Minutes FoDIP Board Meeting – April 13, 2018

Board Members Present:  Ira Wechterman, Meryl Kafka, Pat McGonigal, Mel Nass Lynn, Karen Hutson

DIP Park: Katharine Hendrickson, Eric Espana

Guests:  Barbara and Jeff Collins, Sheila Hord, Stan Cisak, Phyllis Nass, Eileen Manalas, Bobbi Maniscalco, Peggy Ross, Hannie Amadeo, David and Dorie Locke, Barry Leiberman

President Report:  Ira was happy to announce that Amy Kay Tanner (a long time Deerfield Beach resident and new FoDIP lifetime member) has generously donated funds to purchase our very own projector.

The outreach program has been very successful in advancing our mission as related to DIP and establishing it as an Urban Wilderness, worthy of preserving and enhancing. 

The month of April is looking at three events.  1) HCC hike through DIP   2) Coastal Cocktails on the islands   3) Earth Day Presentation by Ira at Percy White Library

Fund RaisingPat McGonigal has taken the lead for the Coastal Cocktail event on April 27 from 6:00 -10:00 pm on the island. This benefit involves ticket sales, a silent auction of several items, and an outstanding opportunity to introduce the new NATURE CENTER to prospective donors/members as they come to understand the plans for the island.  All funds collected will be going to the “Friends” group.  Volunteer greeters, guides, and hosts are needed to make this a success. 

Outreach:  Mel -   No new report today

Park Dept. - Katharine

1st Biofacts Meeting - thanks to Meryl it was a great success.

1st Official Meeting for FoDIP inside the new Gopher Tortoise Education and Research Center

Many people to thank for this “New Beginning”  - Ambassador program, dedicated Park employees, and numerous volunteers have all been highly instrumental for this surge of interest and support for DIP.

Tons of debris has been carried away.  Cleared trails and new ones have been lined with tree trunks for easy walking on pathways. Some have seen more juvenile tortoises due to this massive clean up.

Gopher Tortoise Live Stream is coming soon.

Deerfield Beach City manager and staff are becoming very interested in partnering with Broward County Parks Dept. to investigate future programs involving “eco- tourism” and marine or nautical destination focuses that will benefit both the city and DIP.

A “shout out” to Peggy Ross for taking a leadership role as a FoDIP Ambassador. 

Several partnerships were discussed that will be benefiting the island (i.e. Audubon has given $3,000 to assist with butterfly garden, University partnerships for student fellowships working on island and surveying tortoises, etc,)

Park Naturalist (Eric) will be based on DIP with a lab space inside nature center.

“Secret Science Society” – a creative and fun project to help communicate science to the masses.  All are invited. More details to follow.

Katharine indicated that the plans for new walkway, decking, and nature center indoor equipment is looking at possibly a 3 year outlook.  Very exciting.


Communication and Education – Helene

Helene gave a “THANK YOU” to Katharine for her ability to make things happen.  She has taken a variety of plans from a variety of people and turns them into reality.

Helene encourages others to send her any articles of interest to incorporate into newsletter.

Questions from members in regard to the possibility of increasing marketing?  Answer:  Right now there are not enough funds to market past the current brochures.  Katharine will look into requesting the city for better One Directional Signs to be placed on Hillsboro Blvd.

Barb and Helene have created  nicely updated and practical DIP maps (including place markers) for tourist use.  Also available are terrific guide/hunt booklets for children of all ages.

Looking into future classes to be held on island at various times of day… Many variables have to be considered such as employee costs and transport difficulties.

Katharine will confirm that the Ambassador material box will be fully supplied for each Saturday morning.

Treasurer Report – Lynn

Finance report for February and March 2018 indicates we are still on budget with $1,200 ahead.

Deposited projector donation and purchased projector immediately.

FoDIP no longer will have a monthly storage expense due to our space in the nature center. 

Shuttle service donation box is well supported.

Membership – Helene

Helene will assume this responsibility temporarily.  Looking into a pre- purchased database program.

Nominating Committee – Lynn

Karen Hutson and Meryl Kafka will join Lynn on this committee and report in the fall, 2018.

Old Business

Wingspan Project – Katharine and Ira are looking at various cost cutting ideas without sacrificing quality.  Possibly use local mural artist and sign shops.  Needs to consider weather elements and ability to touch up as needed over the years. 

Board unanimously voted to renew Chamber of Commerce membership for positive networking opportunities.

New Business

Katharine will be purchasing Field Guides in a larger quantity for a discount.  She will use Constant Contact to let FoDIP members know when individual guides can be purchased.

Next Meeting:  May 11, 2018      10:00 am            Nature Center