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Board of Commissioners Minutes July 15, 2015

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


Severson Dells Forest Preserve

July 15, 2015


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                              Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                             Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Audrey Johnson                                                         Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Gloria Lind                                                                 Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Cheryl Maggio                                                            Don Miller, Education

Mary McNamara Bernsten

Jeff Tilly



Ed Cope

Lee Johnson



The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM, by President Barnard. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Gloria Lind led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES     Minutes for June 19, 2015 were approved. One change was made to agenda to include a presentation from Jerry Paulson from the Land Advisory Committee.



Monarch Butterfly Grant – Jamie Johannsen and Ed Cope (NLI) gave a presentation regarding a new partnership between the Preserves, NLI and the Boone County Conservation District. The purpose of this specific partnership is to be eligible for grants and programs that will benefit Monarch conservation. This partnership is one of the requirements of a recently discovered grant that will allow for more research and development of monarch conservation, habitat enhancement, and milkweed production. The idea is that these three agencies could work together to support, research, and share resources for this potential National Fish & Wildlife grant. Ed Cope then gave a brief presentation of the findings in this area and the importance of this program. In order to get more rare species present in this area, this kind of collaboration needs to happen.


Citizen Science Program – Jamie gave an update as to the Citizen Science program, which is in full swing this summer. The trainings are well attended and there are 35 people in the program. Jamie then gave an update as to each program. The tracts available for the Citizen Science program are Bluebirds, Calling Frogs, Butterflies, and Dragonflies and Damselflies. There have been exciting finds and everything is being documented. The volunteer base has extended to outside of Winnebago County and is drawing people from other counties to see what the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County has to offer and see.


Land Advisory Committee – Jerry Paulson announced that the Land Advisory Committee has been working hard to develop its list of screening questions for evaluating potential land acquisition projects, and donations of land. He distributed the screening questions which are intended to help the Committee and the Board distinguish between good and bad projects. He reviewed the plan, questions, and screening criteria. Each question has a high, medium, or low rating so each property in question can be ranked. Jerry also presented a Preserve Addition Policy Options for the Board to consider, which ranges from no more land acquisitions to creating and preserving new areas in the county. Jerry and the Committee have asked for guidance from the Board as to the extent of the involvement of the Committee.



Bills for July – Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Mike Eickman seconded, to authorize the payment of the bills for July in the amount of $515,323.48. Motion passed unanimously.



Strategic Plan Quarterly Update – Mike distributed the second quarter strategic plan update and highlighted the many accomplishments. All programs have been very well attended.  Mike then announced that the Board needs to set a strategic plan meeting for early fall. An electronic notification will be sent to determine the best date(s) for the Commissioners. Mike mentioned several issues that the Board needs to consider when preparing for the strategic plan meeting in the fall. Mike will email the talking points, facts, and figures prior to the first meeting. Judy requested that Mike and a few staff members meet with Kevin Haas to talk about the strategic plan accomplishments that have been accomplished this year.



Attorney RFP – Mike Holan mentioned that the Request for Proposal for a possible new board attorney will go out on July 16. If there are any firms that the Commissioners want it to be sent to, be sure to get the information to Mike. Mike has notified the law firms the Preserves currently work with as a courtesy. The deadline for proposals is August 4. Interviews will then be set up with the firms and Mary McNamara Bernsten will develop a list of questions for the interviews. Commissioners are to send any questions they want included to Mary.



County Contracts – Judy recently received a letter from the County giving the Preserves notification that the terms of the service contracts that the Preserves have with the County will be reviewed by the County Board. Judy reminded the Commissioners that the contract with the Sheriff is separate from the contract with the county, and the Sheriff is very happy with the contract. The Preserves also has a separate contract with IT, in which the Preserves pays hourly for those services. There is also a negotiated contract for the administrative, purchasing and finance services. Judy would like Mike Holan and Steve Chapman to negotiate the contracts with the County.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report.


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report. Jamie then mentioned that on June 1 a grant application was submitted to the Volunteer Stewardship Network requesting funds for the expansion and enhancement of the Preserves’ stewardship program. $3,000 was requested for volunteer training, equipment and supplies. She announced that as of today, July 15, they were awarded a $2,600 grant for supplies and equipment for the volunteer program.


Education – Don Miller submitted a written report.


Law Enforcement – Terry Nordberg submitted written report.



Explore a Fundraiser – Judy would like to form a committee to brainstorm raising funds for the land acquisition fund and would like to ask Bill Hoff to be on the committee. She asked if any commissioners would be interested, if so, let Judy know. Audrey volunteered to be on the committee.


Audrey distributed a fundraiser for the Summer Coca-Cola Museum Party which funds scholarships for a student going into conservation or forestry. See Audrey for tickets.



Meeting adjourned at 7: 15PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, August 12, District Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary