Monthly Meeting Minutes November 5, 2023

Present: Paul Roberts, Jean Fisher, Lara Prebble, Robin Dexter, John Mordes, Loumona Petroff, Don Ross, Ben Kahn, Evan Weststrate, Sheila Purdy

Treasury Report: The treasury balance is close to $6,500 with few expenses for the year. John will be writing a draft of the annual report to send to members.

Fall Cleanup: The regular fall cleanup on October 28th was “very successful and a beautiful day.” The turnout was quite good with thanks to Paul Roberts for the number of Cub Scouts and their families. Photos of the event are posted on the Hemlock Gorge Website. Erica left equipment at the site. A great deal of brush was cleared out to clear out a view of the from the Stone Barn.

Holiday Party: The party will take place on December 5th which will also be the last meeting of the year. New Officers and Board members will be voted in. In keeping with the custom, the meeting will also be a party and will be generously hosted by the Osborne Family. Please email the Friends if you are planning to attend and further details will be provided to members only.

Meeting Schedule: John said that the first Tuesday was originally chosen by Brian Yates to avoid conflicts with his schedule. The Friends discussed the possibility of Weds or Thurs meetings since scheduling conflicts have changed over time. The consensus was to change the meeting to Weds evening starting with the first Weds in January. A discussion followed about publicizing the new date and widening scope of outreach to the greater community.

Outreach Expansion Options: The Friends looked at publicity options for outreach to the greater community. The Fig City News was a possibility for Newton, also the Upper Falls News. Since the meeting have been held on Zoom the there was a risk of Zoom Bombing by other individuals and groups. Ben is now the current webmaster and expert assisting the Friends in updating all the online outreach through the website. The goal will be to expand the outreach without encountering any problems. Ben has been a tremendous asset in helping the Friends with emerging technology.

Stone Building Update: Ruth Balser has allocated $250,000 for the repairs. A “stunning document” report filled with information was prepared by DCR which will be available on the website. DCR also placed a berm to help with drainage from the roof which is an ongoing problem as the foundation deteriorates. Lara Prebble has offered to consult on any landscape design issues.

Scout Report: Emily has helped with graffiti removal but the Scouts cannot do it at this time. MWRA has to approve the methods of removal the chemicals involved. The box step project will resume in the spring.

Books: Jerry Reilly will donate his hard copies of Makers of the Mold to distribute, possibly to new members. They will be stored in the Stone Barn,

Other Matters:

  • The kiosk at Hamilton Place now contains a QR code, thanks to Ben, that connects people to the website. 7 people have used it so far. Maps should also be available at the site. The Newton Conservators have a map that can be used. Evan will place one of the FOHG posters at the kiosk. The posters are still available to contributors, and a donation button is on the website.
  • John was approved to buy 2 small banners for visibility events since setting up the tent can be heavy and involved. The event at Upper Falls Village Day was judged “a bust” since very few people attended. Projects and goals for 2024 can be discussed at the December and January meetings.

Happy holiday season to all!

Respectfully Submitted,
Sheila Purdy