December 2021 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports
December 2021 MORE Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Virtually present at meeting
Ernie Rodriguez - President
David Beugelmans - Vice President
Peggy Flaxman - Executive Director
Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director
Kathy Mihm - Communications Director
Rob Lowe – Membership Director
Dave Magill - MD Advocacy Director
Larry Cautilli – VA Advocacy Co-Director
Not present at meeting
Neil Blake – Treasurer
Clay Deming - Activities Director
· Financial Updates
o Net increase to unrestricted funds $1.6k
§ Assumed $5k in memberships which will change with Rob's update
§ Other general donations of $3.8k
§ ED expense $4.5k
§ MoCo Epic $2.2k (mainly DNR fee)
o Net increase to restricted funds $3.6k
§ $2.6k to Lake Fairfax
§ Many other misc donations to various trails
§ No significant expenses
o Cash balance is now $516k ($211.7k restricted and $304.6k unrestricted
o Dave M
§ We have a problem where we are accumulating cash and not spending it fast enough. We have $300k unrestricted funds.
§ Will likely make request in January to move $50k into the general trail fund.
· Election (Peggy)
o Notified everyone that the slate has been set and have made people aware that they need to be a member to vote.
o Everyone who is a member will receive an email on how to vote.
o Will be sending out with instructions how to vote. Will include Constant Contact poll.
o Dave M
§ Are there any competitive positions?
· Peggy: No.
§ Do we have interest in someone taking the trail boss position?
· Peggy: Would you consider splitting trail boss into two states?
o Dave M: Yes.
· Peggy: Will reach out to see if interested in doing VA trail boss piece.
· Strategic Planning
o Ernie: Wants to organize strategic planning and make it happen.
§ Pushing IMBA about strategic planning. This can be as simple as doing a survey or discussing what we want to be. Where do we see ourselves in 10-20 years? What is our strategic focus? We need to do our due diligence about strategic planning. We need to determine as a board what we want to do.
§ Peggy: Ernie, Kathy and I will schedule a meeting offline to discuss
§ Dave M: We need to discuss the good will of donors and how we can’t grow without it.
o Peggy: Jeff, the liaison at Fountainhead, has been in contact with a company that will allow for social distance racing (SODI Race). As a race organizer, you can set up using their platform and choose what route they are going to chose.
§ If you charge for race, they take a percentage. But it’s a nice platform because you can just upload a GPS track.
§ Jeff has asked NOVA parks whether they would support us doing this.
§ NOVA parks has said that if we do this, it would be a MORE event, and it would require proof of insurance.
§ It would be like MORE trails, but you could define different parks of the track
o Dave M
§ My concerns have been the demands on volunteers and the number needed for races.
§ The key here is for Peggy to be relatively confident that you’ll have the volunteers to make it happen.
· Peggy: You don’t need volunteers for this. It would happen over the course of a month.
o We could guide people out to park that wants to raise some money.
o Concern is that when you set up routes, you need to be prepared to open up to other trail systems.
§ Dave B: I think it is context specific and at Fountainhead I think it’s fine because it’s one way and the race is only uphill.
§ Ernie: I have difficulty with this, but these are very involved people.
§ Dave M: I can see how fountainhead is different because it’s bike only and its one directional and only uphill.
o Peggy: Trying to figure out what community wants. There has been a lack of friendly competition.
§ Dave M: I feel comfortable with this event because it’s uphill only and the trail is one way.
o Peggy: Will look into how insurance would work and whether we can make money.
§ Dave M: Put together a budget and see if it will make money or much it will lose.
· Don’t know if any permission from the board is that it is going to break even.
· Membership Updates (Rob)
o November wasn’t a bad month, but didn’t match last year. Last year was an unreasonably good November.
o This year we were below $5500, which is way better than average.
o Our membership had dropped to 1772, but with a flurry of early renewals we are at 1789. We are in marching distance of 1800. That will put us at about 300 new members.
o We should get over 1800 in early 2022
o We seem to be doing well and will get close our goal and finish up at $95,000.
o Ernie: It is important for MORE on social media to like pages and posts of sponsors.
o Clay not present
· Had liaison meeting last Monday. These have been very successful. There is a lot of great collaboration and sharing a lot of information.
· At Meadowood, there was a successful trailwork day where trails where reshaped and boardwalk was installed. This is all BLM money and came out of law passed last year. Planning on signage work in the spring.
· SODI Race at Mt. Vernon park. Trying to figure out if want to market elsewhere.
· At Locust Shade, Martin has done amazing things. Pretty much wrapped up what he wanted to do. Now moving to Forest Green next door, which would include parameter trail. This has the potential to turn into a huge loop down there.
· Great things are happening at Fountainhead, including SODI ride and reverse ride. Having good luck with Golden Volunteer
o There is money available from NOVA Parks. They want the park to become more of a destination for Northern Virginia. Park is fully behind it.
§ Dave M
· We have a soft approval to move rapidly to fix up 2.5 miles of the Seneca Greenway that runs from 355 down to Clopper Lake. Currently hiker only to open it to bikes. This is on the MoCo Epic route. Want to work on getting a specific proposal in on this and getting it moving. The biggest challenge is the passage under Clopper Road.
o The park management is prepared to open it to bikes once it’s reasonably safe.
· Hiked 5.3 miles permitter trail in Greenbelt National Park in Greenbelt Maryland. Looks like a community park. Was open to opening trail to bikes but hasn’t gone up the chain yet.
o Hopeful that we will get a meeting and opportunity to pitch bikes in a national park.
