Recent FOOT meeting held Monday, April 9th

posted Apr 6, 2012, 3:16 PM by Tom DeChant   [ updated Apr 10, 2012, 6:00 AM ]
Our regular bi-monthly FOOT meeting was held  Monday, April 9th at 6:30 PM at the Barriques on Park St.  Seven members were in attendance. Discussions addressed the following topics: 

1) Waterwalk - Andria presented information on the Lake Monona Water Walk that will take place July 8 through 10 of 2012.  She would like FOOT members to form a greeting committee for the walk group as it makes its way on July 10th from Frost Woods in Monona into Olin Turville Parks. The walking group, led by First Nations Ojibwe Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and William Waterway Marks, will continue to walk completely around Lake Monona in celebration of the Year of Water in Monona. FOOT members also agreed to organize a booth for the Water Walk-related community fair that will occur on Saturday, July 9th in Winnequah Park in Monona.

2) Earth Day Weekend Lake Shore Shrub Planting -  Russ Hefty from the Parks Division (not in attendance) had previously suggested organizing a shoreline shrub planting on Saturday, April 21st, the day before Earth Day (April 22nd). Ron Shutvet will get details from Russ as to time and place to meet, and we will then publicize this event through the FOOT and neighborhood listserves and FOOT mailing list.

3)  Olin Park May Concert Series - Jim Dexheimer of the Madison Police Dept. and Dan Kennelly of FOOT met with Laura Whitmore, Anne Whisner, and Russ Hefty from the Parks Division a few weeks ago to talk about organizing a concert line-up in May.  Jim has identified several performers, including The Barrymores and Whiskey Farm, who are interested in playing at the park. Firm plans are set for musical events on Thursday, May 17th and Wednesday, May 23rd, from 6-8 PM. Plans are being developed for the other Thursdays in May. FOOT is also planning a series of activities in the Turville Conservancy on Saturday mornings in May. These may include guided walks focusing on trees, birds, wild flowers, park history, and a children-oriented nature walk.  Once plans are confirmed for the concerts and nature events, a calendar will be published and disseminated through the FOOT listserve, local neighborhood listserves, and other media. Sign-up sheets will be available at each event to capture contact information on new potential FOOT members.

4) Updates on long term plans for the Parks and adjacent areas - Ron Shutvet updated the group on the activities of the Dane County Alliant Energy Center Task Force. This group was established by Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi, in January of 2012 to discuss ways to expand Alliant Energy Center facilities so they could continue to accommodate the World Dairy Expo. The Task Force is chaired by former Dane County Executive, Rick Phelps.

Ron attended the group's February and March meeting. He said that the committee will report out on how to meet its immediate goals by early summer, but may take up longer-term plans for the entire complex in the fall. He noted that Rick Phelps had encouraged the group in March to think broadly and without constraints about the long-term potential of the entire site, and that Steve Cover, Director of Madison's Dept. of Planning & Community & Economic Development, presented many visionary convention center ideas from other cities around the US and the world. The John Nolen Centennial project, chaired by Tim Metcalfe, was represented at the meeting, but no new information on that initiative was presented.

FOOT members felt that these major long-range planning initiatives, which directly affect Olin Turville and many of its adjacent public spaces, are proceeding without adequate neighborhood input. Multiple neighborhoods, like Bay Creek, Bram's Addition, and Capitol View Heights, are directly adjacent to Olin Turville or the Dane County Expo grounds. And FOOT, naturally, has a strong interest in the future of the O-T parks. It was agreed that FOOT would draft a letter to the County Executive and possibly other officials to express our concerns about lack of direct neighborhood involvement in these planning initiatives. We also will contact the affected neighborhood associations to encourage them to express similar concerns in writing, perhaps with the letters from all of these groups to be presented in concert at an appropriate time this summer, before the fall planning activities re-commence.  

5) Overall Organizational Strategy for FOOT - This item was briefly discussed, with emphasis on an immediate short-term leadership transition as Dan Kennelly takes on the joys (and chores) of fatherhood. Jim Winkle agreed to issue future agendas and notices for the regular bi-monthly FOOT meetings, the next of which is scheduled for Monday, June 11th. Tom DeChant agreed to continue writing up meeting summaries for the FOOT webpage. Other group members volunteered for various tasks related to the May events.  

Thanks to all of you who took the time to attend!