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 September 17

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


Sand Bluff Bird Observatory at Colored Sands Forest Preserve

September 17, 2014


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                              Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                             Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Audrey Johnson                                                          Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Gloria Lind                                                                 Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Mary McNamara Bernsten                                          Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Randy Olson                                                               Don Miller, Director of Education

ABSENT                                                                                            GUESTS

Cheryl Maggio                                                            Lee & Linda Johnson              Jeff Adams

Deb Eickman                          Dave Schreiber

Rick Straitor                            Lenai Weichel



The meeting was called to order at 5:35 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 the August 20 board meeting were approved. Minutes for the September 3 Meeting of the Whole were approved.



South Beloit Confluence Plan – Jeff Adams from Beloit College and Dave Schreiber from SAA presented the vision for the South Beloit Confluence Plan. They are seeking a partnership with the District to share in the vision of the confluence that ideally would eventually connect to J. Norman Jensen Forest Preserve. The plan will connect the Rock River and Turtle Creek, developing it into a destination and nature-based public open space dedicated to making the City Center’s an historic place of gathering, exploration, recreation, learning, and inspiration for people of all ages and abilities.


Colored Sands Flora Presentation – Lee Johnson, a longtime volunteer at the Bird Banding Station, presented a slide show of the creatures, insects, flora, fauna and the different species living in the Colored Sands and Sugar River Forest Preserves. All of these species he has seen in these preserves since 1948. Managing plant life is a real challenge, and a lot of the species found here cannot be found anywhere else in Illinois. Lee encouraged the Commissioners to consider plant management when they are working through the budget process.



Bills for September – Audrey made a motion, Gloria seconded, to authorize the payment of the bills for September in the amount of $700,313.65. Motion passed unanimously.


IMET Membership Resolution – Steve Chapman spoke to the Commissioners about the investments at the August meeting. At that meeting, a resolution was passed for IMET to handle the District’s investments. IMET requires a resolution for membership. Audrey made a motion, Gloria seconded, to accept IMET membership. Motion passed unanimously.


Acceptance of Budget & Appropriations Ordinance for Layover – The Board is required to layover the budget for 30 days for public review and comment before it is adopted by the Board. Mike Eickman made a motion, and Mary McNamara Bernsten seconded, to approve a resolution to layover the 2014-2015 Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for public review and comment until the October 22, 2014 board meeting. Motion passed unanimously.


Levy Ordinance Layover – The Board is required to layover the tax levy for a period of at least 30 days for public review and comment before it is adopted by the Board. Mary made a motion, seconded by Mike Eickman and Audrey, to approve a resolution to layover the annual tax levy for public review and comment until the October 22, 2014 meeting. Motion passed unanimously.


Bus Tour on September 26 – Tom Hartley has laid out a route for the annual tour for Commissioners. The tour will focus on capital improvement needs at the golf courses, Ferguson Forest Preserve and other select preserves. The bus will be leaving at 8:30, on September 26, and should conclude by 2pm.


Winnebago County 2030 Zoning Code Presentation – October 14 – Jamie Johannsen and Tom Hartley attended a hearing on the Unified Development Ordinance. This was a follow up to the 2030 land use plan and its written instructions as to how development will occur within the county. The District was most interested in the off site development standards and the requests of impact fees for new developments. Tom and Jamie went on behalf of the District to request that the District have a chance to receive cash for the impact fees in lieu of the Rockford Park District. Tom and Jamie both spoke at the meeting about open space, and critical and sensitive areas. The zoning board is extending the time period, to October 14, to allow the District to look at the specific concerns and present recommendations to the zoning board. Jamie will be soliciting input from the Natural Land Institute, the Kishwaukee River Eco System Partnership, the Soil & Water Conservation District, to address the issues they brought up at the hearing.



Equestrian – Deer Run – Mike Eickman was contacted by a citizen that was concerned that people were camping on the equestrian trails. Vaughn will be sure to have it checked out.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report. Mike also distributed a flyer for a new program, Golftoberfest. Golftoberfest will run from 10/6-10/12.


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report. There will be some routine tree work that needs to be done at Atwood Homestead. The work will be done by ComEd, and the neighbors have been contacted. It is a correctional pruning to keep the large limbs off the line.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report. Jamie has entered into a new collaborative partnership with Notebaert Nature Museum and the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network.   Dr. Taron has agreed to assist the District in implementing this new program. It will consist of designing sites and collection protocols and training volunteers. A pilot butterfly monitoring program will be put in place, and the 2 sites that were selected are Kieselburg and Sugar River Alder. In addition, the District also participated in the University of Illinois Beespotter program. Barbara Williams will be monitoring the bees as there is a lot of concern about their population decline and the need to preserve their habitat.


Education – Don Miller submitted a written report. The Grove grand opening went very well. The canoe program is doing very well. Monday night canoe convoys have been successful. The participants start with a 25 minute safety program that is required one time. The classes have averaged about 20 people per class. The canoe program will wrap up in October.


Law Enforcement – Terry Nordberg submitted written report.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 7:15 pm.


At 7:38, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



Saturday, October 11, 12:00-3:00 pm Fall for the Forest Preserves event at Atwood Homestead to launch and celebrate our new brand identity. Fun fall activities.



Meeting adjourned at 7:38 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, October 22, District Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary