2017 Year End Committee Reports

The end-of-year committee chair reports for 2017 are presented below in alphabetical order. You can review a list of all Chapter committees, their current chairperson and associated contact information (email address) at Committees.

Adopt-A-Road Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Danny Stephens, Chair

“Twice a year I pick up and return the trash pickup supplies [to the City of Suffolk Litter Control Coordinator] and log in the people that assist with the cleanup of Kings Fork Road,” says Danny. Last year, on March 15th of 2017, 20 Chapter volunteers collected 23 bags of trash alongside the 1 mile stretch that we’ve adopted on Kings Fork Road between where it intersects Providence Rd all the way to Rt 460.  On August 15th, 11 Chapter volunteers showed up to help to pull trash from these same ditches.  Our goal in 2018 is to encourage more of our Chapter Ikes to volunteer to come out and help pick up trash from our adopted stretch of roadside ditches in support of our Chapter.  We have scheduled two ditch cleanups both starting at 5:30PM, one for March 23, 2018, and the other for August 15, 2018. We are considering the feasibility of adopting an additional stretch of road between Kings Fork Road and Rt 460 along the Providence Road ditches, to add to the existing 1 mile stretch that we’ve already adopted, in expectation that additional members will participate.

Archery Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Rob Carpenter, Chair

This past year was my first full year as the Archery Chair at IWLA. We had a great year! The archery range was fully updated to make it safer for our Ike’s. We held several archery classes throughout the year and our first archery competition. We were also able to hold our first IBEP (International Bow hunting Education Program) at the range. This program is sponsored by the VDGIF and is a required class to bow hunt in several states and Canada and may be required soon in Virginia (one county already requires it)!

We also placed a CONEX box to hold all of the archery materials close to the range. We plan on updating the inside of the CONEX box with some benches to provide maintenance and some places to store all of the archery tackle inside.

My goals for next year is to get more interest in the archery range by holding some more classes and to hold 1 or 2 more archery competitions. The members that attended these classes and the competition this past year had a great time and learned how to properly shoot a bow and arrow! Watch the calendar and monthly newsletters for future dates.

We will also continue to teach the IBEP class at the park. Our plans are to have at least 6 (six) 8-hour classes, which includes a morning of lectures on archery tackle, correct shot placement, tracking skills, and conservation and preservation. We follow this up in the afternoon with the correct way to be safe in tree stands by actually installing a couple of tree stands at the range, place a simulated blood trail in the woods and have the students follow this trail and a few other simulated field exercises.  At the end, if the students want to shoot some arrows on the range we allow that, too!

It is a great sport to learn and have fun! Archery is not just for hunting! There are several different shooting competitions around the area. Learn and practice archery, who knows, maybe we can see some of our young Ikes competing in the Olympics some day! Hope to see more come out and learn this sport!

May you keep your bows tuned and your arrows flying straight!!

Audit (Internal) Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Ruth Debrito, Chair/Secretary

The management of money for any organization is important, and verifying the expenses and income a necessary part. Anyone auditing should be unable to spend or sign for the monies to be spent.  Having some experience with auditing books, and tracking monies, It has been my task to verify and review the expenditures, receipts, and income for the club.  The integrity of the Treasurer should be without question, however this is important as verification of that honesty and competence.

Awards Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Tim Doxey, Chair

Chris Ferguson received the chapter’s Tobin award. Tim Doxey received a National Save Our Streams Award. The Chapter received the First Place IWLA State Chapter Efficiency award. This is the fourth year we have received an efficiency award. The chapter also received an award for membership growth. We will continue to solicit nominations for awards.

Banquet Coordinator 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Wanda Gerard, Chair

Banquet – The decision to change venues for our annual banquet was a positive one! The folks at the YMCA Camp Arrowhead were great to work with, and the atmosphere for the banquet was awesome. This is a great opportunity for members to bring their spouses since Wanda tries to make the event special for all of the ladies attending by presenting them with some sort of hand crafted item she has found time to make. Each lady attending also receives some sort of a door prize ranging from fall flowers (that also double as centerpieces) or any other sort of trinket she makes or discovers while treasure shopping all year. This committee could use some extra helping hands if you’d like to help out.

