Minutes FoDIP Monthly Meeting – March 8, 2019

Boards Members Present:   Ira Wechterman, Pat McGonigal, Lynn Allen, Fred Kraske, Merryl Kafka, Mel Nass, Karen Hutson

DIP Park:  Katharine, Eric, Armagan

Guests:  Julia H., Phyllis N., Phylis P., Helene W., Holly G., Augusta A., Ed M.

President’s Report: Ira Wechterman

  • Thank you for the three days of member volunteer work during Pioneer Days.  A special thank you to Mel, Phyllis, and Holly for all the scheduling, car usage, and temporary storage.  Primary success was in the massive exposure of DIP to the local public. 
  • FoDIP received honors and a plaque from the BROWARD county Parks and Recreation Department on Feb. 28, 2019.  Ten FoDIP members were able to attend and recognized at this once a year breakfast with approx. 300 attendees.  Our FoDIP group has certainly been noticed for its quick and continued success!  The plaque will be displayed in the Nature Center. Thank you to Katharine for writing a beautiful and complimentary letter informing the group of the many accomplishments that FoDIP has provided to Deerfield Island Park.
  • This meeting proved successful also by making other business connections for the possibility of future innovations on the island. 
  • Thank you to Eric for a fun and rewarding “Survivor Island” in February.
  • Continue to wear green FoDIP shirts as you can when attending local events.
  • As visitors get on/off the shuttle please be aware of those needing assistance.  If you are wearing a green FoDIP shirt please stand on the dock simply with one hand on boat for safety and the other for welcoming directions. Quickly alert park staff if a guest would need assistance.  Due to the increase of visitors to island the chances of an accident is also increased. 

Vice President: Pat McGonigal

Also mentioned the importance of wearing green FoDIP shirt during local events…creates an easier approach to people for conversation.

Treasurer:  Lynn Allen

First Quarter expenses:  printer ($213), Deerfield HS yearbook donation ($85), office expenses ($93)

First Quarter deposits include various donations (approx. $800), shuttle ($223), Pioneer Days ($145), Amazon Smile ($41), and shirt sales ($372).

Our operating budget is $2,182.42.  Account balance is still $54K which remains in account to be used for future Nature Center expenses.

Outreach:  Mel Nass

Thank you for again for such a great volunteer attendance for Pioneer Days!

Kiwanis Day will need tent set up and more volunteers needed to take a shift at Sullivan Park (9:30-3:00 on March 16).

Membership and Communication:  Holly Goldberg and Helene Wechterman

Five new members this month.  Be sure and invite interested members to our “monthly” meetings.

Education:  Merryl Kafka

Will be setting up a workshop at kiosk soon for learning to use new microscope and plankton net. TBA through website and newsletter.  Come to learn and be prepared as a FoDIP Ambassador.

Broward Parks and Recreation:  Katharine Hendrickson

  • “Tag Our Tortoises” - download the FL Gopher Tortoise App (trial). Submit photo and note that tortoise is tagged.  This will help staff see where these tortoises are located.
  • “Keep Our Wildlife Wild Campaign” – Ambassadors and Visitors are encouraged to NOT get close to wildlife on island.  Healthier for the animals and safer for the visitors!
  • “Lunch and Learn Campaign” – Will be inviting local chef from Urban Farming Institute to provide special lunches during the “Tortoise Talks” (April 10) and “Climate Chats (TBD).   Parks Dept. has generously agreed to donate proceeds to FoDIP.
  • Still waiting on architects rendering of ADA boardwalk.
  • Still hoping to bring “Tony the Tortoise” over by crane before April 6.
  • “Gopher Tortoise Day” celebration with many activities on island.  Let Katharine know if you can volunteer (10-3:00).  No charge.
  • Exclusive Tortoise Talk and Walk Activities scheduled for April 10.  Two sessions (11-1:00) and (3-5:00).  Also, no charge; but only 20 people per time frame so preregister early. Light refreshments included.
  • Ambassadors please be mindful to call for staff in the event a visitor or ambassador is injured.  If you cannot locate a staff member, use the first aid kit in the large black FoDIP box, one on the boat, or one in the office.  Be sure and place the visitor’s name and injury on the Injury Log from the office. 
  • Katharine is beginning a “volunteer of the month” program.  Although there are many volunteer hours completed outside of the island, she will only be able to count the actual time spent on DIP.

Old Business:

T-shirts:  Those members who preordered the green t-shirts can call Karen Hutson (636.236.3437) to make arrangements for pick up or delivery.  Each t-shirt with logo button is $12.  Those members who may desire to order a shirt can call and have their name(s) put on a list for future orders (possibly May?). I do have approx. 7 extra shirts in various sizes ready to sell. 

Volunteers remember to use 3 ring binder to sign in on the shuttle.

Looking for volunteers to assist at Sullivan Park for Kiwanis Family Day on March 16, 10-3:00.

JM Enterprise Work Day will be held on April 26 or April 30.  Katharine will give them these two dates as options and they will get back with FoDIP asap. 

Color Printer was purchased for Nature Center office ($213)

Julia Hornstein (a new member and friend of Mel and Phyllis Nass) has volunteered to be a “liason” for contacting and coordinating with a group of artists from China to investigate the possibility of these artists coming to DIP for a temporary time period with the purpose of creating art projects for the island. These artists have knowledge and experience in enhancing parks with recyclable artwork. Katharine and Julia will be working closely together to make sure this is a good fit for the island.   

New Business:

Remember Gopher Tortoise Day on DIP - Saturday, April 6 (10-3:00) Volunteers Needed!

Official Gopher Tortoise Day on DIP – Wednesday, April 10 - Two sessions (See above)

Marsh Restoration:  April 20   -   Get your hands dirty and help with extending the marsh planting!

Waterway Cleanup:  April 27  -   Get involved by cleaning up our coastal community.

Celebrate with FoDIP as we are now 4 years old ?? !

Brochures are going to be updated. Helene Wechterman and Jerry Cutler will lead this project.

Holly Goldberg and Katharine will tag team together to boost Facebook “looks”.


Next Meeting April 12                                               Meet at Sullivan Park @ 9:30 a.m.