Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

September 8, 1999

John Stapko, Ann Marie Cunningham, Peggy Thomson, Johnna Robinson, Maxine Hattery, Betty Burchell, Trip Reid, George and Marchia Loeb, George and Renee Dunham, John Matthews, Tryon Wells, Nancy and Ralph Bower, Jane and David Winer, Gerald Barton

President Tryon Wells called the meeting to order at 7:45PM.

The Islander:
Correction to large party announcement: Betty Burchell's party date is October 9, not September 29.

Caretaker's Report:
Doc plans to reseed the grass. The light illuminating the trail to the Parkway went out in one of the thunder storms and will be repaired. Kudzu, poison ivy, and nettle on the Island are controlled by spraying. Kudzu is also growing on Ruppert's Island, which is designated a natural area by Club consensus. However, Kudzu is an exotic plant. Doc has investigated and is of the opinion that spraying is the only effective way of control as it kills the roots.

Old Business:
The canoe competency proposal published by George Loeb in the August Islander was discussed at length. Three separate but related issues seemed to arise out of the discussion: water safety, reviving the sense of a canoe culture in the club, and the management of canoe use during large parties. George Loeb's proposal will be modified to address these issues and will again be published in the Islander. A committee of David Winer, George Loeb, Blair Bower and Ann-Marie Cunningham will propose a set of rules for the use of club canoes which will be offered to the Island membership for voting.

Club Member Dies:
A member reported receiving notice that long-time member Hiorace Custis has died and willed $500 to the Club. The Custis family have been members "from the beginning."

Water Levels at Sycamore:
Gerald Barton, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, passed around some interesting printouts from the NOAA Website -- graphs and charts of weather information and water levels over the years. Tryon Wells observed from one graph that the river had been higher longer in the past 4 or so years than at any other time this century, the summer drought notwithstanding. The link to this Website if available from the Sycamore Island Website.

Another Bell:
An additional bell is to be acquired. It will be positioned to ring on the Virginia side of the Island so that it can be heard near the swimming floats.

Books in the clubhouse:
Maps and books donated to the Club are available in the Clubhouse. Doc reported that families occasionally come to spend a rainy day in the Clubhouse. These materials may be a pleasant rainy (and sunny) day resource.

Who's a Star?
Doc reported that the Discovery Channel filmed a scene on the Island in which John Matthews appeared as a French trapper.

Workfest Date Set:
The date for the fall workfest was set for Saturday, October 20. The raindate is the following day.

Jane Winer officially thanked Marcia and George Loeb for doing the Regatta again this year, making it the fourth consecutive year for this event. Over 60 people participated, including an abundance of youngsters. Marcia announced that prizes not picked up for the games will be distributed at the workfest.

New Trees:
A motion was made and unanimously passed to give Trip Reid authority to purchase and plant five trees on the Island. We will protect volunteer tree growth as well as the new ones.

There is concern about large-scale construction on the Virginia shore, just downstream from the Island. This will be investigated.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm. For those who stayed, Renee Dunham showed slides of a guided canoe trip in the Northwoods of Maine.

Next Meeting:
The October meeting will be on the 13th on the Island.

Renee Dunham, Recording Secretary