Meeting called to order at 7 PM.
Present: Lesa Warren, Marshall Jones, Shari French, Marla Gilcrease, Lisa Matthews, Mary Ellen Hoffman, Tina Kendrick, Liz Swaine, Don Toppett, & Dittle.
Minutes read from August meeting. There was no meeting in September. Minutes approved by Marshall Jones, seconded by Tina Kendrick.
Initially we went to the HRA meeting just before this one. Dittle presented garden plans to the folks in Highland and generated much interest.
New members of our group introduced:
Mary Ellen Hoffman is going to be our grant writer bringing much experience of professionalism and wisdom to our group for obtaining funds for the Garden.
Don Toppett is going to be our liason to the Master Gardeners who will be a vital part to the success of Dittle's Garden.
Marshall Jones went over our 501c3 status app again. Waiting on the Federal number. Have already been approved and written in the State. He recommended that everyone on the board be required to work on becoming a Master gardener and doing the course at Randle Moore. Now is the time for applications.
Lesa gave our financial report. Currnetly have over $5000.00 dollars in the bank.
Tina Kendrick gave overview of meetings with Barrett, St. Mark's, and Grace Peterson. The tentative plan is to have Dittle's become part of the school's curriculum 2nd-7th grade, with regular participation in the building of the garden and the experience. This is treading new ground in education in Caddo parish and is exciting.
Marla, Shari, & Lisa presented the prototype Dittle's Newsletter. It contains valuable info as well as a look at Tina Pickett being the inauguaral member's profile. This newsletter will be available in paper as well as an e-edition next week. (Volume 1, Number 1) This is an exciting advance that we have been looking forward to.
LIz Swaine suggested working on the chicken possibilities with the city council and the Shreveport master plan. We believe that this is the way of the future for urban farming and fresh food for our community. Hopefully, when the time is right we can help to bring this to fruition.
Dittle talked about recently meeting with Billy Kniffen of Texas A/M & Micah Duffy of Coyle engineering about rainwater harvesting in the Garden. Billy came over after his talk at the State Master Gardener's conference and graciously gave us his time and advice. He is going to be a part of the design and implementation with Charles Coyle engineering of the rainwater harvesting/irrigation of Dittle's. He believed that with water harvesting off of the barn that we could do 75% of the drip irrigation of the whole garden!
With all of the above presented the meeting was adjourned. Next month we will meet Wednesday 11/20/13 at Marshall Jone's office on Fairfield at 6 PM. At that time the main business wil be formation of the board so get your thinking caps on about how you want to participate in this project.
General Board Meeting:
Called to order at 6 PM.
Members Present: Mary Talbot (by audio conference), Scott Massey, Aimee Massey, Don Toppett, Lesa Warren, Shari French, Jake Wood, Lisa Matthews, Melinda Coyer, Marla Gilcrease, J. Marshall Jones, Tina Kendrick, & Dittle
Absent: Liz Swaine, Mary Ellen Hoffman, Tina Pickett
501c3 Update: Scott Massey gave info on nonprofit application, currently at the ferderal level. Currently we are a private foundation. Later as contributions begin to come in that status may change as the participation becomes more involved. Non profit number not yet assigned. Dittle, Marshall, and Scott are working on bylaws. We also need to give members of the board formal Status. So far:
Vice President: Lesa Warren
Treasurer: Scott Massey
Legal representative: J. Marshall Jones
Education: Tina Kendrick
Media: Melinda Coyer
Documentation: Marla Gilcrease/Lisa Matthews
Newsletter: Shari French
Social Media: Jake Wood
Master Gardener Liason: Don Toppett
Architectural/Garden development: P. Allen Smith & Mary Talbot of PASA
Other members titles will be listed as they attend the next meeting.
Garden update: Mary joined the meeting via telephone conference from AR. She and the board had a very detailed and spirited discussion about overall parts of the garden construction. PASA will be working to set up a timeline for developing the garden with a projected beginning in March 2014 of a groundbreaking type of event. They will work with Marshall on talking to the MPC about permits and such and a final construction plan. She felt the barn would most likely be the first order of business as well as utilities. They will continue to have phone meetings with Dittle on Fridays and he will pass on to the board. Each person in the group had questions for Mary involving the Garden development.
Education Update: Tina Kendrick informed everyone about ongoing meetings with Barrett & St. Marks schools, partnership with Dittle's Garden and their projected educational involvment in Fall 2014. She will pass on the timelines of our progress to the teachers.
Legal: Marshall Jones has met with Tom Arceneaux and Roy Janca re: zoning, MPC, permits. He is collaborating with PASA as above
to be in line with city planning. So far none of the other community gardens have had any problems or needed any special type of permits or zoning.
Media: Melinda Coyer discussed with the group plans on future media coverage and sponsorship partners with Dittle's Garden. She discussed with Mary Talbot the possibilities of introducing this project to sponsor partners on the national level and she witll investigate.
She mentioned many local and regional sponsors for our area as well that the board will discuss. Mary added that an online program called Kickstart may help to raise building funds.
Documentation: Marla will be talking with Moonbot studios about working with the project to help documentation of Dittles. She will work with Dittle on making a short video for Kickstart.
Social Media: Jake Wood said that the website is doing good. We are having some problems with the newsletter at the present but he is working on linking it to our data base of people interested in Dittle's Garden.
All board members will have access to the minute part of the website.
Financial: Lesa Warren gave report. Currently we have $5300.00 in the account. A recent bill to Charles Coyle, Engineers for $325 was paid.
Master Gardners: Don Toppett is going to begin to inform and recruit the aid of our local MG group as we hope to make a long lasting partnership with them . He is going to act as our liason.
The next official board meeting will be the 3rd Wednesday, 1/15/2014 at 6 PM at J. Marshall Jones office 2124 Fairfield, Shreveport. We will try to get video conferencing on the next meeting.
Tina Kendrick invited the board to the Highland Restoration Association Party 12/18. She will send each an email with the specifics. This will be a good time to meet and talk about Garden development with people in our neighborhood.
As there was no other business, the board adjourned.
General Board Meeting:
Called to Order at 6 PM.
Members present: Lesa Warren, Marshall Jones, Jake wood, Melinda Coyer, Mary Talbot, Tina Kendrick, Marla Gilcrease, Scott Massey Lisa Matthews, Liz Swaine, Shari French, & Dittle
Absent: Don Toppett, Tina Pickett, Bill Coyer, Danelle Ware
Accounting: 501c3 update: Scott Massey informed the board that the State approved, Federal filed. Awaiting #. Generally takes 45-100 days and we are half way through that mark. He was also given a booklet of estimated garden construction costs to evaluate.
Financial: Lesa Warren stated that the amount is still about $5K. Our first donor for this year is Loice Lacy of Magnolia, AR in honor of Tina Kendrick.
Media: Melinda Coyer is speaking with Channel 12 and Cumuluis radio about possibilities of partnership and sponsorship.Also, Vantage insurance. Mary added that our community and board need to "own" the project as it is our garden. She is going to talk to P. Allen Smith about ideas for fund raising this year and possibility speaking to the community. Marla is working on documentation of the Project.
She also says that we need to have another fund raiser this year so everyone is going to come up with ideas and talk to Dittle to get the ball rolling.
Education: Tina Kendrick is meeting monthly with teachers from St. Marks & Barrett schools. Tentative school involvement in the garden is Fall 2014. We may use the garden construction as an introduction for the children next year. They are planning on multiple grades being involved. Dittle is going to meet with the teachers and Tina next week.
Tina also said that Lampton Enochs of Moonbot is donating a greenhouse to Dittle's. We are going to check it out and figure out how to move it.
Highland Mardi Gras Parade: Lesa Warren informed us that we may sign up and do a Dittle's Garden float. All were interested and many ideas were thrown out. Dittle has a trailer. Liz gave some ideas of costumes. Maybe seed packet or veggie throws. Or disposable bags with our logo. Float members must be members of the Krewe of Highland. Marshall Jones said would be good exposure. Applications due 2/12. $50. Highland Ball $40
Garden update: Mary Talbot, Marshall Jones, and Dittle spent the afternoon with first Chuck Penn at AGC discussing timelines and possible construction scenarios. Then on to the City MPC with Stephen Jean and Roy Jamber for a meeting to hammer down our plans for approval and beginning the building process. There may be some zoning changes, ie B2 to RAE involved. And many ideas on the plans. The city is very excited about being a part of our garden. We have decided to move forward and obtain permits for site work, utilities installment, and the water well. Mary is going to talk to Robert Laborde tomorrow about the well. At least one attendance to the city council, MPC, and Zoning board will happen in this process as well. After the city meeting Mary & Dittle went to Contractor Mike Boggs office for a meeting involving the construction of the garden. Mike is going to check on some building architectural people re: the barn. And he is going to give a rough estiimate of garden cost.
TIME LINE FOR GARDEN CONSTRUCTION:
JANUARY/FEBRUARY- Site clearing, Utilities, Well
MARCH/APRIL- Finalize bid and contruction process. GROUNDBREAKING.
MAY- Begin construction of buildings.
