WakeNature Preserves Partnership Meeting

Thursday 8:30-10, followed by professional development activity until 10:30
Walnut Creek Wetland Center, 950 Peterson Street, Raleigh (map link) - Hosted by Raleigh Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Resources

Attendance Notes
S.Pohlman (chair), M. Teten, D. Fowler, G. Hess, B. Smith, L. Hammerbacher, E. Nash, J. Connors, S. Hagwood, C. Roe, B. Massa, J. Desnoyer

Annotated Agenda Items

Please add items you'd like to see on the agenda by 5PM Tues before the meeting.

Please add your pre-meeting discussion of these items under the item right here on the agenda, or on the appropriate linked page.

Introductions made

Steering Committee (Scott Pohlman, chairman)
GOAL: Increase momentum by growing active signatory membership.

Goals for 2018
  • Service Day between January and April? - Jeffries, Hagwood, Teten doing Walnut Creek Wetland Center invasive species removal with students...
  • Bioblitz May 18
  • Workshop September 21
  • WakeWonders?

Promotion Committee (Stephanie Jeffries, chairwoman)
GOAL: Tell the story of the highest quality natural areas in Wake County and the stewardship they have and need.

Steph said promotions struggles with audience for promotion. Meetings, workshop and bioblitz are for land managers, partners. What can the public do if you send them to the website? It is difficult to want to send the public to WNPP website if there is not much for public to engage in. Steph promoted 'First day hikes" done by various agencies and though she could lead one for WNPP. John mentioned that early on it was decided that WNPP was not going to offer programming or hikes, but promote partner agencies and the programs they offer. Some discussion about sharing partner programs and how to improve that.

1. Bioblitz. What are our communications needs? We discussed how the announcement for the 2018 Bioblitz needs to reach the parks and resource managers directly rather than high level administrators. The email list includes people from all workshops and covers personnel. Deborah said that Chris can send to all municipality park directors also, so we send to the top as well. Deborah will send Steph email language and revise language of application to make sure it says "priority given to signed members".

There was some discussion about opening up bioblitz to public and the pros and cons of that. Leigh Ann mentioned they did a public hike on the Sat after Walnut Hill bioblitz, which worked really well. Group decided that it is up to partner agency, where bioblitz will be staged to determine if a public event is feasible as part of bioblitz.

2. Communications. Discussion to move away from NCSU listserv. Steph has a pretty up-to-date Google Sheet database (shared) in Google drive. Kaytee can move these contacts into Mailchimp, which she recommends to streamline communications and allow users to subscribe and unsubscribe easily. All thought this was a nice idea. Login and password would be same as other social media accounts.
3. WakeWonders? What are our goals for promotion for 2018? Who is our audience? (discussion under Inventory Committee)
4. Promotions (maybe communications) committee. Jackie is limited with time this year, could use another 1-2 folks to help.
5. A discussion about website updates and suggestions. How can we make it more clear on website that WNPP is a collection of partners including Wake Co and not just Wake Co gov't? See Action items for details.

6. Logo Ideas: Most present liked the one that used the original type/font.

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Promo Committee Action Items:- Put Bioblitz on website front page and update with new application document and new deadline March 15- Logo: all liked the font from original logo. Suggestion to add one of the animals from original logo. Kaytee will come up with a few more for the next meeting.- Check all partner links on website - some broken.- Remove video on website front landing page- If capacity, explore ways to simplify website, revamp it, and make it more user friendly. Some mentioned making WakeWonders not its own page, but under another dropdown. This revamp needs more discussion.

Inventory Committee (John Connors, chairman)
GOAL: Places on the ground - designate publicly accessible WakeNature Preserves.
  • 2018 Bioblitz process: March 15 submission deadline, committee review by March 31, Approve at WNPP meeting April 5. Bioblitz to be held on May 18.
  • WakeNature Preserve/WakeWonder designation/awards.WakeWonders was originally created to highlight a special attribute of a specific site and tapping into a hike that the site was already doing. Suggestion to put them all on the website and include links to website, etc. Kaytee said she willing try to work on website and add more WakeWonders this year. A decision would need to be made about which ones to include. Would need a write up and photo. Members like the tiled WW website, just needs to not be a separate page, but integrated into WNPP website.

Inventory Committee Action Items:
- Collect and review bioblitz applications
- Make recommendation at April 5th WNPP for selection
-Decide if there is capacity to promote more WakeWonders this year. Need to write up a blurb and get a photo for use to promo committee.

Capacity Committee (Gary Blank, chairman)
GOAL: Bring resource managers together to carry out appropriate stewardship of the highest quality natural areas in Wake County.
  • Workshop in September on a Friday again, either 14 or 21. Gary was not present. Scott will follow up with him to check on possible topics .
  • Service Day: Several members present mentioned service days that are happening, not specifically organized by WNPP, but by partners and members.
  • Last year's workshop evaluations: Future topics were mostly inspired by the workshop topic. More than half wanted more advanced conversation/training native plants, nongame spp, conservation management, wetland management, streambank restoration. Other topics suggested: Fire as Management Tool, Pollinators, Rain Gardens
  • Possible location for workshop: WRC? Historic Yates Mill? Campbell Lodge at Durant? Crowder Woodland Center? Umstead? Need to gauge interest of site managers and availability.

Capacity Committee Action Items:
- Decide on workshop topic at April 5 meeting. Scott will follow up with Gary about possible workshop topics
- Stacie and Brian can check on Durant and Lake Johnson space availability for workshop on September 14 or 21 (capacity, dates available?)
- Deborah will check on HYM and Umstead for workshop (capacity, dates available?)

Other Business

  • Leigh Ann mentioned the effort for "Wake Native" that Commissioner Sig Hutchinson, and several others are trying to push this forward. Suggestion to focus on native plants for our workshop.
  • Stacie Hagwood presented on Walnut Creek Wetland Park history, successes and challenges (powerpoint included). There are 50 acres of land and mostly wetlands. Center is built on stilts, but is highest ground, and when it floods, water goes under Center. The history of social and environmental justice is important. To read more about the history, check here: https://naturalearning.org/walnut-creek-wetland-center
    A pdf of Stacie's notes and powerpoint (too large to upload original ppt) are here: