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 Commissioners Minutes February 15, 2017

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

February 15, 2017


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                              Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                             Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                         Vaughn Stamm, Operations

Gloria Lind                                                                  Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Cheryl Maggio                                                             Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Jeff Tilly                                                                       Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Jake Henry – 5:34pm                                                  Ann Wasser, Education



Ken Kielsmeier




The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM, by President Barnard. Administrative Assistant Kristy Knapp called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE   Cheryl Maggio led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES     Minutes for January 18, were approved. No changes or additions were made to the agenda.



Nature Prescription Campaign and Get Outside, Get Healthy Program – Jamie Johannsen presented the new Nature Prescription Campaign and the Get Outside, Get Healthy Program. She spoke on how this campaign could raise awareness of the health benefits of spending time in nature. This is an international program with many communities involved. Jamie has been working on this campaign for the last year, with the help of staff and medical students, to finding a way to develop the Forest Preserves own version of the Nature Prescription. The goals of this campaign will be to finding more ways to connect children and families with nature for health benefits and create new stewards and advocates for the forest preserves and natural areas. Phase II of this campaign is to eventually have Physicians writing prescriptions for patients to get outside and spend time in nature. There will be a public kickoff of the Nature Prescription Campaign at The Get Outside, Get Healthy event on May 20, 2017at Hononegah Forest Preserve. There is a new logo this year for Get Outside, Get Healthy Program. There will also be more activities than ever and more for senior citizens. To promote the program there will be and a page on the website, social media post, newsletters, radio ads, and a brochure.



Bills for January – Audrey Johnson made a motion, Mike Eickman seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for January in the amount of $344,195.21. Motion passed unanimously.


Early Retirement Incentive Program – Criteria Adjustment – A Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program was adopted by the Board of Commissioners on January 18, 2017, for the employees of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. The Forest Preserve wishes to amend and broaden the criteria dates to allow additional staff to take advantage of the Early Retirement Incentive. The criteria will be amended from “Employees must meet the above criteria on or before April 1, 2017” to “Employees must meet the above criteria between December 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017”. The first payment date was also noted to be changed from November 2017 to December 2017 on Attachment A. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Mike Eickman seconded to amend voted the criteria dates for the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program. Passed 6-1, Jake Henry


Great Lakes Basin Rail Line – Resolution Discussion – At the January 18, 2017 Board Meeting, Jake Henry submitted information for a proposed Resolution with regard to the Railroad. Copies of the information were handed out to Board Members and staff, which were reviewed and discussed. Prior to the board meeting Mike contacted the Service Transportation Board for more information and to make sure they received the letter that was submitted by the Board at an earlier date. The Board will do more research and try to get a list of who has come out against the railroad before it is brought back to a board meeting. Mike will also check to see if taxes will be paid locally and to see if it went through the Zoning Board of Appeals. Jake Henry withdrew his request for the Board to consider taking a stance against the construction of the Rail line via a Resolution.


Amended 2017 Fee Structure – Commercial Photography – The staff is proposing to amend the previously adopted 2017 fee structure to include commercial photography fees. Research has indicated that other forest preserve and conservation districts have a formal fee-based permit for this activity. There have been a couple cases this last season where photographers were obstructing roadway. To eliminate some of these issues staff is proposing to add commercial photography to the fee schedule. There will be a yearly and daily permit. Mike Eickman made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded to accept the amended 2017 fee structure for commercial photography. Passed 6-1, Jake Henry voted no.


Election and Appointment of Officers – According to the Board of Commissioners Handbook the election and appointment of officers must be on the agenda to be official. The Board of Commissioners will be re-electing the President and Vice-President and the President will then appoint the officers.


Mike Eickman opened the floor for nominations for President. Gloria Lind nominated Judy Barnard for President, Jeff Tilly seconded the nomination.   Judy accepted the nomination. Mike Eickman asked for other nominations from the floor. No other nominations were made and nominations were closed. Roll call vote was taken. Judy Barnard was elected President by unanimous vote.


Mike Eickman asked for nominations for Vice President. Judy Barnard nominated Jeff Tilly for Vice President, Gloria Lind seconded the nomination. Jeff Tilly accepted the nomination. Mike Eickman asked for other nominations from the floor.   No other nominations were made and nominations were closed. Roll call vote was taken. Jeff Tilly was elected Vice-President by unanimous vote.


For 2017, the Officers will remain the same as follows: Steve Chapman, Treasurer, Cheryl Maggio, Assistant Treasurer and Mike Eickman, Secretary.




Dog Park Discussion – In the January 18 meeting Jake Henry addressed how Indian Hill Forest Preserve is very underused and was inquiring as to if the grassy area could be turned into a dog park as there is no dog park in that part of the county. Tom Hartley compiled a map of Winnebago County that shows the other locations of dog parks in the area, the map was handed out to the Board of Commissioners. Mike also contacted other agencies regarding the pros and cons of maintaining a dog park .There were no more than 3 pros from each agency, but a list of cons. Mike read the list of pros and cons that were on a handout presented to the Board of Commissioners. Gloria thanked Mike for the in-depth research. Judy asked for the area to be measured and to see how many acres it would be if we were to fence it the area and the cost. Jake then told the Board to take no further action and disregard the dog park suggestion. No future discussion is need at this time.


Clubhouse Deposit Transfer Service – At one of the prior board meetings, discussion was brought up about the process of transferring funds from the clubhouses to the bank. Mike spoke with the Sheriff’s Department on the transferring of funds and there will be no additional cost for them to escort the funds to the bank. Mike Durand or Rich Rosenstiel will ride along with the Sheriff to transfer the funds from the clubhouse facilities to the bank. Mike Holan also obtained a quote from Brinks to transfer the deposit to the bank for 9 months of the season.



Strategic Plan Report – Annual Accomplishments – The Board of Commissioners were previously sent the annual accomplishments prior to the board meeting. Mike Holan read some of the highlights from the annual accomplishments. The Board was also given a handout of the adopted strategic plan goals to review for the March meeting when the Strategic Plan will be reviewed. Mike is working on a list of his accomplishments for the last 5 years.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report. Vaughn reported the statistics on the deer management program as a reply to Jeff Tilly’s question.


Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report. Mike reported that they will be trying to open Atwood Homestead Golf Course starting Friday at noon and then Saturday through Monday at 10:00am, golf cart will be allowed. The specifics and modification of the food service operations are being taken care of as needed from Health Department guidelines. Several modifications are needed to be done at Ledges and Atwood, since these are considered change of ownership facilities.


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report.


Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report.


Law Enforcement – Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office submitted a written report.



Mike Holan announced the Natural Land Institute’s Annual Barbara Fell Award Dinner on Tuesday, March 21st at Giovanni’s Restaurant. He asked the Board Members to let him know by next Wednesday if they plan to attend.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 7:23 pm. At 7:56 pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



Meeting adjourned at 7:57 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, March 15, Preserve Headquarters


Respectfully Submitted,

Kristy Knapp

Administrative Assistant