JUNE/JULY/AUGUST-Continue with a DEADLINE of August
Legal: Marshall Jones is discussing with the MPC and the Zoning boards and the City engineers about the various items needed to make it happen. He is going to start on the permit process as well.
There being no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.
General Board Meeting:
Called to Order 6PM
Members present: Don Toppett, Lesa Warren, Tina Kendrick, Lisa Matthews, Shari French, Marshall Jones, Marla Gilcrease, Tina Pickett, Renatta Mahoney (new member introduced tonight), Mary Talbot (by phone from AR), and Dittle
Members absent: Melinda Coyer, Scott Massey, Jake Wood, Bill Coyer, Danelle Ware, Liz Swaine
MInutes from previous meeting read. Motion to approve by Marshall Jones, second by Tina Pickett. Unananimously approved
Mardi Gras: Lesa Warren announced that Dittle's Garden has a float entered in the Krewe of Highland parade. Float loading party is Saturday at Porter Howard garage on Cotton Street. Don Toppett & Dittle have been working feverishly getting the float ready for the parade 3/2. Throws are being available. The float will leave The Gazebo on College street Sunday Morning at 9:30 AM to procede to the parade formation. We have to be at Marilyn's place at 10:30 for line up.
Renatta will be our liason with education and specifically Creswell Elementary. She also is going to help us apply for grants. Some ideas for tentative grants were given to her to research.
Garden development: Marshall presented contract by PASA for construction design of the barn and shed- $8000. An initial payment of $2400 to be made tomorrow. Board approved.
Mary Talbot reported that she had been in discussion with the MPC and is getting applications for MPC and zoning board meetings in May to change to REA zoning for the garden site. Marshall Jones and her will get those in before 3/18 deadline.
She discussed forming a salsa garden this year with tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, and flowers. A national sponsor is working with her on helping us to get a good price on the plants. PASA is working up a bid to have the beds made for this year by their crew from AR. The planting day will be decided and hopefully will be done with the community and schools. PASA is going to do the architectural construction plans for the barn and toolshed so we can apply for permits. A copy of the contract is made available for all to see.
Marshall Jones noted that a sponsor has been engaged for the toolshed. Dittle said that one has been for the chicken yard and coop.
Garden Coalition: Don Toppett said that if we can join the Garden Coalition with Grace Peterson, then Dittle's Garden can qualify for Master Gardeners to participate and earn volunteers. Tina Pickett and Dittle will hook up with them at the Highland Center at their next meeting to try and make this happen.
Media: Marla Gilcrease presented an awesome video made by our team of Scott Crain, Her and Shari promoting the mission of Dittle's Garden. We plan to use this as a tool in marketing. They will work with Channel 12, who is one of our new partners, on selecting times for release of this and future videos, as well as putting into our facebook, twitter, web page, and starting a you tube of garden activities. They are researching a web cam type of documenting the garden build.
Education: Tina Kendrick announced that Creswell Elementary and St. Marks School are going to be our initial school participating. Barrett Elementary is considering coming on as well in the future.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.
The March meeting will be 3/12 at 6 at Marshall Jones' office. This day is also P. Allen Smith's birthday!
March 19, 2014
General Board Meeting:
Called to order 5 PM
Minutes from the 2/14 meeting read and Motion made to approve by Marshall Jones. Second by Shari French. Unanimous approval.
Members present: Scott Massey, Don Toppett, Lesa Warren, Lisa Matthews, Marla Gilcrease, Shari French, Marshall Jones, Renata Mahoney,
Mary Talbot(phone), And Dittle
Members absent: Melinda Coyer, Liz Swaine, Tina Kendrick, Tina Pickett, Jake Wood, Danelle Ware, Scott Crain
Old Business: Tina Pickett and Tina Kendrick to get with the Community Garden coalition and get Dittle's to become a member so the Master Gardeners can get volunteer hours working there.
Mardi Gras float and parade went great. We gave out 2500 cups, animals and throws. We have a box full of tote bags as well to use in the future.
Lesa gave financial statement: Acct has about $2500 in funds.
501c3: Letter from IRS still awaiting affirmation. April 17 should be our day of latest hearing from them on a number.
Dittle discussed bids from P. Allen Smith for doing the beds in April for the Salsa. We will discuss more with Mary Talbot.
Well bids coming in. Marshall Jones to check with them on cost.
New Minutes: Fund raiser- Dittle to contact local physicians and others about donations.
Ideas for fund raisers:
Spring party at site or ask Alan and Erin Berry about their place.
Cook out at Dittle's house or at garden site.
Kickstarter and Go fund me: Marla and Dittle to check it out.
