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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes of Meetings in 2011


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for January 4, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 1, 2011 at 7:30

No minutes were taken at this meeting.

The Webmaster


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for February 1, 2011

This meeting was canceled due to a snowstorm.

The Webmaster


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for March 1, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 5, 2011 at 7:30

Members present:  Brian Yates, John Mordes, Erica Aubin, Bill Tedoldi, Vaugnita Schnell, Nina Koch, Lee Fisher, Jeanne Fisher, Maria Rose.

Items discussed:

Finance:

Brian reports that as of 3/1/11: $7,500+ is in the account.

12th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup and Hemlock Gorge Reservation Annual Spring Clean Up - Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friends of Hemlock Gorge’s Annual Spring Cleanup will coincide with the 12th Annual Earth Day  Celebration. Saturday, April 16th.  The date is a little earlier than usual this year due to Easter and Passover Volunteers are needed from 10am to Noon. Materials and tools supplied for all volunteers.  Refreshments provided after the clean up. Please dress appropriately for the work and the weather (rain or shine).  Meet up between 9:45am-10AM at the parking lot at Hamilton Place, off Elliott Street. Additional parking available at the Mills Falls complex.  For map/directions and further information, www.hemlockgorge.org.  Notices have been sent out to the local newspapers and organizations. Maria Rose suggests that as a Green Planet gesture volunteers not bring or give out bottled water, but instead bring eco-friendly water in canteens.

Newton Eagle Scouts Project with FoHG

John Mordes will meet Erica Aubin after the snow melts to coordinate with the 3 Eagle Scouts interested in working on projects for the Hemlock Gorge Reservation. Most likely projects are 1) fence rail mending and repainting, 2) trail-blazing between route 9 and the current end of the trail along Quinobequin Road near Radcliffe Road, 3) Nature trail markers for HG and the trail downstream, 4) a canoe put in on Turtle Island, 5) assistance to Karen Osborn in tree planting.

Tree Plantings

Karen was unable to be present, but communicated her commitment to make the project move forward. Erica pointed out that it will be necessary to have in hand the surveyor's findings on the Reservation property line in Needham. She will coordinate with Karen on the selection of species.

Hemlocks

A dead hemlock crashed into the railing on Echo Bridge on the downstream Needham side. The DCR has a notified the MWRA who installed the new fencing. Brian reported that the MWRA has cut away part of the tree but the bulk of it still remains.

Brush and Limbs

Lee Fisher expressed a hope that fallen limbs and other brush and perhaps refuse generated by pruning to improve certain areas could be collected on Clean Up Day and left for the Site Supervisor to collect. Erica demurred, pointing out that the coming of spring will impose very heavy workloads on her and her crew, and the generation of additional work is at this time discouraged.

Dog Feces

There were complaints that dog owners are not cleaning up after their pets. It was not clear how the Friends or the DCR can change that behavior. Erica will look into the possibility of posting signs to discourage this activity and perhaps inorganic matter littering as well. Why some people do this could not be explained by anyone present.

Tunneling under Route 9

Bill Tedoldi asked what had come of suggestions that the sluiceway dam be blocked and the sluiceway tunnel under route 9 be used to connedt Hemlock Gorge with the Quinobequin Road Trails. John Mordes reviewed the history of that proposal for the group. Bill strongly urged us to consider using the nonprofit status of the Stream Team that he heads to apply for grants to help make the project a reality.

Prioritizing Projects

John Mordes pointed out that the Friends have a considerable war chest and many substantial projects on our wish list, but few of the projects have seen any movement recently. These projects in abeyance include the Friends Bridge, The Stone Building Windows, Landscaping in front of the Stone Building, Railing Restoration on Echo Bridge, and the Screen Plantings on the Needham side.

It was pointed out that the Friends have had hugely successful projects in the past. These include the restoration of the Stone Building and the construction of the original bridge over the New Pond Sluiceway at Artists Point, persuading the DCR to replace that bridge when it became unsafe, working with the MWRA to reopen Echo Bridge after putting up a safety railing, facilitating the restoration of the echo platform, and getting the Stone Building windows fabricated, lighting restored, and cement floor installed.

After discussion in which Erica took the lead, it was agreed to put the plantings as our first and most-likely-to-succeed priority in these fiscally difficult times. The small Eagle Scout projects can move in parallel with that. Then will come a discussion on which of the several other projects to move to top priority. Brian will also look for old landscape architect's plans for the Stone Building frontage.

Parking

It was pointed out that the Ellis Street Parking Lot, intended for visitors to HG, is now completely full of cars that are parked there 24/7. Other than having the police enforce the 'no overnight parking' regulation, there was no clear solution to the problem.

