Woodlands January 21, 2009
Attending: Judy, Cliff, Phil, Martha, and Bob
The social that will honor Jerry and Lynn Uhrig will be at Martha Dwyer-Bergman’s house this coming Sunday, January 25 from 3-5pm.
The minutes of the last meeting, December 17, 2008, were accepted.
Various members mentioned that red foxes have been sighted throughout the town in the past month, from the hill section, Birchwood area, and Intervale Road.
Deer Management: Phil reported that he has not heard from UBNJ manager Mark Weiss so that there is no report this month (update – Marc will attend Council meeting with Phil).
Review of the draft of the NRI Fauna report-Radis Report was discussed. Cliff felt that there were a number of errors within the report and that he will contact Rick Radis via email to correct. Areas that Cliff had concerns were in the birds sighted, invertebrates and a number of trees. Cliff stated that there are websites that are specific to Morris County and also National sites for various Fauna categories. Cliff said that he will forward them to Rick Radis for his report. The consensus was that this NRI Fauna report is the base-line that we will have to make comparisons with in the future.
The Wilcox Park beaver pond was visited by Phil this past week and he reported that he observed a flock of robins in the area of the pond. The pond is located on the main trail from Birchwood Lake towards The Tourne on the Blue-White trail. Along with the robins, Phil sighted a group of white-throated sparrows, a downy woodpecker, heard a pileated woodpecker and saw many other bird types. He found the beaver lodge. The beaver lodge is constructed around a “blow-down” tree, thus rendering the structure very shallow and the “store” of materials was located next to the structure. There were many tracks in the area along with deer tracks. Phil met a resident and educated him as to the deer in the area.
Phil then addressed the budget proposal that will be presented to the Borough Council this coming Monday evening January 26, 2009. Phil has sent it to Blair Wilson and the Borough Clerk. Phil said that he would like to have as many members of the committee present. Martha stated that she was unable to come due to family commitments. Cliff said that he was going to attempt to come as well as Judy. Phil explained that he determined that the budget request would break down to $2.00 per household in the borough of about 1,300 homes, thus the budget request is $2,600. Woodlands have never been awarded a budget but we are now in need of specific items to move along projects that we have planned for this 2009 year.
Phil asked us what we would do if the budget request was turned down due to the current financial situation. It was suggested that we continue to request funding from the Town Club. Members noted that the need for specific herbicides and applicators were necessary for the continuation of the Invasive Plants project that has been ongoing for the past number of years which involves community participation and education on a monthly basis. It was the committee’s opinion that all projects should be worked. Bob’s project is of utmost importance to this year’s projects and we will have to be creative to finance it.
Judy reported to the group that MLHS teacher Patty McElduff is working with the 9th Graders on their Service project. The 9th Graders are planning the Second Phase for this spring which is to plant 500 trees throughout the town. Various organizations within town were invited to the planning meeting - Connor from the Garden Club, Bonnie Rosenthal from Shade Tree and Judy Edwards from Woodlands. Judy explained the problems that they would encounter with the plan as it stood; the deer browsing on the trees would cause the trees to die. Judy also explained that they would not be able to plant that many trees within the town with any successful outcome and that 500 trees was too large a number to manage successfully. Dave Fewel from the High School was willing to have the Environmental Club erect a deer exclosure near the high school. Bonnie Rosenthal of Shade Tree said that the trees that were planted in the area across from the high school and had tubes placed over them are all dead. Shade Tree will provide the trees for the project and the high school science department has offered to give guidance to the work. Judy stated that the trees must also be tended to throughout the year. There was a discussion of possible putting trees into the established deer exclosures; Bob stated that it was his understanding that doing that would defeat the original purpose that Jerry Uhring had intended which was to see what would happen to the enclosed woodlands after 10 years of protection from the deer browsing and whether the woods would be able to regenerate itself with native plants and saplings.
Bob and Judy will talk to Dave Fewell to organize the project and to update Dave on the project that Bob has planned for the school students.
Judy also mentioned that the group that was formed at the Environmental Summit will begin meeting in February.
Judy also reminded the committee that the Invasive Plants work days need to be planned and advertised in the Home and School Bulletin starting in March. The work days need to be decided upon.
Phil stated that the February meeting will welcome a new member to the committee, Chris Stit. The meeting may be at Chris’s home and Phil will email the address to all members.
Prepared by Martha, Woodlands Tribe Scribe