Local park sets goals for the future

JJ Collett Natural Area Foundation held their annual general meeting on Feb. 25. The meeting highlighted the past year and set goals for the future.

JJ Collett Natural Area Foundation held their annual general meeting on Feb. 25. The meeting highlighted the past year and set goals for the future.

“It was a really good meeting,” said president Jack Surbey. “We have four new executive members and were able to address a number of topics.”

The 2008 directors elected were president Surbey, vice president Severin Iseli, secretary and treasurer Lavonne Baehl and directors Sylvia Glass, Joan Meeres, Gail Hughes, Laurence Wong, Ross Fleischman, Jennifer Nash, Roger Stawart, Bob Peters and Troy Stawart.

Wong was the guest speaker and gave information on bacteria and how it is a part of all nature as well as how things rejuvenate and grow.

Among the topics that were highlighted was the Grade 6 education program. The program proved to be another successful year as 16 classes totaling 320 students had classroom presentations and a tour of the natural area. This year Dow Chemical has committed as a sponsor for the program and Surbey is pleased that it will continue.

“Our mandate is to educate youth and to keep that education going,” said Surbey. “We would like kids to become interested in nature and understand the area so that they will want to take care of it.”

The memberships totaled 83 and Surbey encourages more members to join.

“The more members we have the better because the money goes to the upkeep and maintenance of the area,” he said.

Surbey also encourages everyone to donate to the endowment fund. To date $18,720 has been raised and the goal is to raise $200,000.

The goals for this year include hiring a crew to trim the grass on the west side of the fence, mow trails at least twice a year, hire Riteway Mulching to work on the south and east side, survey and fix the fence around the acreage, secure funding for the 2009 educational program and purchase a utility vehicle to maintain trails.