Washington Native Plant Society
Central Puget Sound Chapter
Board Meeting Minutes
December 14th, 2009
Ted will make corrections to the November minutes and email the final version to the board.
Meeting was called to order at 6:45 pm
Board Members present were: Brianne Cohen: Chair, Rita Moore, Jim Branson, Ted Couillard, Gary Smith,
Rob Smith, Marcia Rivers Smith, and Virginia Arnon.
Also present were: Linda Ellis, Maria Yousoufian and Sarah Bergman.
Minutes: Ted sent out the 1st draft of the November minutes only a few hours before the start of the meeting
(w/o reports). As board members have not had enough time to comment, we will hold off on approval of the
November minutes until the next meeting.
Chair Report: [see also attached report]
Volunteer recognition awards:
Martha Jackson was added to the volunteer recognition awards. This process was finalized via email
and conference calls.
Award of volunteer recognition at WNPS dinner went smoothly
Rick Thompson has resigned his position from the board.
Gary suggested that the board have a more structured process in the future for award nomination and
award, including structured timelines. An ad hoc committee should be formed to draft a short guidance
document. Gary, Rob and Linda will serve on the committee. Brianne may join as well.
Guest Speaker, Sarah Bergman:
Brianne introduces Sarah who is representing Pollinator Pathways, a project that seeks to create a pollinator
friendly corridor within the City of Seattle. Sarah has completed project planning and is attempting to secure
funding. She is interested in forming a partnership with WNPS where WNPS will provide grant administration
for the project.
Sarah begins by describing the basics of the project:
The “pathway” will be essentially a mile-long series of gardens in mainly Right-of-Way (ROW)
planting strips and covers approximately 1 ac.
The ROW area extends 17 blocks along E Columbia Street between 12th and 29th Avenues from Seattle
University to Nora’s Woods.
The goal of the project is to increase resources to pollinators.
Sarah worked with Seattle DOT and Tonya Reese to develop the plant lists.
The plant lists are a series of templates for garden plantings
Current stage of the project is trying to determine appropriate long term maintenance and corresponding
funding for long-term maintenance.
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Estimated budget for the project is $110K.
Seattle University may be contracted for the long-term maintenance.
Project funding may tie into City funding under Climate Action.
Plantings will include 70-80% natives. The remaining plants are non-invasive non-natives that will
increase the aesthetics of the plantings while supporting pollinators at the same time (particularly honey
Rita asked if the project will be supplying the plants. Sarah said yes, hence one of the things contributing to
the relatively large budget.
Signage will be an important part of the plantings. Simple, but study placards with identification of
the subject plant, plus useful information.
Gary asked how homeowner agreements will be managed. Sarah answered that the subject is still being worked
out. Gary responded that from his experience, some oversight will be required to achieve compliance.
Sarah added that there are 50 residences signed up thus far for the project.
Gary asked what project management experience Sarah had. Sarah answered that she did not have management
experience in natural resources, but that as an artist she has managed her own gallery space for a number of
Sarah added that there have been recent plantings near the intersection of 17th Ave and Columbia if board
members wanted to view a demonstration site.
Ted asked if the project received all of its requested funding, how long would that carry the maintenance of the
project. Sarah answered it will definitely carry the project through the 1st 2 years, which are the most critical.
The funding should pay for a full 3 years of maintenance. An addition 2 years of maintenance would be ideal,
but additional funding would be required.
Rita suggested soil testing of the planting sites as part of due diligence.
Brianne stated that WNPS is interested, but will consider the subject carefully as the arrangement would be a
Brianne thanked Sarah for her time and stated that when the Board reaches a decision, we will contact Sarah by
phone. Following that (if we proceed) we will be in contact again in the spring to check on the progress of
Linda reiterated that the WNPS overhead for the arrangement would be 20%.
Pollinator Pathways item is tabled for further discussion.
Vice Chair Report: [see also attached report]
Rita points out that the CUH will require 90 days notification to cancel the meeting room. This will be
important for planning purposes should we decide to hold a chapter meeting on the east side.
We will probably need to increase the budget for room rental. We are currently paying $225/month.
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Immediate Past Chair: Chrys Bertolotto was not present.
Virginia has relocated to the upstairs office.
Outgoing payment checks will be “cut” on the 1st and 15th of the month.
Rob, Virginia and Brianne have been working on edits to the budget, looking for areas to cut costs.
Virginia is in the process of getting the budget records on the computer upstairs.
Most of the previous issues with QuickBooks have been resolved.
Stewardship: [see attached report]
Gary extends his thanks to Brianne, Rob and Virginia. He has found the new organization of budget figures
extremely helpful to the review process.
