March 2017 Board Meeting Minutes + February Activity Reports
Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting
Held Via teleconference
March 13, 2017
Board Members Present
- Ernie Rodriguez, President
- Aaron Richter, Treasurer
- Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
- Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
- Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director
- Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
- Tom Howe, Membership Director
MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests
- Steve Dontigny, MORE Executive Director
- Jonah Meyers, Vice-Treasurer
- Jonathan Kidwell, Trail Boss
- Martin Fernandez, MORE member and former Board member
- Mike Pellerin
- Karen Garnet
Item #1: MORE Insurance Overview
Meeting began with Mike Pellerin providing an update of MORE’s liability insurance coverage renewed on March 1, 2017. MORE renewed at the same rate and same coverage for $14,200 plus and additional rider for the MoCo Epic, costing an additional $2,500. MORE events are covered under MORE’s liability insurance as long as they are not open to the general public like the MoCo Epic which requires an additional insurance rider. MORE is not covered for moving features and we need to be diligent in removing or alerting land managers to moving features. Additional insured may be named on our liability insurance policy at no cost to MORE. Additional insured are landowners who require indemnification from Memorandum of Understanding agreements. Mike will research use of electronic waivers in DC, MD and VA.
Item #2: MD Advocacy Update (Dave Magill)
General Discussion: MORE will continue working with MD-Department of Natural Resources (DNR). MD-DNR protects natural surface trails and establishes policies and procedures allowing access when no damage will result to trails.
- Brunswick Rivers Edge and Frederick Watershed: MOU’s have been signed for both RTP recipients; Brunswick Rivers Edge and Frederick Watershed. Both Rivers Edge and Watershed are working through the NEPA process. There is another project to sign the Frederick Watershed in the planning phase.
- Emmitsburg: Tim O’Donnell in his role of land manager is applying for a trail award to recognize Emmitsburg trails.
- Northwest Branch: future increase of trails based on recent land purchase by M-NCPPC/ Additional 500 acres purchased on northwest corner of 10-mile creek. Black Hills would be connected (partially) to Little Bennet. Connectivity will take time as negotiations with developers will take time.
- Patapsco: Nothing to report at this time.
- Rosaryville: Dave provided an update on Rosaryville meeting with MD- DNR. Previously, trail work and permission issues have been worked through the Rosaryville Conservation Trust. Issues discussed included rebuilding the inter loop, future stream restoration projects, and possibility of winter closings.
- Bacon Ridge: Nothing to report at this time.
- Northwest Branch: Open with Shaun Punga and Tom Newton as co-liaisons.
Vote: Motion to transfer $10K of unrestricted general funds into MORE’s Working Capita Grant Fund (Patuxent, Frederick Watershed, and Brunswick). Motion was seconded (Dwyer), vote taken, and motion passed unanimously.
Vote: Motion to move half of the net proceeds ($10K) from 2016 MoCo event in MORE’s unrestricted funds section to MORE’s MoCo Reinvestment Fund. Motion was seconded (Dwyer), vote taken, and motion passed unanimously.
2017 MoCo Epic Event funds transfer (Dave):
Board and Steve Dontigny should be considering how funds would be reinvested in 2017. Steve: Going forward, it’s good to understand the split between spent funds and remaining funds. One idea is to spread the funds around to trail networks in the region.
Winter Liaison meeting (Dave):
All Board members invited. There will be a pre-ride before the meeting. Meeting will take place from 1-4 in Silver Spring. Martin suggested folks from Quantico and Richmond bike clubs attend (they are confirmed).
Item #3: VA Advocacy Update (Jeff Niner)
General Update: Taking time to understand the current issues of all VA trail liaisons. Have met with many of the VA liaisons, but still many more to interact with. A survey email and welcome email has been sent to all VA trail liaisons. All liaisons want MORE’s support with trail workdays and assistance with tools.
- Lake Fairfax: A meeting for the VA Trail Liaisons (TL) is in the works sometime after the March TL meeting on March 26th. The VA TL Meeting date and time is TBD.