Annual catered dinner meeting:
Turkey, ham, dressing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberry jello salad, rolls, desserts and beverages
Awards presented
This used to be called “ladies night” – name has changed, but it’s still a special night for the ladies
Great time to relax and enjoy other members company
Scholarship ticket money due — winning tickets drawn

Budget Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Jim Trommmatter, Chair/Treasurer

Budgets are categorized as either zero-based or incremental.  Zero-based is a method in which all expenses must be justified for each new period taking into account top-level strategic goals tied to specific functional areas of the organization.  Incremental budgeting, on the other hand, is a budgeting method where the upcoming year’s budget is prepared by making changes relative to the past year’s budget. The proposed budget for 2018, for review/approval at the January 2018 Chapter board meeting, is based primarily on an incremental budgeting approach, but also takes into account the recent Long Range Planning Committee meeting report/proposal for 2018.


Conservation Issues Committee 2017 Year End Report

Draft Submitted on behalf of Mike Lane (Chair) and Gary Brown

2017 Accomplishments/Activities:

1st quarter:
– briefed the Chapter’s Board of Directors (BOD) on the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge Boardwalk Project;
– briefed the BOD and sent a letter to Congressmen on conservation issue AVCRP (America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation);
– prepared a Forestry Land Use Document for our Chapter park, had it notarized and submitted to the City of Suffolk.

3rd quarter:
– attended Suffolk Regional Strategic Plan Public Access meetings in the HRPDC boardroom and briefed the BOD;
– reviewed the VDOT Bowers Hill connector study and briefed the BOD.

4th quarter 2017:
– attended and briefed the BOD on Coastal Cleanup Kayak event;
– briefed the BOD on completion status of the Great Dismal Swamp boardwalk completion;
– submitted a proposal to the BOD which was approved for adding a new stretch of road (from Kings Fork/Providence intersection to Rt 460) for our adopt-a-road cleanups

Cooking Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Bob Barnhill, Chair
All cooking supplies are non-perishable food stuffs are stored offsite and so it is my responsibility to transfer these items in preparation for each of 9 monthly scheduled Chapter dinner meals that I cook for our members and guests (May, November, and December are excluded). To keep costs under control I start shopping around about a or so week ahead for bargains and plan the menu accordingly and then relay this information to the Chapter Newsletter editor. In addition, I am responsible to cook-out on the grill (hotdogs, hamburgers, etc. with trimmings) at the Chapter park for several planned activities throughout the year, including the annual teddy bear hunt, two (2) park maintenance work days, member shooting competitions, and the annual park picnic for all members in May in lieu of a dinner meeting.

Additional volunteer help is always needed/appreciated in the kitchen/at the Chapter park for meal preparation, cooking, serving, and cleanup.

Park Reservations Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Bob Barnhill, Chair

As Park Reservations Chair, it is my responsibility to review and approve all Chapter park reservation requests submitted by our Chapter members. Member requests can be submitted either by phone call, or by email but they cannot be submitted more than 90 days prior to the scheduled day of the event. I relay each approved request to the Chapter webmaster who in turn posts them on our Chapter website calendar at http://www.sniwla.org/sniwla/calendar. All members should be considerate and check this website calendar before contacting me to schedule a reservation. I also handle all park reservation requests for the scout troops who routinely camp out at our Chapter park. Park rules dictate that there needs to be 1 Chapter member for every 25 guests at the park. All members and guests must sign-in and out at the chapter mailbox logbook at the front gate whenever using our park. This information is needed to track and report park usage upline to IWLA National on an annual basis.


Elections Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Wanda Gerard, Chair

Once a year we elect members who have said they would support our chapter beyond being a member. Serving in this capacity are four officers (president, vice president, secretary and treasurer) and nine board of directors (that serve a three year term) – of which three new directors are voted in as three are finishing their term. Several members also serve as a committee chair for a project or event in the chapter, but many who serve on the board also serve as a committee chair. Please consider stepping up to chair a committee or to serve on the board when asked. Our chapter can do more if more of you get involved.

Recruit members to serve as Officers or as Board of Directors
Present slate for voting at June meeting
Gather bio to read before voting at July meeting
Prepare ballot if there are more than one nominee per position
Recruit a helper to assist with the election

Environmental Education Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Ruth Debrito, Chair/Secretary

One of the important goals of this organization is to renew our relationship with nature.  Many people are encapsulated in man-made environs and are not aware of the world outside their environs.  The education side tries to present the outside world with facts, fun exercises, and information that is interesting to the audience.   Initially, the topics are based on the native plants and animals of the club and park area.

Facilities Cleanup Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Ray Powell, President

Currently we do not have any members signed up for the Facilities Cleanup committee.  We are looking for a member volunteer to be the chair, and other members volunteers to assist on this committee.  Ideally we are looking for a rotating pool of say 6 to 8 member volunteers, to be scheduled by the chairperson of this committee, assigning at least two persons from the pool for each monthly meal to help in the kitchen with washing dishes, packing up togo plates, sweeping/mopping the floors, etc.  We are looking for this committee to help our Pancake Supper chair fill her cleanup duty rosters for the annual pancake supper fundraiser dinner.  Also, we could use some help at each of our scheduled Chapter park activites throughout the year where we usually grill something for our members/volunteers, such as for helping to pack-out trash, brush/clean/stow the grills and LP tanks back in the conex, etc.

Long Range Planning Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Darden Langston, Chair/VP

As specified in our Chapter’s By-Laws, our goals are to:

• Educate ourselves and others
• Recruit, train, and keep engaged active volunteers who interface with local environmental and conservation groups
• Allocate resources to support local environmental and conservation projects
• Establish supported positions for local issues
• Create an engaging youth program

The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) Team for 2017 consisting of Darden Langston (Chair), Jim Trommatter, Mike Lane, Ray Powell, Tim Doxey, and Dean Matty, met on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017.  Darden will present the resulting 2018 LRPC Proposal to the Chapter’s Board of Directors at the December board meeting for review/approval.  This proposal provides recommendations for 2018 objectives that are in alignment with Chapter goals, broken out into 3 categories: (long range {5 year}, medium range {3 year}, and short range {1-2 year}).

Media Outreach Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Tim Doxey, Chair

The chapter continued to increase the number and type of articles and events that were published in local newspapers. Newspaper coverage of our events included articles on the Teddy Bear Hunt, the river cleanups, scholarship award presentation as well as an opinion piece in Suffolk New Herald on the Teddy Bear Hunt. We plan to continue raising pubic awareness of our chapter through local media articles and also hope to have an article published in Outdoor America next year on our Teddy Bear Hunts.

Membership 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Wanda Gerard, Chair/VP

Interest in our chapter continues to grow, but with the ever growing lack of volunteer support by our members, we’ve decided to be even more selective on who we allow to join. Prospective members can no longer get credit for attending one meeting by helping with park clean up, or the many other volunteer activities we offer. Sponsors must in fact, ‘sponsor’ someone, rather than just sign a form. And finally – members must step up to the plate and help volunteer — a few exceptions apply for those who are unable to.

Membership Dues Recipient
Collect dues throughout the year for new members
Distribute and collect annual dues
Coordinate with national for all items regarding membership
Order supplies as needed
Create and hand out membership packets to new members when they are sworn in
Provide membership applications to prospective members
Coordinate with all or prospective members via email as necessary
Provide a membership roster for monthly meetings, scholarship raffle, pancake supper fundraiser and other committees if needed
Help is needed to help track volunteer efforts of our members

Newsletter Editor Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Ray Powell, Chair/President

Accomplishments for 2017: We published 12 monthly issues of the Blue Heron Times Chapter newsletter in 2017. Goals for 2018: Automate the process of resolution adjustment of photos to be uploaded to minimize storage requirements. Also, we will be looking for additional committee members and soliciting ideas for next year. The ongoing reponsibilities of the newsletter editor include collating incoming news articles and photos on a monthly basis, formatting all this content with proper pagination and export into both PDF formats for hardcopy distibution and HTML format inside Mailchimp for electronic email distribution. Also the newsletter editor maintains a newsletter email distribution list inside of Mailchimp and collaborates with the Membership Chair regarding membership list additions, deletions, changes, and bounced emails, and also includes prospective members in the distribution list. The newsletter editor also has the responsibility to send out emergent eblast emails to the membership on an as-need-basis several times throughout the year. In addition to posting articles/photos concerning our Chapter’s activities in the newsletter, we include information about meeting dates, times, and locations, local community events and conservation issues, articles submitted by our Chapter committee chairs, as well as references to IWLA National articles of interest.   We routinely link our newsletter summaries to in-depth news articles posted on our Chatper website, thereby driving more traffic there.  The newsletter editor also wears the webmaster hat for the chapter website.

