Wednesday, February 28, 2007

GANA Meeting Minutes

GANA (Green Acres Neighborhood Association) Meeting
2/28/07, 7-8 p.m. First United Church on 3rd St.

Georgia Schaich, Diane Dormant, Kathy Ruesink, John Gaus, Jessica Gaus, Ginny Kleindorfer, Nathan Harman, Stanley Routon, Kevin Polk, Ann Kreilkamp


  • Report on Herald-Times article on Green Acres
  • Update on the Green Acres Neighborhood Plan
  • Report on latest Small and Simple Grant
  • New Idea: Flower Power!

We discussed the H-T article and passed copies around. We passed around copies of the final draft of the Plan and decided on a venue and date for its formal release. We heard what the latest Small and Simple Grant will be used for. We discussed Flower Power as a new idea for helping to establish neighborhood identity and continuity through beauty.

The Process
Herald-Times article: Georgia opened the meeting by passing around copies of the H-T article that John and Jessica Gaus had thoughtfully brought with them. The article, by Carrol Krause, which ran on the front page of the Home section on Saturday, February 17, was titled “Sustainability is sprouting in Green Acres,” and can be found on Page Two of Carrol’s website, Quoting Georgia, Ann and Tim Mayer, Carrol did a wonderful job of describing our vision and initial efforts towards sustainability. The article also featured a number of photos of the neighborhood with informative descriptions under them.

The article attracted two responses from outside Green Acres. First, Tyler Ferguson of Olympus Properties contacted Georgia with an offer to meet with GANA about our concerns for attracting renters and new home owners who would appreciate our neighborhood vision and goals. A leasing agent from her company, Brett Smith, agreed to come and and discuss these issues with us as part of our Speaker Series. (See next email, Speaker Series). And Floyd Richards, a resident of Owen County who lives on a golf course with twelve other houses, called Ann to seeking advice on how to start to green his own neighborhood. She asked, “Is there one other person you can talk to about this?” “Yes—the man who lives across the street.” “Good. Then start there!” They exchanged emails and agreed to keep in touch.

The Plan: We received twelve copies of the final draft of the Green Acres Neighborhood Plan with the request that we look it over for glaring errors. The city has already approved the document as is, so hopefully, we won’t find much. If you wish to look over this document for errors, please contact Georgia to receive a copy—and send all edits to Ann,, by Tuesday morning, so she can compile them and send in to the city by the Wednesday, March 7th, deadline.

We discussed the type of venue we wanted for our “formal release” of the plan to the city and to the press, and agreed that most in keeping with our vision for the neighborhood would be the Raintree House and its grounds on Bryan, since that house, built in 1849, was identified in the Foreward to the Plan as the “cornerstone” and “lodestone” of our Green Acres neighborhood. Diane Dormant will contact IU to see if this venue is a possibility. We decided to hold this event some time in May.

Georgia also asked us all to think about the three objectives as stated in the plan and to decide which one each of us as individuals would most like to help manifest from vision to reality.

Ann recommended that everybody read the Plan, especially for its very interesting and even surprising Appendix A, a Green Acres Demographic Profile. We thank the Planning and HAND departments for their patience with our process and the very thoughtful and detailed treatment that they gave to the creation of our neighborhood plan.

Small and Simple Grant: Georgia wrote up another Small and Simple Grant, this time asking for and receiving $1000 (the limit) for the following: 1) A Green Acres Neighborhood Welcome Packet to help block captains meet and green new residents. 2) Two new printed brochures. The first “community-minded brochure” will outline recommendations for stakeholders and partners, including residents, students, property owners and the university. The second brochure will update the one we developed in 2006. 3) A new outreach special activity that will feature the outdoor showing of a movie, with food and music for students and all other residents with the goal to integrate students and other new residents into the neighborhood. 4) A discussion course prepared by Northwest Earth Institute: a series of innovative study guides focused on sustainability topics for a nine-week neighborhood discussion group. Kevin Polk said he has participated in one of their discussion courses and found it “very worthwhile.”

Flower Power: this idea, one very much in line with the objectives and goals of the new Green Acres plan, was the brain child of Diane Dormant. In her own words:

“Flower Power: one way to encourage our residents and potential residents to enjoy and maintain our area is to make Green Acres a place of beauty. There is no better or even faster way to do this than to fill the front yards with seasonal flowers. Owners, landlords, and renters could be encouraged to plant such durables as spring daffodils and late summer coneflowers (supplied at cost and, if necessary, planted by GANA volunteers). Techniques for achieving this might include online nursery sales programs (much like Girl Scout cookie sales) as well as wholesale purchases. The goal is to makes Green Acres a visible Bloomington treasure.” Diane seeks two other residents to join her in creating this program to beautify Green Acres. You can email her at

The meeting was adjourned around 8 p.m., for refreshments and a break before our Speaker for this month, Brett Smith.

Looking towards spring on this snowy March day, I remain
Ann Kreilkamp
Your ever-faithful GANA scribe

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