July 28 meeting minutes

SW Trails PDX
Preliminary Meeting Minutes
Thursday, July 28th 2011

Present:  Don Baack, Gaile Baack, Mike Roach, Phyllis Towne, Glenn Bridger, Karen Bridger, Sharon Fekety, John Morris, Brenda Morris, Michael Kisor, Diane Mays, Chris Mays, Katureh Pennington, Laura Campos, Paul Gleason, Phil Hamilton, Arnie Rowland, Ken Love, Craig Christy and his wife,  Lee Buhler,

Don called the meeting to order at 7:35

Don asked the group to give feed back on what the new SW Trails should do and be like.  We discussed the pros and cons of registering the non-profit as a 501c3.  Phil said a501c3 would give us more credibility with Parks and other government organizations. The consensus was that a 501c3 registration was important and we should move in that direction.

Mike Roach, the chair of the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association, said it was very important to look back at the legacy of SW Trails and all that the group has done to improve livability in southwest Portland. He said he was very confident that SWTrails could move ahead without SWNI.

Laura said she would like to see SW Trails address the equity issue by having hikes in other parts of town and talking to the Urban League.  She said that SWTrails is recognized city-wide for all the work it has done.

Michael Kisor said he did not think we should try to take on too much at first. Keturah said additional things will come in time.

Mike Roach said the new Raleigh Hills Business Association might be interested in SW Trails. He also said Kaiser Permanente might be interested in helping us out as they are strong on physical fitness and walking.  Laura pointed out that the Portland Bureau of Transportation does that with Legacy Health Care.

Don asked the group if we should continue trail construction projects and everyone agreed that would be a good idea.  Our next work dates will be August 27th 9am to 1pm  at Wilson HS, we will work on Trail 3 along the north side of the property where vegetation has obstructed the trail.  The work party will be followed by a sponsored picnic and celebration at Wilson.  For those not able to work on this project on the 27th, we will also have a work party on the 19th 8am to noon.  For both work parties, bring pruners, clippers, rakes to remove ivy along the walkway, pitchfork to stack the debris, gas powered hedge trimmers, Weedeater and anything else you would use to remove brush, prune holly, prune laurel and remove ivy.

Don asked if we should continue our partnership with the Safe Routes to Schools Program.  Glenn said he thought that was very important and pointed out that safe routes for kids are also safe routes for all humans. Mike Roach pointed out that Safe Routes to School builds community good will. Diane agreed and said the program is about safe routes for everyone.  We agreed to continue our Safe Routes to School efforts.

We discussed our geographical scope.  We agreed we should not be limited to SW Portland, but need to get organized before we do much beyond SW.

Don asked if we should continue the monthly walks and everyone agreed that was a very good idea.  Laura suggested we incorporate history into some of our walks.  Glenn agreed and said we could also have walks to focus on environmental and art issues.  Our next walks are: With AARP and the PSU’s Institute on Aging on Friday August 12th 11am to 1pm a short walk from Hillsdale to the Golden Touch along the Route of the Hillsdale to Lake Oswego Pedestrian Trail.  We will have a no host lunch at the Golden Touch, talk a bit about how SWTrails has been able to get things done, answer questions and then return to Hillsdale.

The second walk is our regular second Saturday walk at 9am on August 13th.  We will walk the Hillsdale to Lake Oswego Trail, 6 miles, and take public transit back from Lake Oswego.  As usual we will meet at behind the Dance Studio at SW Capitol Hwy and SW Sunset.   Following the hike, those who want to will make a brief visit to the new Phyllis Towne digs in Lake Oswego.  Contact Phyllis Towne at 636 3723 if you want to  arrange a car pool for your dog that is not permitted on public transit.   To do a car pool, cars will have to be driven to LO before the walk.

Don asked what the name of the new group should be.  SWNI has registered “SW Trails”.   Mike Roach said he thought it was very important to keep the SW Trails name. Karon suggested “SW Trails and Friends” Michael Kisor suggested “SW Metro Trails”.  Phil said “SW Trails Inc.” was a possibility. (See note below.)

Don introduced Arnie Rowland who along with John Gould have offered to help set up the 501c3.  Arnie explained what it takes to set up a 501c3. He said we must first register with the state and that costs $50.00. He said then we must prepare bylaws, a statement of purpose and articles of incorporation. Then we need to get a tax ID number and set up a bank account.  Then we can file for the 501c3.  There is a $400.00 one time filing fee.  Arnie said wording is very important in the application to make it go smoother. He said the annual Federal Form 990 should be simple as we do not expect to take in over $50,000 per year.

Arnie said the group can be “board based” or “membership based”.  He suggested a “board based” organization for SW Trails.

Don said it was important to also obtain insurance and said he would look into that.

Chris volunteered to be the SW Trails Treasurer.  Lee volunteered to be secretary and Don volunteered to be president.  The group approved those appointments by consensus.

Chris said it was very important to have open books and allow everyone to view all bank statements.  He asked for another person to also reconcile and Glenn agreed to do that and serve as Finance Committee chair. Arnie suggested setting up online banking and pointed out that notifications can be sent to several people.

Don said we need to write the bylaws and Phil, Michael Kisor and Lee agreed to work on draft bylaws. Phil said he hoped we would have a draft for the group at the September meeting.

Diane agreed to work on the email list.

We talked about fund raising for the group.  Don said he can send out an email asking for donations. Chris suggested a treasure hunt walk. Michael Kisor suggested a donation button on our website. He also said we can look for grants.  Phil said we should wait a little to apply for grants as they take a lot of time and we have so much else to do now. Glenn suggested listing our sponsors on the web page to entice donations. Mike Roach said the first $100 towards the new group would come from Paloma Clothing.

Don asked the group what a good meeting place would be. Glenn suggested the Watershed building and we voted to try it out.  We decided to keep the meeting time of the fourth Thursday at 7:00pm. Don said he would ask Ed Fisher to give his slide presentation on trail construction at the September meeting.
The meetings are confirmed at the Watershed 7 to 9 on the 4th Thursday of the month except November and December when the meetings will be on the 3rd Thursday of the month.

Glenn reminded the group of the annual Thanksgiving day walk.  Meet at 9am on Nov 24th where all our SWTrails walks begin, in the area behind the Dance Studio, SW Capitol Hwy and SW Sunset.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:59

Respectfully submitted

Lee Buhler

After the meeting and some email correspondence, we have arrived at the name SWTrails PDX to use as our official name.  Don will register that name in the near future.   The SWTrails mailing lists are privately owned by Don Baack, and the web site is privately owned by Roger Aldrich.

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