Outdoor Ethics Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Tim Doxey, Chair

We placed several articles in the newsletter. We also contributed to a newspaper article in the Suffolk News Herald titled “Hunting Decline Affects Refuge”. We will be looking for additional committee members and soliciting ideas for next year.

Pancake Supper Fundraiser Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Rita Carpenter, Chair

This was my first year serving as Pancake Supper Fundraiser Chair and I am happy to report it was a success. An enormous amount of work goes on behind the scenes in organizing this fundraiser and a great deal of volunteers to make the Pancake Supper the big hit it has become every year. Without the commitment of the volunteers we would not be able to run this event and make it successful. Our goal for next year is to recruit other Chapter IWLA Members to volunteer and be a part of this exciting event.

The work roster requirements for the pancake supper span a 3 day interval (prior day setup, day of event, and day after).  Rita is responsible for signing members up to fill all work rosters and she coordinates/schedules/delegates tasks as required, broken out into 10 (ten) roster categories: Drive-Thru (4), Room Setup (6), Parking (4), Setup & Move Equipment (6), Beverages (3), Sign-in table (3), Table Servers (20), Early Cooks (6), Kitchen (8), Take-down & Cleanup (5). Sign-up sheets are passed around at the October dinner meeting for those members who want to volunteer for this, our most important Capter fundraiser.

Park Maintenance Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Jimmy Fanny, Chair

As part of our park maintenance we come to gather two times a year as a group and clean and perform maintenance on our park once in the spring and once in the fall. We need every one to help with this. The park belongs to us all so well all have a stake in maintaining it. This past year we had low turn out at the clean up days compared to the number of members we have. We also have to perform weekly grass cutting during the summer and could used more volunteers. Keeping the park clean and updated is a goal we should all have. For those who volunteered and helped we would like to thank you. Many thanks also to the Boy Scouts who performed projects in our park in the past year we have a walking trail with tree markers, a new bridge connecting our pond area to the back trails and a improved shooting rage area. So come out and do your part this coming year.

Raffle Fund Raisings Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Joyce Dugan, Chair
The fund raiser is a raffle that goes towards supporting the funds for awarding scholarships to various local  students planning on attending college pursuing a degree in an environmental field.  Raffle tickets are sold for $5.oo each by members and include 4 or 5 prizes that are awarded by a raffle drawing at the end of the selling period. Letters are sent to various companies soliciting items as prizes in the annual raffle to help defray the cost of purchasing prizes for the raffle.

Scholarships Committee 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by David Perdue, Chair

The Scholarship Committee is comprised of 4 members. We begin to get the word out to the schools in February of each year and begin accepting applications 1 February. The cutoff for applications is 1 April. Contact is also made with local media to publish our scholarship in the papers. Final results of the ranking of candidates is presented to the Chapter Board of Director (BOD) in May of each year. Our minimum number and amount of scholarships is established as 1 (One) scholarship of $500 each year. Each year, the BOD determines how many scholarships and what their amount will be. It is decided on in the January BOD meeting as part of the annual budget. Typically, this is based on the fundraising results for the scholarship program during the previous years. In the past, applications have been submitted online, and through the mail. We have received applications from students from many local areas represented by the membership of the S-N IWLA chapter.

2017 Stats: Applicants: 9, Qualified applicants: 9, Number of scholarships awarded: 2, Amount of Scholarships: $1500 each.

2016 Stats: Applicants: 8, Qualified applicants: 7, Number of scholarships awarded: 2, Amount of Scholarships: $1500 each.

2015 Stats: Applicants: 7, Qualified applicants: 6, Number of scholarships awarded: 2, Amount of Scholarships: $1500 each.

Shooting Sports Coordinator 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Chris Ferguson, Chair

On March 25th the second .22 rimfire rifle shoot was enjoyed by participants and spectators alike. Also, the 25-yard berm received much needed repairs during the October park work day utilizing sandbags. Unfortunately, due to competing member interests the fall shoot was cancelled. It is hoped that many can enjoy some friendly competition next year. Everyone is reminded to police your brass, pack out any trash and that shooting objects off the tops of the target holder rails, while it looks cool in the westerns, can damage the target holders.