- BROT: On 16 August, there will be a trail survey of the BROT.
- GW Forest: Current liaisons are looking to pass the torch. Tom is looking for a replacement, as current team is ready to pass the work on. Approximately 350 miles of trails. Current liaisons are looking for someone to take over 11 miles of trails that are managed by the Forest Service.
Item #4: Financials (Aaron) *Covered at end of meeting
Looking to push for spring fundraising activities—push liaisons to get additional restricted donations to their specific parks.
Item #5: DC Advocacy Update (Steve Dontigny)
Ft. DuPont Park (FDP): MORE has been asked to lead a ride in the spring (April) for the Riverfest event. Current trail is largely a cinder-based trail. Rode different parts of the trail this past weekend to understand its current situation, to look at alternate routes, and to prepare FDP for the April Riverfest event. Request to meet w/new park superintendent has been made this week; Steve will deliver MORE’s proposal to care for the trail system in FDP. There is no true single track in FDP. There is an individual who has offered to serve as FDP trail liaison. A big job ahead for MORE to clean, build, manage, and promote the trails in FDP. We have funds in the form of the REI grant ($15K) that need to be put to this project.
Item #5: Donor Development (Steve Dontigny)
Sent out donor contact sheet to each board member this morning; intent is to have each Board member contact individuals on their list. Dave Magill: Do we have a stock presentation about MORE to distribute via email to each potential donor? Steve: Yes, we can update what we created in 2016. Specifically, the “Who is MORE” presentation and the case for support document, though this needs updating. Dave: Need to also update the 10,000 hours of volunteers in our social media so that potential donors can see this. Also, interacting w/our local Chambers of Commerce is an excellent way to reach local businesses and others who support us. Steve: a powerful argument to donors for funding MORE is that trails assist in keeping users healthy and active; this is a major issue in our current political conversation regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Action for Martin F.: MORE should have a “25 for 25” page on the website to show our metrics, our plan for 2017, and our supporters.
Item #6: 25th Anniversary Gala (Karen)
Ernie: Updated the Board on current status and past actions. Board authorized an initial $5K to fund the event.
Karen: Committee has explored many options and approaches to the July event. The committee is still reviewing all of its options for venues, prices, numbers of attendees, etc. Venues are expensive. Looking to accommodate approximately 100 people. Committee is looking at an event in downtown Washington, DC. Date is an issue. Target date is July 29th (Saturday evening). $5K would not cover the event at venues we’re looking at. The Loft is where we’re currently looking (downtown, near metro center); we would not have to look at outside caterer at The Loft. Committee is looking at heavy appetizers instead of a sit-down dinner. Looking at a six-hour rental. Karen and the committee will keep the Board informed and updated.
Item #7: Grant Discussion and DMV Outdoor Alliance (Jonah Meyers)
Grant Discussion: Jonah proposed to take the discussion off-line and catch up w/Dave Magill directly.
DMV Outdoor Alliance: Ernie, Steve, Dave, and Jonah rode w/Outdoor Alliance staff in December. Goal was to discuss possibility of uniting outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, climbers, kayakers, horse-back riders, trail runners, etc.) in the DC metro area to see if collaborating on common goals made sense, specifically, focusing on parklands, interfacing w/elected officials, multi-type sport epic events in the region, etc. Ernie: I did not envision MORE contributing funds, but instead, I thought MORE could be a member of the alliance. We don’t want MORE involved in PAC activities. Jonah: The Alliance gets involved in advocacy and lobbying. We could be affiliated, but not financially support. Greg: the concept is appealing and I would ask that additional details be provided to the Board so we can reach a conclusion regarding partnering with the Outdoor Alliance.
