Steering Committee Members present:
Nancy Gerdt, Co-Chair
Jim Mosher, Co-Chair
Michele Mosher, Treasurer
Diane McCormick, Events Team Co-Leader
Ralph Miljanich, Grants/Funding Team Co-Leader
Gene Radcliffe, Restoration Team Co-Leader
Shelly King Schuur, Publicity and Social Media Team Co-Leader
Library Staff: Felton Branch Manager, Paula Jansen, and new Regional Manager, Laura Whaley.
Land Restoration: Gene reported that the AmeriCorps Team had been on the library site last week and made good progress in removing invasive plants, including blackberries and vinca. There will be a celebration of the team at Highlands Park on Saturday, March 11 at 2:30 where the work at Highlands Park will be highlighted and discussed. Everyone is invited to attend.
SLVWD Easement: Nancy reported that the San Lorenzo Valley Water District has agreed to provide the project an easement of land to the west of the project site. It includes an open, sloped area that may be included as a Nature Explore activity site. The rest of the easement can help with mitigation requirements associated with the project (see below).
Revised Timeline and Mitigation Issues: Nancy reported that additional time has been needed to complete the conceptual design for the project due to the complexities associated with building on a riparian corridor. Of particular concern has been identifying land that can serve as mitigation to the impact the project will have on riparian habitat. The SLVWD easement helps address this issue but is not enough land to fulfill all the requirements. Impacted areas must be mitigated on a two-to-one basis. Despite the delays, Nancy reported that good progress is being made and that County staff and consultants are working hard to keep the project moving. The public meeting to be sponsored by the County that must occur before permit applications can be submitted for review and approval will probably happen in April.
Meetings re Outside Design: Nancy reported that FLF representatives (Nancy, Michele, Ralph, and Gene) have attended two meetings with the architect (Teall Messer), landscape architect, and representatives from County Parks, Public Parks, SLVWD, and the library. Another meeting is scheduled on March 15.
State Parks Grant Opportunity: Ralph reported that a State Parks and Recreation Department has issued a draft RFP for an outdoor education grant program and that the Felton library project appears to meet the criteria for awards. He will be representing FLF at an informational meeting sponsored by the Parks Department on March 29, where the program will be described and input from the public will be gathered. Ralph, Nancy and Jim met with Jeff Gaffney, Director of the County Parks Department earlier in the day, and Jeff expressed his department’s support for applying, with the department likely taking the lead. Jeff was cautious about how much funding can be expected.
Fundraising Plan: Linda Fawcett and Joe Griffin, FLF members and members of the Development Team, reported that a subgroup has been meeting to develop a fundraising plan.
Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries: Jim reported on changes occurring at the FSCPL (FLF’s parent organization). Vivian Rogers, who has extensive development director experience has been hired as Executive Director and met with the Development/Fundraising team last week. The team was impressed with her and felt she could assist us in developing our fundraising and capital campaign plans. Jim reported that FSCPL is restructuring its board and recruiting new members that will include representatives from each chapter, including FLF. Jim nominated himself to serve as the first chapter representative for FLF and his appointment was approved by acclamation.
SLVUSD School Connections
Diane reported that she, Donna Ziel and Jen Michelsen are serving as a team to develop a working relationship with the San Lorenzo Valley School District. The team met with Debi Bodenheimer, Assistant Superintendent, who will serve as a primary contact with the district. The meeting went very well, and Debi is assisting in setting up meetings with school principals, library staff, and science teachers, among others. Diane developed a short questionnaire at Debi’s request that can be filled out by staff identifying opportunities and needs that the library could fulfill that would complement school programs. The questionnaire will be distributed soon.
Art Installation Project
The art installation will consist of 11 Fantastic Figures, all over 5’ tall, designed and constructed by local artists. The figures will be placed throughout the site facing the street and will symbolize the broad spectrum of visitors to any library as well as the tremendous breadth of qualities the library brings to the public. All figures will be completely different and materials will vary according to the artist’s vision. Figures will be auctioned off online over a period of several weeks, starting on May 20. The eBay auction details will be at www.feltonlibraryfriends.org
May 20 Event
The Felton Library Festival will be on Saturday, May 20, 12-4 pm, on the new library site next to the Felton Post Office. The Festival will feature the Fantastic Figures art installation and will include art activities for families, music, food, information on the library project, a drawing, and the beginning of the online auction for the art figures. Music will be by Ben Lonesome and the Highway 9ers, Dave McClellan and friends, Young People’s Theater singers and Patti Maxine and friends
The purpose of the Festival and Fantastic Figures is to celebrate the future Library (groundbreaking in 2018) and outdoor areas, display site plans for the two-plus acre site, and share ways for community members to become involved. Funds raised will be used by Felton Library Friends, a chapter of Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, to enhance both the new library and the outdoor spaces.
Phyllis reported that we will have separate boxes for five prizes over $100 each and that participants can choose which box((es) to put tickets in. Tickets will be $5 each or 5 for $20. Sales will begin at New Leaf Community Day for FLF on April 26, and drawing will be at May 20 event.
Diane has set up signup.com for volunteers. FLF needs to document volunteer hours on an ongoing basis. Gene suggested an automatic email asking people for their hours that month.
Author Event (Jill Cody) with BC Friends
FLF will co sponsor with BC Friends. Jill Cody, author of America Abandoned: The Secret Velvet Coup That Cost Us Our Democracy, a history of corporate involvement in our politics and the history of voter suppression. Nancy will staff an FLF table at Park Hall in Ben Lomond, 7 p.m. April 6.
FLF account balance is $9,924.38. The Steering Committee agreed that any expenditure over $500 will require approval, either at a meeting or by email.
Publicity and Social Media
Power Point Show and SLV Rotary Presentation: Nancy reported that Jim has developed a new power point presentation that provides a good overview of the project’s design and goals. She will be presenting it at the San Lorenzo Valley Rotary on March 29. Diane McCormick will also attend. (Joe, Linda, and Ralph are members of the Rotary). The powerpoint presentation will be uploaded to the FLF website as soon as it is finalized.
Santa Cruz Chamber Business Fair: Jim reported that Roxanne Carlson, staff person with FSCPL sent an e-mail notifying FLF that FSCPL has signed up for the SC Chamber Business Fair on Wednesday March 15 and asked that representatives of FLF assist the parent organization. The focus will be on the Capitola, Felton, and Downtown branches and the new construction being planned. Nancy and Gene agreed to attend.
Connections with Press Banner and Sentinel: Michele reported that the Events team would like to have stories in the Press Banner and Santa Cruz Sentinel on the Art Installation celebration. After discussion, it was agreed that we should develop a draft article to submit to the papers and the Leigh Ann Gessner would be asked to take this task on. Other publicity ideas for the event were discussed.
New Web Site and Social Media Opportunities: Shelly reported that the new web site is now live at feltonlibraryfriends.org and encouraged everyone to visit it as well as our Facebook page. Instagram is also live. Be sure to become friends with FLF on Facebook. She encouraged everyone to provide copy for the web site as well as pictures.To post, use hashtag Felton Library. She asked that she be alerted to any events or presentations so that she can attend and take pictures and make a report for the web site. Diane stated that she can take pictures at the Rotary meeting and send them to Shelley.
Next meeting will be June 7, 7:00 pm, location to be determined.