Gary would like to replace the somewhat confusing term “mini-grant” with “stewardship grant” or “donation to
stewardship” or “dedicated funds
Staff Report: [see attached report]
Linda points out that the Study Weekend deposit needs to be moved out of “other events” and moved top “study
Recently, the publisher of the Native Plants of Washington poster offered to sell surplus posters to WNPS (100)
for $1 apiece. The Board agrees we should purchase.
Newsletter: Printed version has not been mailed yet. This needs to be more timely, by observing a deadline of
the 5th of the month for comments.
There are currently 246 members who have opted for the “e-version”. This is about 25% of newsletter
Please let Linda know of future volunteer events so she can post them by email.
Study Weekend and Outreach:
Maria has scheduled some upcoming workshops:
There will be a Winter Twig workshop led by Rita in January.
There will be a propagation workshop in February.
This winter, there will possibly be a lichen workshop.
A large mid-level workshop will be planned for March.
An advance-level landscaping workshop may be a future possibility, with potential fee of $100.
Study Weekend will be announced in the Spring Douglasia due out March 1.
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Education Committee: [see also attached report]
Jim stated that there has been no update from Chrys regarding Growing Wild.
Linda will receive the Growing Wild income near the end of the year (~$700).
Best email to contact Chrys is her Growing Wild email (not her Chairperson email).
Funding Chair: [see also attached report]
Rob, once again, presents his spreadsheet table with line-by-line budget items.
Rob recaps the Board’s previous budget review. There is an approximate deficit of $11K. Upon review with
Brianne and Virginia, several areas have been targeted for cuts that could reduce this deficit by half or more.
Rob goes through budget line by line. Targeted cut areas have been highlighted in yellow.
Proposed reductions include:
If all proposed cuts are made, deficit would be approx. $6500.
Discussion of Line items continues.
Rita requests that Room Fees get updated.
Discussions continue on Room cost and other items.
Rob points out that holistically, it all comes down to how much deficit the Board finds acceptable (reasonable).
Other possible budget cuts:
Currently we have almost $50K in reserves, but the projected reserves for the end of fiscal year are approx. $37-
41K. This is more-or-less at the threshold below which we do not wish to drop.
After much discussion, the general consensus of the board was that a deficit of $2-4K was acceptable.
Most proposed cuts were made.
A point was made that instead of cutting more items, that we perhaps ask that the plant sale committee raise an
Adjusting for that additional income (and all cuts) the projected deficit would be $2852.00.
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Budget review concludes.
Gary moves that the Board accepts the proposed budget. Virginia seconds. Motion passed.
Gary notes that the new organization should make future budget reviews much easier.
Next board meeting on January 18, 2010.
Chair is currently vacant.
Nursery Program: [see attached report]
At Large Report: [see also attached report]
Chair is currently vacant.
Howard Coleman was not present.
Meeting adjourned at 8:59 pm.
_______________________ Chair Report (Brianne Cohen) ______________________
We submitted the announcement for the Study Weekend last week. It was in good shape and it has a nice
collection of field trips. We are still looking for one speaker for the study weekend. If you have any
suggestions, please forward your idea to Maria.
Rob, Virginia, and I met to discuss Quickbooks and the 2010 budget. We were able to create some new reports
that I think will make the monthly budget review even easier. We have prepared draft budgets for review at the
December board meeting. Although we are headed in the right direction for 2010, we will likely have to
reevaluate for the 2011 budget. I am suggesting that we create an ad hoc Fundraising committee to brainstorm
additional ways that our chapter can increase income for 2010. Rob will lead this committee.
The Volunteer Awards went smoothly at the holiday party. I am suggesting that we create an ad hoc committee
to outline some policies for the volunteer awards. This should ease the process in the future.
There are now several vacancies for board positions. A few people have been approached
___________________ Vice Chair Report (Rita Moore) ______________
___________________ Education Chair Report (Jim Branson) ______________
__________________Stewardship Report (Gary Smith) _____________________
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Stewardship Report – December 2009
The East King County Stewardship Program working group has begun preparation for a 2010 training class at
Lewis Creek Park in Bellevue. The five partner communities, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Sammamish and
King County have pledged continuing financial support for a second year of training and placement of steward
restoration teams in their local parks. The first order of business is the selection of a Program Coordinator and
development of a steward recruitment plan. The 10-week training class is expected to begin in April and finish
Thanks to Rick Thompson and the Plant Sale Committee, 66 native trees, shrubs and forbs were donated to the
2009 steward team project at Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland.
__________________At Large Report (Marcia Rivers Smith) _____________________
At large report for December:
I have done some more 'data mining' from past Board meetings and am working on a format in which to
concisely capture Board decisions and discussions.
__________________Fundraising Chair Report (Robert Smith) _______________________
Spreadsheets were sent to Board members.