· Met with Chief of Staff for Prince George’s County who is an avid mountain biker. He is going about a process to identify trail designers and builders. There is a chance they are going to be serious about expanding trail network there.
· The biggest thing that is going on is that work is going on to build $300,000 skills park at Fairland.
o We need to find someone to do a promotional video of MORE. There are great videos out there of other organizations. We owe it to ourselves to advertise who we are.
o I have previously put it out to volunteers. We have people in our membership. See if we can get someone to do it for free, but cover there expenses.
o Dave M: We should put a posting on MORE’s Facebook page.
o Kathy: I will do a posting on social media and reach out to people about it.
o We will need to do the budget in January.
President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
- Train and assist setting up Golden Volunteer (Trailwork and Ride) opportunities
- Work with new volunteer to work on bike facilities in DC
- Work with Clay and Jason Miller for 30yr anniversary order
- Trailwork at Wakefield Park
- MORE Liability Insurance discussions, internal and external
- Virtual meeting with VA liaisons
- Support Jaron Shaul with advocacy for Loch Raven and MOU for Lake Roland
- Meet with Arlington County Parks and Recreation staff for access for natural surface trails
- Thank you emails to donors
- Attend Locust Shade grand opening and ribbon cutting
- Work with SodiRacing and Fountainhead liaison for possible virtual time trial event at Fountainhead
- Create MORE's eBay account
- Attend IMBA Local webinar
- Social media posts
Executive Director – Peggy Flaxman
- Monthly Liaison Meeting
- Loch Raven Meeting
- Carlin Springs Site Visit w/ Arlington Trails
- Lake Roland Meeting
- MORE Liability Insurance Meeting w/Committee
- Followed Up with Marsh & Frazier re: questions, awaiting response
- MoCo Epic Follow-Up Meeting
- Arlington Trails Advocacy Debrief
- Fountainhead Challenge (SoDiRace) Event Meeting
- Fountainhead Reverse Ride Planning
- November Conference Planning Meeting (VA Land Conservation, Trails & Greenways)
- American Trails Mechanized Trailbuilding Webinar
- Mailed Swag
- IMBA Local Meeting
- Social Media posts supporting rides, workdays, activities, membership & advocacy
- Attended Trek Shop sMORE’s Ride
- Attended The Bike Lane sMORE’s Ride
- Setup monthly VA sMORE’s rides for Winter (golden, calendar, social media)
- Met with Anne re: VA sMORE’s - TBL wants to own LF rides only
- Trek stores will sponsor Tuesday Wakefield rides beginning Spring 2022
- Trek stores will donate gift cards for ride leader incentives
- Ran Cap Cross Little Belgians Races
- Created Windy Ridge page for MORE site
- Created Paint Branch page for MORE site (not published)
- MORE Holiday Cards
Vice President – David Beugelmans
- Arranged for pro bono waiver review by Gordon Feinblatt LLC
- Ad hoc Waterworks trailwork
- Emails/meetings with City of Annapolis staff re: skills drops at Waterworks
- Facilitated fundraiser for Bacon Ridge skills park
MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill
- Testified virtually in favor of the Montgomery County Parks Recreation and Open Space plan
- Arranging meeting with SHA to improve safety of trail under Clopper Road bridge, this trail may be opened to bikes
- Working to modify Patuxent Phase 2 grant; DNR agreeing to build a new parking, MORE will build connector trail. Extended Phase 1 grant to June 30, 2022 to allow time to complete the new bridge plans and the last bridge.
- In person meeting in Westminster MD with Carroll County parks dept and MORE liaisons Ken Harris and Jason Irla to discuss going forward plans at Hashawha
- Working with Carlo Alfano and Mike Klasmeier on GTF grant requests
- Toured Cosca with PG Parks Chief of staff, provided names of trail contractors and designers
- Email exchanges with MORE member looking to open Greenbelt Park (NPS) 5 miles of trail to bikes. Will tour the trails in December and develop a recommendation to NPS
- Set up Paint Branch trails on Trailforks
- Provided comments on updated liaison handbook (thanks to Peggy for taking the lead on this)
- Participated in calls regarding insurance and waivers
- Call with Baltimore County officials to gan support for bikes on Loch Raven trails
- Call re MORE becoming involved at Lake Roland park in Baltimore County
VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
- Held Monthly Liaisons Meeting
- Wakefield Trail Work Day
Membership Director – Rob Lowe
- Membership Processing
- Sept, Oct and November Reminders
- Adhoc TW at Wakefield
- Led Rides at WF
Communications Director – Kathy Mihm
- Communications Activities:
- Insurance and liability issues
- Ride Leader Guide
- New Jersey communications
- Jersey Contest communications
Treasurer – Neil Blake
- Net increase to unrestricted funds $1.6k
- - Assumed $5k in memberships which will change with Rob's update
- - Other general donations of $3.8k
- - ED expense $4.5k
- - MoCo Epic $2.2k (mainly DNR fee)
- Net increase to restricted funds $3.6k
- - $2.6k to Lake Fairfax
- - Many other misc donations to various trails
- - No significant expenses
- Cash balance is now $516k ($211.7k restricted and $304.6k unrestricted
- Net increase to unrestricted funds $1.6k
Activities Director – Clay Deming
- Ride Leader Communications
- Help with Ride Leader Guide
- Golden Volunteer Guide for Ride Leaders (in progress)
- sMORE’s Halloween Ride
- MORE Jersey Contest
- Ride Leader Swag
- Looking into Night Ride Summaries- Taking over night permits looking into new ones
- 2022 Ride Planning