Meeting Minutes

Minutes of 14 April 2000 Advisory Committee meeting

Friday, 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Room 1014, Entomology & Nematology Building. Members present were Mark Clark, Don Dickson, Alison Fox, Don Graetz, Kaoru Kitajima, Susan Jacobson, Linda Jones, Doug Levey, Alan Long, Marilyn Roberts, Clay Scherer, and Tom Walker (ch.).

1. UF administration's support of NATL

Tom Walker reported that he has asked Interim Provost Colburn and Gerald Schaffer and Fred Cantrell, of Administrative Affairs, to review the management of NATL, to provide for most of the maintenance of NATL, and to formalize its funding. These requests were made to Schaffer and Cantrell during a 16 March tour of NATL and to Colburn in a 20 March letter. The Committee's January 2000 survey of NATL's academic uses served to document the importance of NATL to UF's academic programs.

2. Interface between NATL and UF's Cultural Complex

Tom Walker reported that Al Stanley, the landscape architect for PPD, was preparing a master plan for UF's Cultural Complex. In a meeting with Walker on 11 April, Stanley indicated that he wanted to include the public area of NATL in the plan. This means that facilities such as nature trails and SEEP boardwalks would become part of the plan. The plan is to be completed by mid May, and concepts rather than detailed plans are what are needed. Agreeing to help Stanley with particular aspects of the plan were Mark Clark (boardwalks), Susan Jacobson (nature trails), Marilyn Roberts (academic pavilion), Tom Walker (park at north end of SEEP and barrier to prevent vehicles from entering NATL from the rear parking area of the Center for the Performing Arts). Other Committee members were encouraged to share their ideas with these four.

3. Plans and priorities for NATL improvements

The Committee considered these possible improvements to NATL:

blue-light telephone. LVL has requested that Administrative Affairs fund it.

ephemeral pond in SW corner of plot D. Committee has approved it but it cannot be excavated until someone develops exact specifications.

park north of SEEP. Expected to be part of the Cultural Center master plan; may be funded from parking garage landscaping money.

fence along boundary with Center for the Performing Arts. Some provision for preventing vehicles from driving from the rear parking lot of the Center into successional Plots A and B is expected to be part of the Cultural Complex master plan; however, this part of the plan is unlikely to the implemented soon. The Committee voted unanimously to spend up to $1250 to build a four-board fence along the ca. 360 ft. of the north borders of Plots A and B, unless that aspect of the master plan is quickly funded from other sources. The £ $1250 would come from residual funds in the 34th Street berm project. The fence would be installed far enough to the south of the boundary to accommodate any landscaping that was part of the Cultural Center master plan.

nature trails. To be part of the Cultural Center master plan. Susan Jacobson agreed to be the point person in providing Stanley with information on nature trails. She will work with Marilyn Roberts and others who are interested to develop a conceptual plan for the trails.

SEEP boardwalks. To be part of the Cultural Center master plan. Mark Clark agreed to be the point person in providing Stanley with information on the boardwalks. He will work with others who are interested to develop a conceptual plan for the boardwalks.

academic pavilion. The Committee agreed that some sort of seating and shelter for classes visiting NATL was desirable and discussed a variety of ways to achieve it. Several ideas as to where such a facility should be located were advanced. Marilyn Roberts agreed to be the point person in developing a conceptual plan for an academic pavilion. She will work with others who are interested. If the Committee approves the conceptual plan, it will ask Stanley to include it in the Cultural Center master plan.

trail/fire-lane improvement at Regency Oaks. Tom Walker pointed out the need to raise the grade of the trail and fire lane along the south NATL fence at Regency Oaks Apartments. This would keep the fence from leaning or falling northward, prevent broken glass and other litter from earlier times coming to the surface, and reduce flooding after heavy rains. Mark Clark noted that this last effect needs evaluating in relation to wetlands rules. Action on this suggested improvement was postponed.

4. Progress reports on projects

SEEP. Mark Clark handed out an "Update on SEEP Long-term Research" and explained its contents. He has contacted faculty in six disciplines targeted for long-term research at SEEP and plans to have a meeting of the group to facilitate transfer of SEEP from short-term Wetlands Club activities to long-term faculty-facilitated activities. As an example of how this may work, he noted that activities in two wetland biogeochemistry courses (SOS 4242 and SOS 6448) may provide long-term data on SEEP water chemistry. Dr. K. R. Reddy, who teaches these courses, received a $3,000 minigrant from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for equipment that will monitor SEEP water levels and enable his classes to determine water chemistry.

Prescribed burns of upland pine. Alan Long recounted the history of prescribed burns in NATL and noted that the pineland in the high-use area was now largely open and would benefit from annual burning. He reported difficulties in burning the low-use pineland but said that a burn this spring was possible if a soaking rain was followed by favorable winds. Gainesville and County fire departments have helped with the burns. Alachua County Fire and Rescue furnishes their brush-fire control unit to help put out "smokers" after the burn. Lack of manpower for a burn has sometimes been a problem. Mark Clark, Marilyn Roberts, Clay Scherer and Tom Walker each said they would try to round up a few volunteers should they be needed.

Soils. Don Graetz reported that Mary Collins is close to completing a detailed soils map of NATL. Plans for permanent soil pits are currently on hold, but not abandoned.

Ardisia. Kaoru Kitajima reported on studies of Ardisia crenata in the H grid squares in NATL's hammock. Aided by Alison Fox, Melonni Dooley, and students, she has measured, mapped, and removed about 2000 plants. In the densest population (grid square H11), ca. 1200 plants were removed from a 16 x 16 m area.

Successional plots. Tom Walker reported that plot C would soon be ready to start. About 1,000 cu yd of soil from UF's Dorms 2000 site has been brought in to replace clay that was excavated from the eastern two-thirds of the plot to finish the 34th Street berm. An IFAS bulldozer was used to spread the new soil and to remove stumps--not only in Plot C, but also from some of the fire lanes on the western edges of the pineland.

5. Signs for NATL

IFAS Facilities Operations has agreed to pay for signs for the following purposes:

8 signs to identify the successional plots

3 signs to warn the public that they are not to go into the low-use area

21 signs to warn everyone that they are not to climb the fence to get into the low-use area

2 signs to state that only authorized vehicles are to enter NATL.

Proposed wording, prepared by Susan Jacobson and Tom Walker, was approved except that an anti-littering directive was suggested for the 21 perimeter signs.

6. Proposed shift of boundary between Plots D and E

The Committee gave unanimous preliminary approval to a proposal that the boundary between successional plots D and E be shifted west to the H gridline. As required by Committee procedures, the proposed change was earlier submitted in writing (by e-mail, 10 Apr 00). The change will not take effect unless final approval is given at the Committee's next meeting.

7. Pre-NATL history

Tom Walker handed out an account of the recent history of the land that is now NATL. The account was based on a tape recording made during an interview of George Freeman (retired Director of IFAS Facilities Operations) and Garry Lockerman (an employee of Facilities Operations since 1970). During the interview, they were prompted with aerial photographs made in 1949, 1956, 1961, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1979, and 1990.

8. Report on audit of NATL expenditures

Don Dickson and Kaoru Kitajima, as the auditing committee, reported that all expenditures in the 11 Apr 2000 NATL fiscal report had been documented. Since the previous report (26 Mar 1999), expenditures were $933.35. The only income was from residual funds in the SEEP and berm projects, but those transfers resulted in a $2,418.84 balance in NATL's account. A charge of ca. $198 for lumber for the SEEP minimal boardwalk had not been received in time to include in the report.

9. Membership for 2000-2001 school year

Linda Jones, from the College of Education, was welcomed as a new member. No current member of the Natural Area Advisory Committee wishes to resign. Because Plant Pathology uses NATL for eight courses yet has no member, the Committee agreed that the Chair of Plant Pathology should be asked to nominate for NAAC membership one of the three Plant Pathology faculty members who use NATL in their teaching.

10. Election of Chair for 2000-2001 school year.

Susan Jacobson and Mark Clark, as the nominating committee, nominated Don Dickson for the next Chair of NATL. There being no nominations for the floor, Don was elected Chair by acclamation.

Minutes of 30 November 2000 Natural Area Advisory Committee meeting

Thursday, 3:00 to 4:30 pm, starting and ending at the NATL kiosk. Members present were Don Dickson (ch.), Alison Fox, Don Graetz, Kaoru Kitajima, Susan Jacobson, Linda Jones, Alan Long, Deb DiPietro (FlMNH), Marilyn Roberts, Clay Scherer, Carol Stiles, and Tom Walker.

1. Proposed shift of boundary between Plots D and E

The Committee gave unanimous final approval to a proposal that the boundary between successional plots D and E be shifted west to the H gridline.

2. Walking tour of NATL

Tom Walker led a walking tour that proceeded south on East Trail to Gasline Trail, then down the H gridline to South Trail, then eastward to NATL sinkhole. Reversing directions the group followed South Trail to 34th Street Trail and took it to Division Trail. The group went eastward on Division Trail and turned north at the fire lane on the E gridline. Reaching Main Trail, it turned east and ended its stroll just south of the kiosk.

Marilyn Roberts and Deb DiPietro pointed out a simulated dinosaur nest that had been used as an end point in an educational game devised and played in connection with a dinosaur exhibit at Powell Hall.

Along gridline H, Kaoru Kitajima reported on a project that she and Alison Fox headed to study and eliminate the Ardisia crenata in a 100 ´ 300 m heavily infested plot. During the project, with the help of students, they measured, mapped, and dug up ca. 7000 individuals. They established that most young plants were in the immediate vicinity of their probable mothers. Because the seeds germinate in less than a year, digging up all plants two years in succession should extirpate an infestation.

At appropriate places during the tour, Alan Long described problems and progress with restoring NATL's upland pine. He hopes to burn all portions of it during December. In January he may be able to have forestry students plant longleaf pine seedlings in portions of the upland pine area north of Division Trail.

Other items and issues noted during the tour included

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.