Item #8: Summer Festival (Carlos)
Date is June 10th. It will be a family friendly event. We have the venue reserved thanks to Russ Adams. It’s located on the west side of Clopper Lake, in Nuthatch Pavilion. Elaine Hess will be assisting. Action: Need to get this advertised on the website and FB page. Confirmed that we have an alcohol permit. Could we get a demo bike vendor for the summer festival?: Carlos is working this. Looking at Trek and Specialized to demo bikes. Propose we gather swag from vendors now. Dave Magill: there are two activities at Clopper Lake for the family: boat/kayak rides and a frisbee golf course. There is an entry fee to get into the park—we need to let MORE members know this. Do we still pay if we ride in? No. A potluck is a good way to go as the pavilions have electricity and grills. We could have a BBQ competition. Carlos: does our insurance need an additional rider? Ernie: We do not need an additional insurance rider for members and guests of members. Countdown is 89 days away!
Item #9: Women’s Clinic (Steve Dontigny)
Sunday May 7th is next women’s clinic at Lake Accotink. Looking at 100+ women to participate. Steve needs assistance w/rider check-in, registration, and other planning/implementation activities.
Item #10: Website update (Greg)
Greg is behind on his action from the January 2107 Board meeting. Intent is to work w/Martin Fernandez and Jason Ashmore to consider alternatives to the current website. Martin and Jason built the MORE website, Jason is the system administrator and Martin is the content manager. Some initial questions for consideration are: 1) Can we host it somewhere less expensive? 2) Can we edit what is on the website? Editing the website CONTENT is the key goal now. We have 10-15 people with admin rights and each person has their own vision on how/why/when the MORE website should be updated. Jason is excellent at controlling website cost and will continue serve as system administrator. Martin will work to help train administrative users to add content to our site. Action: Rob, Tom, and Carlos, et. al will work together to review the website and provide suggestions for improvements to Greg D. who will present the suggestions, options, and proposed priorities for improving the MORE website during a future Board meeting.
How could we use GIS tracks to map MORE territory via a MORE member? Martin has agreed to update the MORE “Where to Ride” section with heat and actual trail maps.
Item #11: Trailhead News (Tom)
Request has been sent out for Trailhead News content: 25th Gala, MORE Summer Festival, etc. Seeking help to pull content together for the spring Trailhead News.
Item #12: Track it Forward (Jonathon)
Plan is to continue using this system for liaisons and tracking volunteer hours. Until we have something better, we’ll continue w/Track-it-Forward.
Item #13: Membership (Ernie)
MORE is currently at 1,489 members. “Chapter 2.0” from IMBA is still a work in process. Ernie has had several discussions w/IMBA management and believes IMBA is listening.
Item #14: “Club Ride” (Ernie)
MORE 25th Anniversary T-shirts will be available on the “Club Ride’s” website w/some of the proceeds of the $30 T-shirt price going to MORE. “Tees for Trails” promotion on the website.
*The next MORE Board meeting with be April 10th at REI in Tysons Corner.
February Activity Reports
Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
- Participate in Trails Committee meeting
- Survey of trail liaison needs for 2017 planning
- Monthly membership reminders to members and individual emails to renewing or joining members.
- Various teleconferences with IMBA; David Wiens, Bruce Alt, Antony Duncan
- Teleconference with trails committee and local leaders – update on IMBA chapter 2.0
- Grant invitation meeting with REI
- Grant applications with North Face and Patagonia
- Teleconference with UNSELF tracking program – IMBA’s FREE replacement for Track-it-Forward
- Teleconference with Outdoor Alliance, Access Fund, Outdoor Climbers to join advocacy forces
- Meeting with Boaters Association for participation in kids fishing contest with Steve Dontigny
- Work on locations for 2017 monthly board meetings
- Anacostia River Festival Kick-Off Meeting
- Dupont Call with M. Drajem
- PHTA Board Meeting-LoCo Trails discussion
- IMBA All Staff calls
- REI Co-op Grant Invitee Reception
- Capital Trails Coalition Monthly Meeting
- Trails Committee Call
- WABA Greg Mullings Call-DC Parks and Rec Bike Park proposals
- 4 Mile Run Working Group meeting
- MoCo Epic Budgeting and Permitting
- Development Master list building
- Grant writing and submission
- Beth Porter, NPS Outdoor Recreation Planner, discussions and strategy
- Dupont/ARF trail recon and repairs
- Women’s Clinic planning and permitting
- Participated in Trails Committee meeting
- Sent Survey email out to Virginia MORE Trail Liaisons to determine trail liaison needs/priorities for 2017 planning
- Meeting with Wicked Wash Racing Team to encourage MORE membership/ volunteerism
- Teleconference with Trails Committee and local leaders – update on IMBA chapter 2.0 process.
