Echo Platform

Meeting Minutes: April 2, 2024

Attendees: John Mordes, Amy Kahn, Ben Kahn, Chris Masterman, Loumona Petroff, Rena Getz, Carol Laibson, Paul Roberts, Betsy Hewitt, Bill Humphrey, Bob Ellertsen, Don Ross, Robin Dexter, Evan Weststrate, Lara P

Item 1: Plans for April Cleanups

Our cleanup is scheduled for April 27. Evan will be covering for John, who will be away.

Gloves, bags, pokers for cleanup still in Stone Building.

John still can’t get in touch with Erica.

The DCR has organized Park Serve Day happening on April 20th.

“For details and to register, please visit the Park Serve Day page on the DCR website.”
In the link, please note some events are happening on alternative dates from April 20th.

Friends are not listed. John has contacted the organizer.

Charles River Watershed Association is doing their own cleanup on the 19th and 20th. Unclear whether they are coordinating with the DCR.

Item 1.1: Earth Day Event at Newton North!

Sunday, April 21, 12pm – 4pm Earth Day Event at Newton North, hosted by Green Newton, the City of Newton, and EV Newton. There will be food, booths, a petting zoo. Sounds like a great time!

Anyone want to man a booth for the Friends?

Plenty of Space!

Item 2: Stone Building Tour

DCR plans to host a tour of the Stone Building in May to discuss the planned building improvements, provide the public an opportunity to view the interior, and share some information about the history of the building. The Friends have been asked to participate. John will invite anyone who wants to participate along with him. No date just yet.

Item 3: Walking tour of Hemlock Gorge

Hosted by John Mordes and Katherine Howard, June 9, 10:00am-12:00pm

Should the Friends invest in a set of “Whispers”, a microphone and set of ear pieces that let a tour guide be heard easily by persons on the tour?

In all likelihood they would only be used once/year. Alternative: Newton Conservators has a special loudspeaker device.

Chris: Could set up a Zoom meeting for folks walking around.

John: It’s a thought.

Item 4: Graffiti Progress

Rena reached out to Shawna Sullivan, Deputy Director of Department for Public Works for MA, who will reach out to DCR. She will follow up.

Rena reached out to Dimitri to ask about Erica. Dimitri said he would reach out to DCR. Rena will follow up with John on this matter. Paul suggested going to the office but John reports that Erica often is not there due to managing a lot of properties.

Item 5: Banner Updates

Paul: Scouts are willing to pay for the banners. Think we can have 2 banners – vertical and horizontal. John says they come with stands to go into the ground.

Evan will cover cleanup while John is away. Hopefully we can get the banners before then.

Evan will reach out to Joe at Signal Graphics with the images to print for the banners.

We will subsidize anything the Scouts can’t cover.

Item 6: Website Updates

166 new users in the month of March! Folks coming in using the QR Code, Google searches, directly typing in the URL.

Item 7: Scouting Projects

  1. Echo Platform still needs work on graffiti
  2. Box steps repairs
  3. More benches for visitors. Lara – interested in designing the space outside the Stone Building? Would be nice to have more places to sit around there. Lara sent email about other benches/trail conditions. She can format that into PDF and send to the Friends to collect opinions from the Friends. Paul can weigh in on scouting projects as well.

Item 8: Friends of QB Trail

Friends of QB Trail – mission to care for the trail that connects Rte 9 to Washington Street. The organization is not a 501c3 organization. It’s a subcommittee of the Waban Area Council. Did not have funds to do landscaping, improvements. Did have lots of enthusiasm. WAC to reinvigorate the program. Samuk Tarukhar lives at the end of Anawam, and is the link to the WAC. He spoke to Dimitri, Ruth Balser’s administrative assistant, yesterday. They now have access to 150k in funds from DCR’s budget to clear out vegetation, clean up trail, and complete other projects they have prioritized.

WAC meets 2nd Thursday of every month. Will meet next Thursday. Rena will attend and follow up.

Item 9: New Beaver Lodge!

At the end of Anawam Road. Huge.

Item 10: Matters Arising

Welcome Chris! Chris likes to walk in the woods at Hemlock Gorge and takes pictures.

Treasury is healthy.