Villages Hiking Club – General Membership Meeting Minutes (via Zoom) 25-Jan-2021
Called to Order: 7:33pm by President Al Girolami
Attending Board Members:
President – Al Girolami
VP Hiking & Trails – Faye Swanson
VP Social – Michelle Breslin
VP Membership & Website – Jim Beyer
Treasurer – Sandy Petrin
Secretary – Gordon Carbonetti
Total members in attendance: 23
Al confirmed all Board members were present.
Al provided an update on the following Hiking Club (HC) projects being worked with the Villages Board - #1 Re-work the Steps Trail into a gentler, single switchback trail, #2 Install new Picnic Table in NE corner of the Hill Lands, near signpost 50 at the second highest spot in the Hill Lands, #3 Install sign-In mailbox at the Joe Marsh trailhead and #4 create and install 2-by-3-foot map/signs at each trailhead. Al sent a letter to the Villages (Julia Meadows) on December 31, 2020 asking about the status of each project, and to make sure we get included in the next budget cycle. A response was received January 4, 2021 from her saying the Villages Board will be reviewing project requests during the budget development process. She will resend the HC submittal and subsequent answers to Tim as a reminder. She will let us know as soon as she hears back. Al thinks we have to let the new Villages Board to get settled in, but Tim will likely make the final decision.
Regarding Cattle Grazing, Al reminded all that the HC members voted overwhelmingly to recommend supporting Hill Lands Cattle Grazing which was conveyed to the Villages Board. Al said the HC’s position now is to support Bill Johnston (Villager, but non-HC member) if requested since he has a good rapport with the neighboring ranchers. HC member Jim Koski is willing to help as well.
Al reminded all that HC monthly minutes, financials and schedule of events are available on-line on the Villages website through the Hiking Club Portal.
Al introduced the guest speakers from the Bay Area Ridge Council (www.Ridgetrail.org) : Liz Westbrook, Trail Program Director (email@example.com) and Simon Nageon de Lastang, Trail Planner (firstname.lastname@example.org). Liz and Simone plan to talk about “Bay Area Hiking Trails” after the business meeting.
Gordon presented the minutes from the last General membership meeting on November 30, 2020 and made a motion to approve them. A second was received from Michelle so the motion passed unanimously.
Sandy presented the following financial reports for Nov & Dec 2020
November 2020 General Fund
Beginning balance as of October 31, 2020 $6,384.80
No Income $0.00
Expenses – Donation to Hill Lands Acct. $500.00
Ending balance as of November 30, 2020. $5,884.80
November 2020 Hiking Club Hill Lands Project Fund
Beginning balance as of October 31, 2020. $2,301.82
Income – Donation from Hiking Club $500.00
No Expenses $0.00
Ending Balance as of November 30, 2020 $2,801.82
December 2020 General Fund
Beginning balance as of November 30, 2020 $5,884.80
Income – Membership Dues $14.00
Expenses – Donations
Ck#1659 Bay Area Ridge Trail Council $100.00
Ck#1660 California State Parks Foundation $100.00
Ck#1661 Greenbelt Alliance $200.00
Ck#1662 Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) $200.00
Ck#1663 Portola & Castle Rock Foundation $100.00
Ck#1664 Santa Clara County Open Space $100.00
Ck#1665 Santa Clara County Parks and Rec. $100.00
Ck#1666 Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society $100.00
Ck#1667 Senpervirens Fund. $100.00
Ck#1668 The Pine Ridge Association. $100.00
Ck#1669 VMA (Steve Ford) Memorial $50.00
Total Expenses $1,250.00
Ending balance as of December 31, 2020. $4,648.80
December 2020 Hiking Club Hill Lands Project Fund
Beginning balance as of November 30, 2020 $2,801.82
No Income and Expenses $0.00
Ending Balance as of December 31, 2020 $2,801.82
The preceding financial reports were approved by a motion made by Michelle and seconded by Sandy, which passed unanimously.
VP Membership & Website
Jim said 1 member dropped out as she’s in a nursing home. She has been in the HC about 33 years. However, 3 new members joined. So, we now have a total of 282 members.
Jim reported on the breakdown of members by years in the HC as follows: 17 members have been in the HC for 1 year or less; 16 have been in 1-2 years; 93 have been 2-5 years; 89 have been in 5-9 years; 51 have been in 10-19 years; 16 have been in for 20 or more years. Jim added that one member has been in the HC for 34 years.
Jim reminded everyone that all minutes are being posted on the website.
VP Hiking & Trails
Faye reminded all that the HC currently has no sanctioned hike due to the pandemic. However, a few members are hiking on their own and are willing to to have other interested members join them if there is interest. The HC is trying to notify all members about these hiking opportunities every week if possible. Members should remember to adhere to all masking, safety and social distancing protocols during all hikes.
Al added there are a few members that wish to hike away from the Villages (off Campus) usually on a Wednesday, and it is OK to join them. Faye tries to send out a notice to members about these hikes.
Al said there is always an option is to tag along on a hike in our Hill Lands with Russ Glines on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays. On those days Russ is willing to meet up with others at 8:30am at the Foothill parking lot or above that at the stables parking lot, and head up into the Hill Lands at 8:45am. Russ is willing to tailor the hike to the preferences and abilities of the members joining him. These hikes are a good way to learn about the Hill Lands of the Villages.
Due to the Pandemic, Michelle reported no events are planned for the next few months, but she hopes to be able to start events in the Summer if more members get vaccinated.
Michelle was thinking about the possibility of expanding the HC exposure into social media such as using Instagram. In a quick pole among the attending members, she discovered only one member used Instagram. So, she will re-think social media for the HC.
Al noted the HC will not have a Spring 2021 Outing, but the Board will try to plan a Fall 2021 Outing with more info to follow.
Al further added that he receives a few hardcopy newsletters from hiking related clubs. If a member is interested in this information, he suggested going on the following websites to review them: www.openspace.org (POST - Peninsula Open Space Trust) and www.scvas.org (Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society).
Guest Speakers - From the Bay Area Ridge Council (www.Ridgetrail.org), Liz Westbrook, Trail Program Director (email@example.com), and Simon Nageon de Lastang, Trail Planner (firstname.lastname@example.org). Liz and Simone gave a very informative talk about “Bay Area Hiking Trails”.
Mission is to plan, promote and sustain a connected hiking, cycling and equestrian multi-use trail on the ridgelines around the SF Bay area. They want to link parks, people and open spaces for today and future generations.
William Penn Mott inspired the Ridge Trail in the 1960’s and the first dedication was in 1989 in the Purisima Creek area. He was a great trail visionary who foresaw creating a trail around the ridge of the SF Bay Area, with a follow-on goal of connecting to a high Sierra trail.
As of Dec. 2020, there are 390 miles of the trails in place, but many areas need connecting to make entire trail contiguous.
The 300-mile milestone was reached in 2006 and they are currently on the path for soon reaching 400 miles, starting with the Berryessa Bart Station trail. It’s the first place where the Ridge Trail goes through a BART Station. So, it’s a new transit-to-ridgeline connection. Also, there is new trail opened at Almond Ranch which is part of the Cartenas Straight Scenic Loop Trail.
The Ridge Trail also covers areas in SF, Napa, San Mateo County, Mission Peak, Ed Levin County Park, Coyote Canyon (Baily Ave) and El Sereno Open Space, as well as several other areas around the SFO Bay Area.
Accessing their website (www.ridgetrail.org) you will find valuable information for on-line tools, trail maps, guidebooks, back-packing trips, bike-packing trips and mobile apps (including OuterSpacial and AllTrails for tracking purposes).
The Ridge Trail operating revenue comes from the following sources:
25% - planning grants from the State Coastal Commission
10-20% - applying for a few other large and small grants
50-60% - individual donors
How to help the Ridge Trail effort?
Get out on the trails and explore them
Become a Ridge Trail member
Advocate to help close the big gap on the Baily Ave overpass in N. Coyote Valley. You can sign up for updates and to attend public meetings.
General Membership – February 22, 2021 at 7:30pm, via Zoom with details to follow. Program: Greenbelt Alliance.
Next Board Meeting – February 18, 2021 at 9:30am, via Zoom with details to follow.
Meeting Adjourned - The meeting adjourned at 8:38pm
Gordon Carbonetti - Secretary