Possibly have t-shirts, or kites for gifts for $$
Tomato tasting party similar to our apple tasting party last fall.
Marshall Jones gave dates for MPC and ZBA for Dittle's applications. May 7 and 14. He will get us a time. We are applying to change zone from B2 to RAE (residential agriculture). Will be a public hearing so all of board and others encouraged to come.
Renata Mahoney: discussed grants and applications. Many are already passed for this year so she will continue to research and begin on next year. Can't do a lot until 501c3 # is in. She also informed the board on the school curriculum for Dittle's. There will be a kite field trip on 3/20 & 3 field trips in Spring and Fall. These will include the Cafeteria Manager as well.
Tentative plant date with the schools is 5/7. Renata is working on tools for the kids to plant as well.
Mary Talbot went over her progress on the architectural and building plans. She will be coming down to go to the meetings in May. She was here last week for 3 days. Marshall Jones and Mary went to MPC and began finalizing our application. They met various engineers in the city who are all excited about our project. Then with Dittle and Scott Massey went to Water's Edge and visited Mike Fulford's post and beam house built by Red Suspenders out of Nacogdoches. On Friday, Dittle and Mary went to Brookshire and Cypress, TX to visit Texas Timber Frames building with Gabriel Monterubbio. The first was a spectacular 20,000 sq ft. barn and the second was almost the exact size and height as our barn built out of Douglas Fir. Later that day, they went to Nacogdoches and met with Tim Chauvin of Red Suspenders. He has an awesome factory there and does the timber frames as well. A true artist of the trade. Both will give a bid.
Dittle informed the board about the Poultry day in AR at Moss Mountain farm on 4/12 and has encouraged all to attend.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.
Next meeting will be Wednesday, April 16 at Marshall Jones' office, 5 PM.
April 16, 2014
General Board Meeting:
Called to order 6 PM.
Minutes from March 19 meeting read/discussed. Motion approve by Melinda Coyer. Second by Lisa Matthews.
Members present: Renata Mahoney, Shari French, Lisa Matthews, Marla Gilcrease, Marshall Jones, Jake Wood, Melinda Coyer, Lesa Warren,
Tina Kendrick, Mary Talbot (phone), & Dittle
Absent: Tina Pickett, Scott Crain, Don Toppett, Liz Swaine, Linda Patterson, Scott Massey, Danelle Ware,
Old Business: Discussed members of the board planning to travel to Moss Mountain Farm in Roland, AR to visit P. Allen Smith's place. Maybe at the next poultry workshop or a garden weekend.
Garden-- Good Friday is official start date of garden activity. Announcing work days on FB. Eco mulch to deliver & Covington Construction to do initial tilling. Begin to build beds afterward and plant accordingly. Plans for 2014 beds reshown--tomatoes, peppers, zinnias, and sunflowers, onions, and cilantro. Dittle will be going to Bonnie plants in east TX to obtain these transplants next weekend. Seeds for the flowers to be ordered from Baker Heirloom seeds in MO.
Financial: Lesa stated that we had about $1000 left in Dittle's account. Still awaiting 501c3 status from IRS. No word yet. As far as funding, Tina Kendrick is going to talk to Tom Arceneaux about speaking at Rotary club and inquiring about grants.
Legal: Marshall Jones discussed zoning apps. May 7 is meeting day with the MPC at 1 pm. Dittle, Marshall, Marla, Scott, And Lisa to go. This is the application for the change from B2 to RAE so as to give the garden right to build and run the Community garden. May 14 is meeting day with the ZBA. This meeting is to present for approval/work on the architectural plans from Mary Talbot and P. Allen Smith. Marshall, Mary, and Dittle have premet with the MPC, and city Attorney to prepare these plans. These are both public forums and are at Government plaza. The result of these will determine the future buildings/workings of Dittle's Garden. This is a real chance to spread good will to city hall.
Education: Creswell Elementary to meet at Dittle's May 2, 9 AM, for first planting/education garden day. Will be planting the tomatoes.
St. Mark's Elementary to meet at Dittle's May 7, 9 AM, for planting/education day. Will be planting peppers. This is a very important start to our educational component as the schools will be coming several times over the next year as they incorporate gardening, nutrition, and healthy living into their curriculum.
Media: Scott Crain and Marla Gilcrease continue to document the build and use social media to spread the word. Another video will be made with the school field days. Dittle has purchased a web camera and will begin to research installing it at the site. AGC has volunteered to let us use their internet and power for it until we have power on our site. Channel 12, Forum Magazine, & The Times continue to be very interested in our project and support/publicize our efforts and progress for the community. The future looks bright for Dittle's Garden as progress is picking up steam.
There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.