Minutes     Friends of DIP Board Meeting                   November 17, 2017

Board Members in Attendance:  Ira Wechterman, Mel Nass, Lynn Allen, Fred Kraske, Karen Hutson, Meryl Kafka. Pat McGonigal was seated as a new board member. (She was voted in via an earlier email motion and vote).

Absent:  Emily Murphy

Special Guests:  Erik Westberg (Superintendent of Broward Cnty Parks Dept) , John Caprio (Senior Park Manager for Deerfield Island Park) and Katharine Hendrickson (Parks Naturalist)

Approx. 25 attendees (members and visitors)

Meeting called to order at 10:00 am in HCC clubhouse

The minutes were accepted as posted.



Ira opened the meeting with a reminder that the Ambassador program has at long last begun!  The Observer newspaper (Nov. 16) published an article by Ira, informing the public of this great volunteer opportunity. More info. to discuss later during this meeting.

Donation box is now at kiosk and on the ferry.  Any donations will go directly to the Wingspan Exhibit Project.  Memberships will be utilized for general operating expenses.

A reminder that a Tax Exempt letter is available as needed for purchases.

Also, a reminder that “volunteerism” is more than just working on the island…let us not forget to encourage more memberships and donations. A special “thank you” to all those people who continue to donate as they are able even beyond their membership status.

Treasurer:  Lynn Allen will now be taking over the  “Quicken” program for banking and bookkeeping duties. A motion was made and passed that FoDIP purchase this program for $35/year.

In Lynn’s research for a mobile payment device she has proposed utilizing the one offered to us by SunTrust Bank called “Clover Go”.  The bank is waiving monthly charges and giving us the device at no cost.

Received 10 renewal memberships this month. 

We currently have $6,621.56 in the bank.  Very good considering FoDIP’s many contributions to island this year.

Membership:  Ken Murphy reported 78 active and current members.                                              27 renewals have been sent out in November.       

Outreach:  Mel Nass and Meryl Kafka have made arrangements for a March 7 meeting at Century Village (Meryl will arrange for the speaker). Expecting a large crowd.

Ambassador Program:    (Fred Kraske and Katharine H.)  Currently there are 17 ambassadors signed up.  Online scheduling system will work nicely. Parks Dept. will hold periodic training sessions.   You can select a time slot by signing up at www.tinyurl.com/yawwjw3f  or contacting Katherine

Communication, Education, and Activities:    (Helene Wechterman)  Maps and scavenger hunt activities are in place at kiosk ready for use!  Also, a “Bucket” system for volunteers is available for removing invasive plants.

Presentation from Erik Westberg, John Caprio, and Katharine Hendrickson

Here are a few highlights mentioned at our meeting that directly pertain to DIP renovation plans:

·       Renovation of mangrove boardwalk.  The Parks dept has been awarded ($900,000) in matching funds through F.I.N.D’s October 2017 budget . Design phase is complete.

·       Broward County Commissioner Chip La Marca awarded funds from the Safe Parks Land Preservation Bond Program to the future Environmental Education and Research Center ($20,000).

·       Grant from FL Fish and Wildlife Commission Restoration of Gopher Tortoise Habitat to continue invasive plant removal ($15,000).  Hopefully annually.

·       Transformation of picnic shelter into an outdoor classroom through a purchase of benches and chairs by FoDIP .

·       Completed Painting of restroom facility and park office complex in Oct.

·       Seeking partnership with an educational institution to conduct research on gopher tortoise population and related habitats.  This will provide numerous opportunities for further educational activities, volunteerism, and expanding public exposure to the local community and statewide.

Friends of Deerfield Island Park presented a check for $45,000 to Broward County Parks Department as part of a grant from JM Family Enterprises.  Money will be utilized for the ADA compliant walkway.   The remaining grant from JM Family Enterprises ($40,000) is expected to be delivered to FOdip before the end of this year.  This will be applied toward indoor exhibits at the new educational and research center.

Katharine was able to present a very nice overview/print out of the Educational Center’s future plans.  This building will have two exhibit halls (North and South).  The North Hall will feature a welcome area showcasing the history of the park.  The South Hall will feature three permanent exhibit installations focusing on mangroves, tortoises, and a park diorama.  Then, also a fourth rotating seasonal exhibit.  Trails are regularly improved and paddle board tours are in the works.  Geo-Caching is also a future activity in the making.

Old Business:

·       Shirts are still available for $24

·       Karen Hutson will be checking in December with other local restaurants for fund raising opportunities.

·       HCC tour of DIP is to be scheduled for February. 

New Business:

Hospitality Committee not needed at this time.  Board members are chipping in to assist with meeting setups.

A request from Kristen Hoff (YEA – Youth Environmental Alliance) for a letter from FoDIP for a grant supporting a project for an invasive removal educational program coupled with a removal and planting on Deerfield Island.  Mel Nass motioned that we send a letter supporting this request.

Barry Lieberman (FoDIP member) brought in some of his art pieces featuring Deerfield Island habitants to display. He will donate 50% of the sales to FoDIP.

Board/Guest Comments:  A suggestion to consider taking a group(s) from Century Village on a tour of island.  FoDIP Board will look into this possibility.

Next Meeting:  Friday. December 8, 2017. HCC 10:00 am

Meeting Adjourned at 11:45 am

Submitted by Karen Hutson