- Ride/Meeting with GWNF Trail Liaisons to determine Lee District trail requirements
- Planning telecon with GWNF Trail Liaison
- Telecon with potential candidate for GNWF Trail Liaison replacement
- Discussion with Wakefield Trail Liaison (Tom Howe) re future skills park at Wakefield
- Reviewed 2017 RTP grant MOU’s, discussed with C. Alfano and D. Kalt, executed same on behalf of MORE
- Supported C. Alfano re NEPA review for the Brunswick Grant
- Organized meeting site and agenda for the Liaison’s meeting March 26
- Reviewed early draft 2017 MoCoEpic budget and plan with Steve D.
- Organized a Northwest Branch advocacy effort with five MORE members to support the newly opened trail
- Reviewed and supported MoCo Parks plans for an alternate trail connection from Black Hills to within two miles of Little Bennett
- Held informational call with expanded trails committee on changes at IMBA
- Held formal trails committee meeting – TC approved transferring $10k of the Grants Working Capital Fund to Patuxent for three permitting contracts
- Signed $10k of permitting contracts for the Patuxent project
- Helped resolve/document transfer of all remaining funds in the Patapsco Special Purpose Funds to Friends of PVSP.
- Attended/volunteered at Winter Party
- Fairland corridor clearing trail work day
- Teleconference with Outdoor Alliance, Access Fund, Outdoor Climbers to join advocacy forces
- Donations deposits and PayPal tracking
- Maryland RTP procedures call for Brunswick and Frederick 2017 grants
- Maryland RTP procurement for Patuxent 2015-6 grants
- Winter party
- MOCO epic books
- Closed old credit cards
- Opened money market account
- Worked on closing 2016 books
- 2017 bookkeeping
- Filed MD and VA documents
- Transition Meeting Attended Jan 2017
- Lead Rides (6) Regular, 1 weekend Ride
- Ad-hoc Puddle trail work at Wakefield
- Winter Party – Setup, Tear down, Clean-up
- Anniversary Party – Attended Calls, Reviews Materials, Searched for Locations
- 2x Executive Sessions with Ernie and Steve
- Outreach at Shops
- Team BikenetiCX Donation – $1500 Check (2017), + 2 Events in 2016 Raised near $800 Profits.
- Supported and attended the MORE Winter Meeting, posted meeting reminder on the MORE FB page.
- Circulated to the Board for review, updated, and posted to the website (thanks Martin!) MORE’s Club Rules document, incorporating the new MD and VA/DC Trails Advocacy positions.
- Met with owner of Shine Massage and Wellness of Riverdale, MD and received in-kind donation for future MORE event (Summer meeting recognition?).
- Attended/participated in Fairland trail work day and posted two updates (before and after) to the MORE FB page regarding the workday.
- Working on new system to track rides, ride leaders and sweeps in conjunction with posted rides on MORE calendar.
- Communication and support with Jo, Simona, Kathy and Anne for the MORE ladies Spring/Summer Event.
- Two trail workdays at Accotink clearing deadfall and closing rogue trails.
- Accotink stream clean up day. Removed garbage and debris.
- Posted Trail workdays, rides and events on Facebook page and MORE calendar.
- Winter Party / set-up
- Winter party
- Track it Forward data entry and close out for 2016
- Data entry and follow-ups for 2017 workdays
- Trails Committee call
- GWNF Ride with Ernie and Jeff
- Request for Trailhead Newsletter content
- Work with Ernie and Steve to understand CiviCRM
- Work with Ernie to help with monthly email reminders for renewals and thank you emails that are currently sent
- Complete any remaining transitioning from Jason Miller