Book Sales (Makers of the Mold)

Book sales have been remarkably good, according to Jerry Reilly, generating some $1,200 for the Friends' treasury. Here is his report:

Book Sale Summary – March 1

 

Book Sold and Paid For

Party                                           23  @ $13      =     $299

Jerry                                            1   @ $13      =        13

                                                    5   @ $10      =        50

Sol                                               28  @ 15       =       420

Variety                                         22  @ 13       =       286

Just Next Door                            10  @  5         =         50

Depot                                          5  @ 13           =        65

Amazon                                       2  @  7.55       =     15.10

CreateSpace                                2  @ 11.12      =     22.24

                                                -------  ------------     ------------

                                                    98                  =    $1220.34

 

Sold but not paid for yet:

NE MobileBook Fair              15   @  $4        =         $60

Dunn Gaherins                        4      @  13           =          52

Gift Shop                                5      @   5            =          25

Lincoln St                                5     @   5            =         25

Biltmore                                  4     @  13           =         54

Depot                                       2     @  13         =         26

                                                ------   -----          -------

                                                36                                $242              

There’s roughly 50 more books in the hands of the ten retailers.  Probably ¾ or more of those will eventually be sold and the rest will come back since they are on consignment.

Next meeting is Tuesday, April 5th at 7:30pm.  !

This meeting adjourned at 9:15p.m.

To the best of his recollection,

JPM, Webmaster


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for April, 5, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday May 3, 2011 at 7:30

Present at this well attended meeting were: Brian Yates, Vaunita Schnell, Bob Burke, Jan Huffman, Karen Osborn Shanley, Bill Tedoldi, Nina Koch, and Dr. John Webmaster.

Items discussed:

Actually, this has already taken place. There was a lovely description of it written by the guide and read to us by Brian Yates.

It is scheduled for April 16 and will coincide with Earth Day. It should proceed as have all cleanups in the past. Karen will take care of getting the lunches from Dunn Gaherin's.

There is no ban on overnight parking in the Ellis Street lot, and this winter it was perpetually full at all hours with overnight (and much longer) parkers. Brian agrees to bring the matter of posting a sign banning overnight parking to the appropriate city authorities in order to assure space for visitors to the park -- for whom the Friends of Hemlock Gorge worked to have the lot created by the city.

Site Supervisor Erica Aubin and Dr. John created a list of possible scout projects. We met on  3/30 there are quite a few choices, most along the river downstream of HG. Photos to illustrate them were shown to the Scouts that evening.

1.      Painting project: this is on Ellis street. Repaired some years ago by Scouts, it is in good shape but needs sanding, scraping, treatment to remove algae and repainting. As part of this project, we would also ask the Scout to re-stain the Echo Platform nearby along the river. Supplies will be provided by the DCR.

2.      The other project in HG is the tree planting on the Needham side, high up where property has encroached and destroyed the forested character of the walking trail there. This project is being headed by Karen Osborn Shanley. It will involve planting and nurturing small native trees to establish them as a barrier between HG and private land. This project will start when the survey of the HG boundary is approved and the DCR has approved the selection of trees.

3.      Quinobequin Road Project 1 would be starting near Annawam Road. It would include clearing and widening and existing trail for ¼ mile downstream and building a small, simple footbridge. It would also include tree and shrub identification posts. Supplies will be provided by the DCR.

4.      Quinobequin Road Project 2 would start near Laura Road and include clearing and widening ½ mile of existing but in some places seriously overgrown trail going downstream. It would also include tree and shrub identification posts. Supplies will be provided by the DCR.

5.      Quinobequin Road Project 3 would start near Dwhinda Roard. It would involve ½ to ¾ mile of new train creation. Erica would mark the new trail and the Scout in charge would blaze and clear it. It would again also include tree and shrub identification posts.

6.      A final project would be to clear the portage trail used by the Run of the Charles Canoeists. This starts on the westbound Route 9 access ramp off Quinobequin road. It is only a couple of hundred yards. Part of this would involve cleanup; there is an enormous amount of trash there.

7.      We decided that the trailblazing near Route 9 is too steep and needs the involvement of more experienced staff to create steps and plan for runoff. The AMC will do this one. A cut in the guardrail will also be necessary for access.

All of the trail and planting projects require Conservation Commission approval. Their next meeting will be in April, and it is recommended that the Scouts planning to work on the trails attend the meeting when Erica gets the date.

Not discussed

This needs to have the survey approved by the DCR. Karen will obtain the necessary documentation. Erica will take care of plant approval and digging approvals

Another $400 or so, according to Jerry Reilly, but sales are now tapering off fast.

Book Sale Summary – April 1

 

 

Book Sold and Paid For in February

                                    98                                $1220

                                        - party expenses          95

                                                --------

                                                $1125  - Paid to FOHG at March Meeting

Book Sold and Paid For in March

 

                                                -------  ------------     ------------

                                                56 copies         =         $438 – Paid to FOHG at April meeting

 

Sold but not paid for yet:

                                                ------    -----            -------

                                                32 copies                     $322   or $287           

 

 Here’s the list of books that are still at retailers that may or may not eventually be sold.

