WCEA Meeting Minutes- September 2021

WCEA meeting minutes 21 Sept. 2021

Present: Eric jones (scribe), Kyle Winslow, Bob Simpson, Brittany Foster, Jen Lobley, Lisa Seeley, Ed Latham

Welcome to Lisa to our meeting – visiting potential board member – we had a round of introductions

Approval of May meeting minutes – moved by Eric, seconded by Bob, unanimously approved

Approval of June annual meeting minutes – moved by Kyle, seconded by Bob, unanimously approved

Treasurer’s report:
Reporting since June
Compensation paid for Tara’s salary
Rent paid for the annual appropriation has been dispersed for this year
The University has given us funds to be used for technology, some of which has been used to upgrade Tara’s computer
Nothing out of the ordinary to report
Approval – motioned by Ed seconded by Eric, approved unanimously

Staff reports:
Brittany spent a lot of time at Greenland Point this summer, doing programming with students in person! She produced some educator kits, based on the programming she did there over the summer. She interacted with about 87 youth in her programs. She spent some time helping get youth prepared for returning to school (i.e. using fish dissections to demonstrate how scientists use information from otoliths to age fish).  There is a change of directorship at Greenland Point going on right now. Ron, who’s been directing that camp as well as the camp at Bryant Pond, is moving to a new position with IFW. He’s been very supportive of Brittany’s innovative ideas.

All summer programs were able to be held in person for the entire summer!

Bob asked Jen about the information presented in her report about the county fair in Pembroke, what is meant to be an “official” fair. Jen reports that there are requirements for a given gathering to be considered an “official” county fair.

Kyle asked about President Joan Ferrini-Mundy’s visit. Jenn reports it was a success.
She got to meet a lot of people and had a great time.

Budget update:
Jen and Kyle went to the county commissioner’s meeting and shared information on extension with them. The next county commissioner meeting is the one where budget requests will be heard.
Kyle will follow up with Tara to see that the video the extension staff made for the annual meeting is sent to the county commissioners prior to their next meeting.

EFNEP position update:
Rita recently left the position. Plans are afoot to hire a replacement focused on Washington county. That will happen in the future along with several other positions
that will be advertised when the pandemic has abated some.

Program highlight brainstorming:
What cooperative extension programs and other organizations would we like to invite to our meetings?

Ed mentioned the group “Downeast Roots” in Millbridge would be a good one to hear from. They’re involved with Incredible Edibles, Maine Seacoast Vegetables, Women’s Health, Healthy Acadia, Maine Outdoor Schools, etc. Our contact there would be Zabet NeuCollins (zabet@whrl.org)

Jen suggested splitting our opportunities to hear program highlights between extension programs and other organizations.

Brittany mentioned that Downeast Lakes Land Trust might be a good organization to invite.

Jen mentioned that Mano en Mano would be another good group to invite as well.

Ed mentioned the Gulf of Maine Research Group as well, especially for their interaction with education in our communities. Brittany has experience working with them as well.  Our contact there would be Molly Auclair (mauclair@gmri.org)

CCLC (Cobscook Community Learning Center) might be a good group to invite as well.

Lisa asked what, if any, groups we’re not interested in hearing from? The short answer  is that we are a non-discriminatory organization and that’s the only reason we may not be able to work with any given group.

What other groups do we want to hear from? Bring thoughts to the next meeting or share by email.

UMM Board of visitors:
Kyle is the new president of the BoV at UMM. They’ve been very involved with the regional campus taskforce work. UMM will hear from Emily Haddad this Thursday about the final report. The BoV will be inviting members of the working groups to their meetings, one of which is working group 7 that Jen and Hannah Carter served on. Jen reports that she’d be happy to do that.

Office space:
Jen presented that the county manager, Betsy Fitzgerald, contacted her this summer about potentially rearranging county office space, perhaps moving WCEA into the
Talbot office near the current office. There are COVID related funds that might be used to construct a space to house county offices. The details are still unclear. The ask is what would we like if we had the opportunity to construct a space?  
Jen mentioned that we are still looking into finding space on UMM campus. Dean Carter had heard from the auxiliary services supervisor, Dick Young, about the needs of WCEA space on UMM campus.
Please pass along ideas to Jen or bring them to the next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 7:44 pm.