Outdoor Programs Manager at REI for her instrumental work in getting this project funded. We have one (1) year to use the funds. Greg and Katie discussed using the funds.
Friends of Lake Norman State Park has been awarded the 2019 for the fire pits, grill tables, and possibly tent pads. The tent pads will be really labor intensive. We will discuss further the use of the obtained grant.
Friends of State Park Conference: Shannon Johnson represented FLANO at the FSP Conference at Haw River State Park on April 26-28th. Shannon reported that 15 groups out of 40 attended the conference. She had hoped more groups would be represented and perhaps this to the steep price required to attend the conference.Future conferences were discussed as to how they could be more effective and more in touch with the parks overall theme, goals, and the parks mission going forward. FSP lobbies for the chapters on behalf of the parks at the state legislature. This benefits the chapters and the parks. As chapters of NCFSP, we can accomplish more for the parks. Shannon mentioned the NC nonprofit center, a great resource site for nonprofit organizations.
She reported that there are grant opportunities for large projects that we should explore. Also, Republic has a grant for major cleanups and can provide a dumpster. Going forward, Shannon is hoping to prepare a newsletter for the Friends of State Park Chapters which she will prepare and distribute to all the groups. Thank you Shannon for attending this conference, representing FLANO and for your efforts to make the entire group more effective in their mission.
It appeared that FLANO’s website was one of the only, if not the only site, that indicated we are a Friends group right on the top of the website. There was a big thank you to Debbie Page for the creation of our website. At the conference they discussed how other groups have a quarterly email that is distributed with group updates, events that are planned, and that also acknowledges large donors. We discussed also announcing that our T-shirts are ready and for sale. These T-shirts will be available at any events that we may hold.
There was a discussion on the social component during community involvement projects and events. We discussed after an event we can hold a cook-out, picnic lunch, ice cream social. There are numerous ideas to bring the social component to work with the volunteer hours. We believe people want to volunteer but they also want a connection in the community. Shannon mentioned while on Facebook to tag the State Park Friends’ page to get more volume for the entire state.
Shannon reported on the different groups and their donation box. We have one that is a great addition to the visitor center, but we may need a presence at the beach. There was a lot of back and forth whether we need a second donation box. Some of the board members feel like it would be a distraction to have a second box but a majority of the board felt like a second donation at the beach would bring more awareness and extra donations as well as a stronger presence to a heavily trafficked area.
Shannon discussed the idea of a table with staff project wish lists. This would allow people to see where the donated money will be used and how various projects are being funded.
ACTION: we can discuss this idea more as the board members seemed interested in this idea.
Shannon told us how incredibly understaffed a lot of the parks are and how some parks have no staff for their visitor centers. This shows how important the Friends groups are for the mission to the parks. She handed out a lot of gear that included: backpacks, water bottles, books, stickers, etc. We decided to keep these items for future events, as Katie mentioned people love free stuff!
The Friends group adopted a new logo along with a new color scheme. The logo was either shield or turtle shell. The new colors are orange and a dark green. All the board members agreed we should keep our original group logo.
Shannon confirmed she was reimbursed for attending the trip, and from the entire board a big thank you for attending on behalf of FLANO.
There was a discussion about legislative updates and all the various state parks. It was mentioned there are emails sent that update us on same.
ACTION ITEM: Jenni Wyatt and Katie Wurtz receive legislative updates via email; they will forward these emails to the executive board members to review.
Star Party held on April 26, 2019, feedback: Amy Shepherd in conjunction with the Piedmont Amateur Astronomy Club held a stargazing event on April 26, 2019. This was initially scheduled for April 12th but due to rain this had to be rescheduled. FLANO members that attended were Ashley Thompson, Debbie Page, and Jenni Wyatt. It was a very windy night after a bad day of rain. The party proceeded and there was a decent turnout after a family and a scout group attended. There were interactive modules and fun for the whole family. Greg Schneider discussed Amy Shepherd’s intention of asking FLANO for a bounce house for the next Star Party that will be held in July. Katie Wurtz discussed that this would be an ideal opportunity to apply for a grant. Amy Shepherd would apply for the grant and get approval from FLANO.
o ACTION ITEM: Katie Wurtz and Amy Shepherd will email one another and proceed to apply for a grant. It was also discussed when the July date is confirmed we will need FLANO members to volunteer for the next party.
Habitat Enchantment Program: Vicki Taylor advised us that the application period for the enhancement program started on May 1st and will end on July 31, 2019. Vicki and Greg Schneider discussed having a meeting together to sit down and fine tune the application. They can provide updates at the next meeting on the progress that has been made.
Summer FLANO Events:
Clean-up Day for the Dance Hall and possible other areas that was previously scheduled for February 23rd has now been rescheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Volunteers will gather loads to take to recycling center for cash redemption. Volunteers will meet at the Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. Katie Wurtz and Shannon Johnson both agreed this is a perfect example of a way to include the social component. It was proposed that we can have a picnic lunch or a cook-out after the clean-up. The board members agreed this was a great idea. It was also agreed that we can sell T-shirts after the lunch.
Front Porch Fest May 18, 10am-5pm: Debbie Page confirmed this will be held at the Iredell County Fairgrounds this year. We need volunteers to come out and support FLANO and help man the tent with Debbie.
Party in the Park June 14, 5-8:30pm: We will need volunteers to advocate for FLANO and help set up and man the FLANO tent. It was agreed by all board members we will set up and sell T-shirts at all of the parties this summer.
Lake Norman Forest Run July 13, 7am: We discussed having volunteers to advocate for FLANO or take part in this race through the park.
Party in the Park August 16, 5-8:30pm: We will need volunteers to advocate for FLANO and help set up and man the FLANO tent.
There was a discussion on whether there will be another public land day project by REI and will FLANO participate in this again. We will need to determine the dates and it was brought up that this would be a good way to incorporate the group camp project and the funds obtained for same.
Michael Polzin brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the board meeting and announced he is now working at the corporate office. We all agreed that is wonderful news and thought what a great idea it would be to offer doughnuts and coffee at some events or perhaps once per month at the Visitor Center to bring awareness to FLANO.
The next Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
The July Board Meeting will be held on July 9, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. Greg Cain will be attending the July meeting and we will continue our discussion on the partnership at that time.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.