 

Sales have pretty much stopped so aside from collecting the $322/$287 still owed there’s likely to be very few sales from here on out. 

More than $6,000, according to Brian.  

The meeting adjourned amicably at about 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dr. John, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for May 3, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday June 7, 2011 at 7:30

Minutes for meeting of May 3, 2011

Members present:  Brian Yates, John Mordes, Jerry Reilly, Bill Tedoldi, Bob Burke, Vaunita Schnell, Nina K, Rick Pearson and Bonnie Pearson.

Items discussed:

Spring Cleanup Review: There was a great turnout for the cleanup held on April 16th.  The Friends worked in conjunction with CWRA as part of the 12th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup.

Ellis Street Parking lot: Checking into banning overnight parking in the Hemlock Gorge’s parking lot on Ellis Street, Newton.

Boy Scout Projects: John Mordes is coordinating with DCR, scout staff, scouts and/or parents on projects for Eagle Scouts this Spring and Summer at Hemlock Gorge.

FOHG Annual Picnic: Set your calendars for the Friends Annual Picnic to be held on Tuesday, August 2nd

Bonnie Pearson will coordinate concert arrangements with Karen Osborne Shanley.  Bill Tedoldi will see if we can get the event listed in the Town of Needham’s Anniversary Calendar.

Sales of Ken Newcomb’s book: Jerry Reilly reported that 179 books have been sold since February’s launch of the books. Reminder that copies of The Makers of the Mold can be purchased online and are also available at several local restaurants, convenience stores and cafes.  The full list of outlets can be found at http://powerofupperfalls.org/Retailers.html  All proceeds from the publication of the print version are given to the Friends of Hemlock Gorge.

Treasurer’s Report:Brian Yates happy to report that the Friends account is at $8850.  Sales of Ken Newcomb’s books have been a great source of revenue to help with upcoming projects.

Other Items

-Cleanup around the New Pond is needed.  Brian Yates will look into which company has adopted this part of the highway.

-Newton Conservators 50th Annual Dinner will be held on May 21, 2011 at the Newton Marriott

-John Mordes reported that the hemlock trees over at Arnold Arboretum’s Hemlock Hill are fairing well.  Bob Burke will check with contacts at the Arboretum on what’s being done and report back to the group

-Suggested at the next meeting that we have a presentation about Invasive Species (Japanese Knotweed and Garlic Mustard

Upcoming Meeting Schedule - Tuesday, June 7th, No Meeting in July, and

Tuesday, Aug 2nd- FOHG Annual Picnic

This meeting adjourned at 9:00pm

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for June, 7, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday September 7, 2011 at 7:39

Members present: Brian Yates, John Mordes, Bonnie and Rick Pearson, Jerry Reilly, others

Items discussed: Numerous.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Secretary pro tempore


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for July and August, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday September 7, 2011 at 7:34

To be continued

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for September 7, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday October 5, 2011 at 7:32

To be continued

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for October 5, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 1, 2011 at 7:30

Members present:  Brian Yates, Bill Tedoldi, Bob Burke, Vaunita Schnell, Erica Aubin, Rick Pearson and Bonnie Pearson.

Items discussed:

Annual Fall Clean Up - Hemlock Gorge Reservation-

Annual Fall Clean Up for the Hemlock Gorge Reservation will be on Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 from 10am to Noon.  All volunteers will meet at Hamilton Place between 9:45am-10:00am.  Dunn-Gaherins has generously offered to provide lunch for the volunteers following the cleanup again this year.

Stone Building-

Erica informed us that she is involved with getting bids from two contractors to install the 2 windows and door at the Stone Bldg.  Only contractors that have been approved by the DCR will be used in the process.  The first contractor that she met with came back with a proposal to do this work for $12,000. There was much discussion about the bidding process and estimated costs for the installation.  Erica is meeting with a second contractor and will keep us informed about the bidding process.  The installation of the windows has been a high priority item for years for the Friends.

Eagle Scouts Project-

Eagle Scouts have completed their project of restaining the fence and platform on Ellis Street

Trails off Quinobequin Road-

Erica informed us that it will be necessary for the DCR to fill in any areas along the trail that have been cleared without DCR authorization unless the Newton Conservation Commission amends its’ mandates for safety issues.

Members project schedule for 2011-2012-

Consensus that the installation of the windows to the Stone Building would be our top priority since it has been around for so long and now seems to be close to fulfillment.

Upcoming Meeting Schedule - Tuesday, Nov 1st, 2011

This meeting adjourned at 9:00pm

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary 


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for November 1, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday December x, 2011 at 7:31

To be continued

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Pearson, Secretary


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The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

Minutes for December 6, 2011

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 7:30

Present were Brian Yates, John Mordes, Soon Cho, Bill Tedoldi and others.

We stuffed all the envolopes and ourseves thanks to the generosity of Karen.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Mordes, Secretary pro tempore


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