Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Board Of Commissioner Minutes Jan. 16

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


District Headquarters

January 16, 2013


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard- President                                             Tom Kalousek, Executive Director

Mary McNamara Bernsten                                          Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Mike Eickman                                                             Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Audrey Johnson                                                          Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Gloria Lind                                                                 Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Judi Day, Budget & Personnel

ABSENT                                                                    Steve Chapman, Finance

Randy Olson                                                               Mike Scheurich, Attorney

Cheryl Maggio


The meeting was called to order at 5:32 PM.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


INVOCATION and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Mary McNamara Bernsten led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for December 19 were approved.  There were no additions or changes to the agenda.




TV ad campaign – Jamie Johannsen – Jamie gave an overview of the new television ads.  The District has an annual contractual agreement with one of the local TV stations for a discount package which provides maximum coverage of various audiences, with at least 50% of the ads being in prime time slots.  These ads are all at one low annual rate.  For 2013, Jamie worked with the WREX camera crew to produce a new series of ads featuring Winnebago County citizens describing what they value about the Winnebago County Forest Preserves.  All in all, Jamie along with WREX, produced seven thirty-second ads that will start airing this month.  She then showed all seven ads.  The ads will also be posted on the District’s website, You Tube and Facebook.


Resource Management Restoration Plan – Vaughn Stamm and Tom Hartley gave an overview to the Commissioners of what the District’s Natural Resource Department does, how it operates, and its goals.  Vaughn went through the personnel and structure of the department, including their duties.  The goal of this department is to restore land, as is practical, to its pre-agricultural status.  This department also maintains the nursery operations at Severson Dells.  He went through the nine-step restoration planning process and gave an overview of the accomplishments in 2012, which were many.  For the upcoming year, the goals are to plant 314 trees, weather permitting.  Also for 2013, there will be approximately 25.3 acres of prairie restoration.  Vaughn also gave a seed harvest report for 2011 and 2012.  He indicated that because of the 2012 drought, the seed collection was low and will impact the 2013 planting.  Tom Hartley went through the remaining landscape restorations, for a total of 601 acres.  This department also oversees the wildlife management, which includes assisting Illinois Department of Natural Resources with the annual Canada goose banding program.  It also facilitated the ornate box turtle survey, monitored the wood duck nest boxes including building and cleaning, and the bluebird nest boxes.  Finally, Vaughn and Tom reiterated that this department will continue to do the best they can do with what they are given and continue to be good stewards of the land.





Payment of Bills – Gloria Lind made a motion to authorize the payment of the January 2013 bills.    Motion passed unanimously. 




IAPD/IPRA Registration – Vaughn mentioned that everybody is signed up and ready to go with transportation and hotel reservations.


Board meeting schedule – Audrey Johnson moved to approve the Board meeting schedule for the 2013 year.  The meetings will be held the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Forest Preserve Headquarters.  Motion passed unanimously.


Appointments – Judy Barnard announced that she is appointing Audrey Johnson as Board Secretary and Judi Day as Assistant Secretary.  Steve Chapman will be the Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer will be Cheryl Maggio.  Cheryl will also serve as the Chairman of the Finance Committee.   There will be no other appointments at this time, and the Finance Committee will meet as needed.  Mike Eickman made a motion to approve these appointments.  Motion passed unanimously.




Partner board meetings – Judy announced that she would like to have Board members attend the board meetings at Klehm, Severson Dells and the Sand Bluff Bird Banding Station.  She passed out a sign-up sheet for board members to sign up to attend.  She has also asked someone from each organization attend The District’s Board meetings once or twice a year to give the Commissioners an update on their organizations.


Executive Director at Klehm – Judy announced that Dan Riggs has been appointed as the new Executive Director of Klehm.  Judy is looking forward to working with him and has asked him to attend a District board meeting to acknowledge his appointment and give a presentation.  He will be doing so at either the February or March meetings.  Tom Kalousek then indicated that Dan will be at the District’s staff meeting on Wednesday, January 23.


Budget awareness – Judy has started the process of riding around with Vaughn to visit some of the preserves to talk about capital needs.  The District has serious needs for new equipment and machinery.  Judy would like to develop a grant database in order to pay for all of the District’s needs and to be able to figure out ways to manage the needs with the money the District has.  She believes the Board can come up with some creative ways to increase funding.


Hike app – In order to encourage people to come out into the preserves, there needs to be a better system for people to be able to determine what kind of hike they want to go on, the degree of difficulty, and the approximate length of time it takes to hike each trail.  There is a Hike app being developed by Prairie State Conservation Coalition.  The Natural Land Institute has agreed to be one of the partners and the District will hopefully be able to follow the progress of the app, to see if it is something the District will be able to utilize.  This could be a long-term thing, but there will be more information coming out as it is developed.




Creation of a grant database – As mentioned above, Judy would like to develop an extensive grant database.  Each Commissioner was given a grant spreadsheet that the Rockford Park District maintains.  Tom Hartley maintains the District’s grant database.   Judy would like to approach the Community Foundation for any information they may have.


Director search – Judy mentioned that she received an email from Cindy at IAPD. There are two candidates who will be interviewed this Saturday, January 19 at 1:15 and 2:30.  The Commissioners are to be at District Headquarters at noon.  Pam Clark Reidenbach will be there to review the interview process and procedures.  There are two more candidates to be interviewed so she encouraged everyone to email Judi Day with available dates for those interviews.  Judy wants everyone to participate for all four interviews.




Golf report – Mike Durand gave an extensive statistical golf report.  His report included a total rounds comparison, an 11-year rounds comparison (2002-2012), a golf course play report which included total daily rounds, daily rounds income, pass income, golf cart registrations and a comparative golf cart report from 2001-2012.  In 2012, rounds of golf are up with the majority of the rounds in the daily fee segment versus season pass play.


Preserve Operations – Vaughn reported that every year, for the past 9 or 10 years, the District has done an aerial count of the deer population.  This year that aerial count took place on January 2, and the primary focus were the preserves along the Kishwaukee River.  The last three or four years have been more of a maintenance management system, and this year based on the numbers from last year, Vaughn is recommending to take an additional 10 deer this year which means 60 deer total.


He also gave an update on winter preserve gate closures.   Some preserves have gates closed for the winter, restricting car access.  However, all preserves are open for walk-in traffic and year-round use.  There was some concern from citizens regarding the “closed/keep out” signs during deer shotgun season.  The district has changed their signs to warning signs.  These signs indicate that the property surrounding the preserves is private property and there is public hunting on that private property, and the citizens are to be careful.  On the afternoons or evenings that the District will be conducting its deer management program, there will be “closed/keep-out” signs posted at those preserves.


Law Enforcement – Tom Kalousek gave the annual report from 2012 for Terry Nordberg.  The report given this month is a monthly breakdown of the calls related to forest preserves.  He reported that 92,060 miles of squad patrol was done by the Forest Preserve officers in 2012.  Judy would like to meet the new officer that replaced Tom Keegan who retired late last year.


Pool Association Agreement – Tom Kalousek mentioned that the District received a letter from the Ledges Pool Association.  The Ledges swimming pool is in need of repair to bring it up to code.  Because of the lease agreement the Ledges Pool Association has with the District, the Ledges needs approval from the District to repair the pool.  This does not require board approval.  The staff will send a letter allowing the Ledges to fix the pool.


Intern search update – Tom Hartley advised that the District applied for a grant through the Northern Illinois Invasive Plant Program.  The status of the application is unknown at this time, but should the District receive this grant, there could possibly be an intern this summer.  Judy inquired if Tom has checked with the local colleges about any students interested in internships.  Tom indicated that he has not yet checked with them but he is also going to contact Pam Clark Reidenbach to see if she has any information as well.


Pecatonica Education Center – Jamie mentioned that the Pec Ed Center has been utilized a lot so far this year.  There are 5 days of field trips of school children with an environmental education program that will be delivered by the Severson Dells staff.  Over the next 3 months, there are 14 days of field trips scheduled with the educational programming being provided through a grant through Pheasants Forever.


Marketing – Jamie also announced that she is busy planning special events for 2013.  There are several events being planned for spring summer and fall, and she hopes to have a schedule of those events at the February meeting.




Meeting adjourned at 7:23 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM Wednesday, February 20, District Headquarters


Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary