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 April 18

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
District Headquarters
April 18, 2012

Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Mary McNamara- Bernsten Tom Hartley, Land and Development
Audrey Johnson Mike Durand, Golf
Lee Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing
Gloria Lind Mike Scheurich, Attorney
Cheryl Maggio
Lenae Weichel
Art Wittwer
Rebecca Olson
Rick Hoffman
Jane Snively

The meeting was called to order at 5:33 pm. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.

PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE Mary McNamara-Bernsten led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Minutes for March 21, 2012 were approved.

Jane Snively, Director of Klehm Arboretum & Botanical Garden, thanked the Commissioners for their continued support for the Community Trees Advocate Program and for the District’s participation. She also invited the Commissioners to Klehm Arboretum for an Open House on June 15 for the introduction of their new interpretive signage. Randy Olson thanked Jane for her work at Klehm and the relationship the District has with Klehm.

Community Trees Advocate Program – The Community Trees Advocate Program is a cooperative agreement among the District, the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, and the Rockford Park District. Its aim is to educate the public about tree health, management practices and selection to enhance the health, safety, beauty and enjoyment of our community. On June 21, 2011, the District Board agreed to approve the District’s involvement for the first year by giving the first $10,000 to the program. Judy Barnard made a motion to approve the second installment of $10,000 from the District to the Community Trees Advocate Program which was seconded Gloria Lind, Audrey Johnson and Cheryl Maggio. Motion passed unanimously. Mary McNamara-Bernsten would like to have it posted on the District’s website.

Bids – Seward Bluffs overlook – In December of 2009 the Atwood family donated $50,000 to the District. The family chose the Seward Bluffs overlook with the idea that the overlook be developed to appear similar to a 1930’s-era Civilian Conservation Corps project. The implementation of the overlook project was put on hold when the nearby bridge replacement project failed due to a 14-inch rain in July of 2010. Since the bridge replacement project is completed and the insurance has repaid the District, bids were opened on April 17, with five bidders competing. Tom Hartley distributed a bid tabulation to the Commissioners, and while the budget was $65,000, the low bid came in at $97,000. Tom Hartley asked the Board to reject the bids and he will redesign the overlook and make it more simple. Recreating the 30’s era was too expensive, and to complete this design, a lot of fill will need to be brought in to make it more handicapped accessible. The Commissioners think the plan is good, and wondered if bidding it in stages would be better than redesigning it. Judy Barnard inquired if the Highway Department would be willing to donate the fill, and possibly have other things donated. Randy would like to possibly reach out to the public and see if we can get some donations. Tom Kalousek will talk to the family, and Tom Hartley will reevaluate it. Mary McNamara-Bernsten moved to reject all bids, seconded by Cheryl Maggio. Motion passed unanimously.

Wetland Banking Agreement – Judy Barnard made a motion to approve acceptance and easement agreements between Winnebago County Forest Preserve District and Northern Illinois Wetland Bank for mitigation of 81 acres. The motion was seconded by Mary McNamara-Bernsten. Tom Hartley presented the Commissioners with three documents, the easement for phase I, the Agreement for Deed for the donation of all 81 acres, and the letter of credit. The easement is necessary for them to sell credits and the letter of credit is for access for the District should Northern Illinois Wetland Bank fail in their obligation to complete phase I. In addition, Northern Illinois Wetland Bank brought a check for maintenance. This check allows the District to establish a separate fund for maintenance of the project. NIWB will have a party monitoring the project making sure it is being done to specifications. When the bank is complete and donated to the District, the District’s plan is to hire a consultant to monitor it and give a report two times a year. Judy Barnard suggested finding a place, such as NLI, to check on the easement rather than hiring someone. Tom Hartley is anticipating it will be monitored for a five year period. Motion passed unanimously. NIWB then presented a check to Tom Hartley in the amount of $13,333. Judy Barnard then made a motion to establish a stewardship fund for the wetland mitigation project, seconded by Audrey Johnson. Motion passed unanimously.

