Meeting Minutes for March 15, 2006

Meeting Minutes for March 15, 2006

The meeting was held at Donald's work site ICYT. Donald, Joe, Brett, Scott, Bruce, and Pat were present. Amber called in on conference phone. Mary Kay could not attend as she was conducting a Prairie Burn.

There was a brief summary of what we have done for the past 1 1/2 years. There have been many e-mail meetings. Jerry planted another 12A. of prairie, the seed was bought from Jim Zimmerman. 10 Lbs. of seed to an acre making a total of 120 lbs. Of the original 80 acres, 6 acres on South is not planted. No grants were accepted; however there is a $2000 match our time and a $5000 grant applied for. Presently $500 in bank with all bills paid. Mary Kay got a grant for $2500 DNR for seeding to pay Jim Zimmerman. He will reimburse the Prairie account for the $1500 he was overpaid. This money will be used to apply for a matching grant with the state.

Donald has made two grant applications to buy 8 acres from Karen and 8 acres from Donald.

The official status as an Illinois Nature Preserve has been established. Amoung other benefits, that means paying $1 per acres in tax instead of the current $5 per acre.

Brett reported that we received a burn permit.

Donald reported that we received a letter about filing income tax. We do not have to pay tax as long as our income is less than $25,000. Bruce mentioned that he does this for another organization he is involved with and that beyond the Federal tax form, which we do not need to fill out, there is a state form we still need to fill out. Fill out attorney general report form 9-90 form with Lisa Madigan. Bruce will send the form and help get it done.

Bruce brought up a new committee on Education that the Soil and Water Conservation district has formed to work with the wetland prairie in St Joe. He wondered if we would like to work with that committee to enhance the educational benefits with our Prairie. After some discussion, we decided that Brett would at least attend the meetings for the educational committee and see if he can get put on their board. The committee will allow us to have access to resources (local schools) that we currently don't have access to. Robbie Burr is a contact on that committee.

We dicussed doing a prairie burn in the coming weeks.

Bruce asked if we had any needs for grants this summer. We discussed the remaining acreage (approx 14) that still needs to be planted as well as costs in controlling thistle. We then discussed using Striker instead of Round-up which would be more targetted.

We had some discussion on ways to improve communication between the prairie board and the Soil and Water Conservation District after the new sign was put up without input or notification to the Prairie Board. We all agreed that we needed to keep in better communication and planned to have quarterly meetings as well as the regular email discussions which currently take place on various topics.

Next Quarterly meeting in June.
Submitted by Pat. Barnhart secretary

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