_________________At Large Chair Vacancies __________________________________
___________________ Conservation Chair Report (vacant) ______________
_______________Nursery Program Report (Rick Thompson) ___________________________
December 10, 2009
WNPS Native Plant Nursery, December Report
Propagation Workshop: I spent a bit of time setting up the supply box for the propagation workshop. The
container will be kept in the office store room. Fourteen participants attended the November 21st class. I got
the impression that they enjoyed the class and learned a thing or two in the process. The chapter is fortunate to
have Jeanie Taylor as the instructor for this series. You should put her name on the short list for an award in
2010. Jeanie’s presentation was thoughtful and well received. I was present for one of her comments regarding
the use of a rock tumbler to scarify seed. When asked how long to run the tumbler for a particular seed, she
commented, “oh, three days should be sufficient to prepare the seed for planting”. This provided all of us with
a great chuckle and also gave thought to the lengths plant enthusiasts have to go to for success with seed
The next workshop is scheduled for February 8th. I understand the class is full or nearly full at this time.
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Recommendations: I was run pretty ragged setting up the class room and the potting table for the class. We
should have several helpers to provide support for the class.
Potting Medium: I arranged for a donation of potting soil from Cedar Grove compost prior to the propagation
workshop. A friend helped me pick up the donation in Everett and then deliver it to the nursery. I wrote a
thank you letter for Brianne’s signature in which I asked that Cedar Grove consider donating three pallets of
potting soil mix to the chapter over the coming year.
I also arranged for Earth Corp to purchase 3 tons of sand from Fruhling sand & gravel. Bill dumped the sand in
the WNPS bay at the nursery. My friend and I also picked up and later delivered a yard and a half of Cedar
Grove compost to the nursery. We may need more compost as the year progresses, but I suspect there is
sufficient sand for the coming year.
Work Party: The first Monday work party in December was canceled due to the cold weather. The next work
party is scheduled for January 4th 2010.
My future at the nursery: I would like to like to remain in the capacity I currently enjoy at the nursery. I
recommend that you vote to take away the voting privilege of the nursery manager and house the nursery in the
fundraising chair. In this scenario I will report to Rob. On the other hand I can live with your decision to leave
things as is and just replace me. If you elect to do this I recommend that the new manager join the Magnuson
Community Garden board of directors since this is the only way to adequately protect the chapter interests at the
nursery. The other big item for a new manager concerns the nursery MOU with the city which needs to be re-
negotiated before August 2010.
It has been my pleasure to work with you all these years. I hope you have a great holidays and a happy new
year. Thank you
_____________________Staff Report (Linda Ellis) ______________________________
CPS Staff Report 12-10-09
Volunteer Coordination: The electronic Volunteer Opportunities newsletter will go out 12-15-09. Note that the
WNPS (State) home webpage now links to volunteer activities for all chapters, including ours (under “Local
Newsletter: The December issue of the newsletter was late, and many people did not receive it until after the
Holiday Party. The printer requires 7 business days from the date they receive the newsletter until it is printed
and taken to be mailed. Despite the fact that it went to the printer on Nov. 18, it was not mailed until Nov. 30,
because of Thanksgiving holidays.
The deadline for the February newsletter is Jan. 5, 2010. Rick Bergman needs a weekend to put the newsletter
together, so that a finalized version goes to the printer by Jan. 12, and it can be mailed in good time for the
February 4 Chapter meeting.
The electronic version of the newsletter now goes to 246 chapter members; paper copy goes to 584.
Study Weekend: Maria completed the article and Registration Form for Study Weekend 2010. The article will
appear in the Spring 2010 issue of Douglasia, which members should receive around March 1, 2010. The
deadline for registering for Study Weekend is April 16, 2010.
Field Trips: Louise Kulzer will lead a field trip to Scriber Lake on Jan. 2, 2010. Rita Moore has agreed to lead
a winter twig walk in January. No other field trips are scheduled.
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Workshops: The Native Plant Propagation Workshop on Nov. 21 was full, and it went well. Thirteen members
and two non-members signed up. Expenses were $200.13 and income was $235. Some of the expenses were
one-time costs for propagation supplies. A second Propagation Workshop is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2010. Jeanie
Taylor has agreed to teach it again.
Stewardship: We continue to post volunteer hours for three Stewardship programs and prepare monthly reports.
Miscellaneous: Current Treasurer’s records for the CPS Chapter will now be housed in the WNPS Office.
Virginia expects to come in twice a month to take care of bills, bank reconciliation and other Treasurer’s duties.
The WNPS Office is processing donations that are coming in as a result of the fall fundraising drive. We
continue to fill orders for calendar, card and book orders, and maintain membership records.
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