Surplus equipment – auction – Gloria Lind made a motion to authorize District staff to offer the surplus equipment for auction at the Rockford Municipal Auction in May 2012, seconded by Mary McNamara-Bernsten. Motion passed unanimously.

Hononegah Youth Soccer Program – Vaughn Stamm gave the Commissioners a letter from Matt Warneke, president of the Hononegah Youth Soccer Association (HYSA). The District and the HYSA have had an agreement to use the Roland Olson soccer fields since approximately 1997. As part of the agreement, HYSA agrees to maintain the property in exchange for the use of it. Their current agreement goes through 2013, but they would like to sign a renewal from 2013-2016. Judy Barnard would like to lay this over to get a better understanding of it since the District is still in the strategic planning process. Tom Kalousek reminded the Commissioners that the District’s goals are education and recreation, and this falls right into that with providing a process for both. Judy asked for a map of all the soccer fields in Winnebago County. Tom Hartley will get a map to the Commissioners in the next few months.

Interview schedule for Executive Director applicants –The first round of interviews with applicants for the Executive Director position will be completed on Friday, April 20 with Randy Olson, Judy Barnard and Pam Clark Reidenbach. Once those are completed, a final list of applicants will be given to the Commissioners. Tom Kalousek distributed a list of dates that Pam is available to facilitate the interviews. Evelyn will contact the Commissioners for their availability, and if there are any evening dates that are preferable, Commissioners are to let Evelyn know those as well.

Development – Tom Hartley
Roland Olson – A master plan has been prepared for the Roland Olson area residents. There will be an open house held on June 5. It will be on site and a publication will go out. If people would like to donate money for trees, they will be accommodated. 10 trees have been planted. Next week there may be an article on the sale of the trees.
Two sheds for sale at Four Lakes – An advertisement went out in the newspaper and on the District’s website, and the public has been looking at those. The bids will be due April 26.
Easement – Next month Tom will be bringing information to the Commissioners about the construction easement at Pond and Main Street, located near Klehm. The District will be requesting funds to have sidewalk work done along Route 2.
Zoning issue in Roscoe – Tom got an email from an individual, the property east of Hononegah, requesting a zoning permit for raising llamas on his property. This is on the east side, not much bearing on the District property.
Nature Preserve dedication – The final step for the Nature Preserve dedication is for the Board President to sign the agreement. Randy Olson signed the agreement adding additional acres to the Nature Preserves at Sugar River Alder and Colored Sands. On May 8, the Nature Preserves Commission will formally adopt the agreement at their meeting. Judy Barnard would like to do a press conference, as a dedication is a wonderful honor.

Golf report – Mike Durand reported that the spring season for golf is going well. The weather has cooperated nicely. He distributed a spread sheet that compared the 2009-2012 seasons. Even though there is a lack of season pass play, and season pass sales are down, the daily fee revenue is up. This seems to be a continuing trend. It is a good strong spring.


Acting Director – Tom Kalousek will be attending the National Recreation and Park Association international conference and will be gone on previously scheduled business from April 19 through May 7. Mike Durand will be the Acting Director during that time.

Tom also mentioned Senate Bill 3182 which had a provision about filling vacancies. After some calls and some research, it was a technical error, and there is an amendment, so all references to Forest Preserve District and Commissioners that are elected at large have been removed from the bill. It now focuses on vacancies at the County Board level.

Bird Fest at Colored Sands May 12 and 13. Lee Johnson will be taking people on tours.

For those going to IAPD conference, Tom Kalousek has conference packets.

Macktown Gathering is April 28 and 29.

Earth Day Event – Rock Valley College – April 21.

Atwood Award – April 26.

Arbor Day – April 27. Vaughn Stamm handed out a District Events and News that lists all of the events that the District is involved in. The Community Trees at the schools is also that week.

IAPD Legislative Conference is on May 1 & 2


Meeting adjourned at 6:50.
Next board meeting 5:30 Wednesday, May 16, District Headquarters

Ronelle Johnson
Recording Secretary