November board minutes

Taken November 19 by Elaine Nelson, Secretary, at the home of Bev Kooi

Present: Nathan Allan, Bev Kooi, Chad Akins, Elaine Nelson, Sam Schoeder, Ann, Tim McLeod, Jenni Fleming

Guests: Aaron Davis, Maurine Bailey, Kirk Hanson, Meta Hogan, Terry Middlebrook, Ruth Middlebrook

Called to order 7:05 pm

Review October General Meeting Minutes – Bev moves, accepted.

Reeves Middle School Community Dinner (Aaron Davis & Maurine Bailey) – Maurine talked about having a community event, a dinner with neighborhood groups, service organizations, located on Quince. Ruth’s kids went there, most Eastside kids go there: all Madison, Roosevelt, [missed other school names]. Some community members right in that area have had issues with speeding, also issues with homeless people in the area, though not much they can do except keep them off campus during school day. Discussion of timing with general meeting. They’ll be connecting with other neighborhoods. (send CONA site) Although sometimes difficult to get people to meetings inside the neighborhood! Kirk likes the idea, would like to see facilitation to help with networking. Open mic for announcements, etc.? Opportunity to share what communities are doing. Tim is working with some youth groups that might want to be involved. We agreed that we’re interested in participating.

Community Forum (Ruth Middlebrook) – idea builds on what they were talking about. She was formerly on the board, when it was in more of an advocate role. She’s been thinking it would cool to have a community center in the neighborhood. Ping pong tournament? Community cafes at Avanti and [missed school name] for discussions, talk about how to become better neighbors. Talk about a question for 15 minutes then rotate to another table, focus being building community. Mentioned that Chad & I daydream about something in Lions Park, she’s talked to “powers that be and they’re interested.” Bev said the Methodist church used to do a week-long “arts alive” program, teaching all different kinds of arts. Tuesday/Thursday evening exercise class? Jenni suggested just doing the ping pong tournament or other events, and seeing who’s interested. Tim had all the stuff for doing community cafes, Elaine also interested in organizing. Kirk brought up the idea of a community time bank. Bev mentioned her ideas re: tool sharing & assistance in swap. Tim will write article about time bank for the February newsletter; Ruth’s events will also be listed. Bev moved that we support Ruth in running these activities, Jenni seconds. All agree.

Madison/Avanti Garden Project (Nathan Allan) – The two schools are starting a community garden project on the school land, don’t need the same approvals as the park. They want to start ASAP. Are thinking of doing it on the side of the building? Have to go to the facilities manager. About 15 people were at the meeting. Garden will be worked by Madison kids, Avanti kids, and community members. To be designed by Avanti student working with GRUB, GRUB will build, talked about materials, fundraising, etc. One raised bed per grade level at least. Community involvement, esp since school isn’t in session during prime growing season! Katie Stoll, who was previously newsletter editor, is very involved. Will keep list for the email. Will start building on February 6! Bev thinks we should have an official ENA representative, but not her. Kirk will go, since he was going to go anyway. Elaine suggested outreaching to people on our list who are already interested in gardening. Discussion of fruit trees via Neighborwoods around New Bridge. Chad mentioned that there has been lobbying to get neighborhood gardens as a goal in the comp plan. Side note re: Scenic Park project – Joe Hyer said to Nathan that he wants to see the city focus on community gardens.

More Garden Stuff (Kirk Hanson) – about month ago talked to TJ Johnson about the community garden in NE neighborhood. Sustainable South Sound is working on series of workshops that they wanted to support. Perhaps we could generate synergies? He sent to Kirk list of workshop topic ideas. Kirk would like to act as liaison. Some of the ideas: controlling pests, food preservation, native plants, beekeeping, square foot gardening, composting, seed saving, year-round gardening, soil testing, tool sharing, gleaning, raising chickens. [missed a few.] Discussion of whether Kirk should become a board member. Kirk will send us the list, could send out as a survey. Elaine will work on the technical aspects. Chad asked if there are any opportunities over the winter for grant-writing, etc.; none that Kirk is aware of. Side discussion: Bev is concerned about large trees in her area that might blow over; can we as a group support getting help with “suspect trees” — Chad said that Urban Forestry can help. When we have the information about how that works, we can put on website, too. Kirk asked Bev about community kitchens at churches (re food preservation), partner to use kitchen during off hours? Doesn’t know of any previously, can check with them.

Tool-sharing project update (Jenni Fleming) – met w/Elaine & Bev last week, talked about how to make it go live. Discussion of the particulars. Nathan suggested testing it before loaning. Looking for more ideas about what it would take. Meta brought up the idea of things running down faster than they would ordinarily. Fundraising specifically for that purpose? A lot of other organizations doing similar things own the tools and run it like a lender’s library. We’re thinking of starting with inexpensive things and see how it works. Issues of trust-building over time. Can’t address fears until more people are together. General principle of agreement: you break it, you bought it; don’t borrow beyond your means, either financial or skill-wise; don’t loan something you would freak out about losing; release liability both to lender and to ENA. Some anonymity through web form. Will be reviewing with lawyer. [note: I was fairly involved in the discussion, please let me know if I missed anything important!]

Standards of procedure for the letters that the City of Olympia sends (Jenni) – we receive many letters on planning-related topics from the city, what should we do with them? Jenni suggested scanning and sending to the board and see if any items need to be sent on further.

Olympia Comprehensive Plan (Bev Kooi) – Bev mentioned things from the Imagine Olympia event, city wanting to do neighborhood-level events. Tim has done something similar, city wants folks to dream big. Do at a general meeting? Chad will be the comp plan liaison. Event will be at next general meeting in February. Start meeting 1 hour early, potluck + pizza. will work out over email.

ENA Business cards (Bev) – proposing to make 10-20 business cards for each paid member. To use for meetings with church groups, the city, etc. Wants any design suggestions. Elaine will try to track down font used in logo on signs, etc.

Grants (Chad Akins) – some discussion of how we might do future grant-writing. [note: this is where my laptop died. Anything else to add?]

Finances (Jenni) – Discussed the sign fund, think we can use it for the yard signs that go out before the meetings. Moved to put $1000 of sign fund in 12-month CD, all aye. Voted to use $100-$150 for meeting signs.

Adjourned approx. 9pm

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