Wednesday, January 30, 2008

GANA Meeting Minutes

7-9 p.m., First United Church on 3rd St.


  • Current state of GANA: people leaving, coming in, new e-mail list, need more people to take responsibility.
  • Report: sign toppers.
  • Report: SPEA Professor Burney Fischer project to work with GANA and other neighborhood associations on cares and concerns we have with our "urban forest."
  • Report: Walkable Cities workshop.
  • Notice: H-T reports night attack on Eastgate lane.
  • Discussion to select projects that we want to implement from the Green Acres Neighborhood Plan in 2008.

Georgia Schaich, Kathy Ruesink, Al Ruesink, John Gaus, Jessica Gaus, Kevin Polk, Ann Kreilkamp, Jelene Campbell, Diane Dormant, Aggie Sarkissian, Adam Shahrani and Rebeca Shahrani

The Process
Ann opened the meeting by announcing that she will be handling the meeting agendas and speakers, so that Georgia, who has borne the brunt of this work in recent years, can attend to other commitments for awhile. "It feels like in many ways like we're starting over," said Ann. "Many of the people who have put enormous energy into making Green Acres what it is have moved away: Sylvia Bruggen, Jiangmei Wu, Julia Jackson, Nathan Harman and Maggie Jesseph. We still have a strong core, but we need to keep reaching out."

In a similar vein, Kevin discussed the GANA list serve, which he pointed out should be more secure and better archived than simple email. However, IU shut down our list serve when its manager left last year, so we had tried to rebuild it on Google Groups, which makes it easy to switch managers. However, getting a Google account seemed like a lot of hassle to several people present. That may explain why only a few people signed up. After some discussion, Kevin agreed to run the list serve from his private server. Those present seemed comfortable with that because Kevin is a permanent resident and can provide log-ins for temporary/replacement list administrators where needed. (Follow-up: all 67 people who have received Ann's announcements are now on the list, and anyone who signs up at a GANA event will be put on the list, too).

Kevin also requested digital photos of Green Acres in all seasons for this blog.

All present supported a proposal to apply for a Small and Simple Grant (deadline: February 18) for Sign Toppers with the GANA logo and the words "Green Acres Neighborhood" to be installed above all the street signs in the neighborhood. This would cost approximately $315, plus a one-to-one match from the City of Bloomington. The sign toppers would help define Green Acres as a destination, not just a short-cut. Kevin will take the lead on this and several other grants for GANA this year.

There was also some discussion of a related project to install permanent signs to replace the badly weathered temporary signs that periodically announce GANA events. This might be a good candidate for a Neighborhood Improvement Grant (deadline March 7).

Georgia suggested that we also pursue a Neighborhood Clean-Up Grant (deadline March 17).

Ann announced that Burney Fischer, who teaches "Urban Forest Management," a senior/graduate student level course at IU, would like to use Green Acres as a case study neighborhood for his students, who will do survey/inventory in the neighborhood in conjunction with Lee Huss, the City Forrester. (Burney also led an effort to inventory Bloomington's trees last year.) We would get a copy of the final student report.

Ann mentioned that the Herald-Times had mentioned an attack on a woman walking on Eastgate Lane at 11:30 p.m. several weeks back. Her assailant tore at her clothes, but was scared off by noises in the neighborhood. Student energy, perhaps?

Ann attended the amazing Walkable Cities workshop sponsored by CONA on January 19 (here's her report).

We briefly discussed a list of projects from the 2007 Neighborhood Plan. These included:
  • Gateway features
  • City repair
  • Pocket parks
  • Bus shelters
  • A sidewalk on 3rd st.
  • Drainage on 5th st.
  • Bypass planning
  • Permaculture
Georgia asked whether anyone knew why the trees were being cut down next to Sahara Mart on 3rd.

Our speakers for this month, Nate Nickel and Bob Woolford, from the Bloomington Planning Department arrived and the meeting was adjourned around 8:15 for refreshments and a break before their presentation.

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