SOS & Clean Water Liaison 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Tim Doxey, Chair

We held a Nansemond River cleanup event that resulted in the removal of approximately 125 bags of trash, 50 tires and a significant amount of other debris. We partnered with the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance and the Kings Fork High School for this cleanup. Together we had 50 volunteers participate in the event. Our chapter has an adopt-a-steam sign posted at the Suffolk Marina to identify that we adopted that section of the Nansemond River. Although that program no longer is supported by the state we will continue to maintain this section of the river. Our chapter worked with the city and participated in the Clean The Bay Day in support of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. We will plan to host a Nansemond River cleanup next year on our section of the river and participate on Clean the Bay Day and again later in the year with the City of Suffolk for an inter-coastal cleanup event.

Speaker Engagement Coordinator 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Dean Matty, Chair

The Speaker Engagement Coordinator arranges for speakers at the SNIWLA monthly meetings. We had 9 speakers at 8 meetings in 2017. The topics covered were bees in the US, Nansemond River Preservation Alliance, Pollution in our oceans and waterways, Dominion Green Power, Scholarship award winners, VDGIF pond management, VDGIF volunteer opportunities, Dismal Swamp water runoff management and plant diseases and their prevention.

I plan on having speakers at each meeting and am always looking for topics that you want to hear about so please email me or talk to me at meetings about suggested topics.

Webmaster 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Ray Powell, Chair/President

In 2017 we posted 51 news articles on our Chapter website while maintaining 100% uptime on our hosted platform thanks in part to applying frequent software updates to wordpress and its plug-ins.   Our goal for 2018 is to increase the Chapter’s dropbox storage to alleviate running out of storage space and thereby continue to use dropbox to collate photos taken at chapter events to be incorporated in the website, and to automate the process of resolution adjustment of these photos.  Also, we will be looking for additional committee members and soliciting ideas for next year.

The Webmaster (Ray Powell) and the Media Chair (Tim Doxey) collaborate in drafting/posting news articles and in taking/uploading photographs at various community and Chapter events.  Since the Webmaster is also wearing the newsletter editor hat, this arrangement works very well since we strive to link news article posted on our website into the monthly newsletter issues to drive web traffic there.  The bulk of photo taking/collating and the writing of articles is done by the Media Chair, whereas the webmaster’s primary duties are to keep the website running smoothly. Some background, the Chapter website at domain sniwla.org is hosted on a Linux platform using a responsive (self-adjusting layout) WordPress template called “Mantra”.  There is some behind-the-scenes maintenance required for customizing website menus and quicklinks, monitoring daily backups, and in applying software updates to bolster good security and improve performance.

The webmaster has the responsibility for annual domain and site hosting renewals for the website, creating and modifying both dynamic and static pages that constitute the chapter website, uploading newsletter PDFS to the website newsletter archive, monitoring scheduled backups, applying updates to WordPress and its plug-ins on a frequent basis, and troubleshooting any errors that occur. Also, the newsletter editor has the responsibility to maintain the Chapters’s online dropbox repository where board members collaborate to maintain meeting minutes, committee records, treasurer reports, audits, etc. Periodically the newsletter editor has to reconfigure dropbox permissions for selected board members, and to assist in recovering from dropbox backups any files that may have been removed by mistake. Our Chapter secretary is in the process of scanning all old hardcopy records pulled from manilla file folders of previous Chapter secretaries from previous years to include into our centralized dropbox repository.

Youth Coordinator 2017 Year End Report

Submitted by Rob Carpenter, Chair

I was appointed the new Youth Coordinator in October of 2017.  In 2017 we held our annual Teddy Bear hunt at our park.  Also we had scheduled a Youth fishing Rodeo, but due to inclement weather it had to be cancelled for the year.

My goals for 2018 are to continue the great work Ricky has done in the past years as Youth Coordinator. In this upcoming year we are planning some great opportunities for our chapter youth and possibly getting the public youth involved, in not only the Annual Teddy Bear Hunt, but other youth opportunities as well. I am planning on providing a couple of Fishing Rodeos and archery shoots or competitions. Even though it is in the extreme planning stages, would like to try to get some of our youth in the local schools involved in conservation, preservation and wildlife of our park and community. I look forward to a great year ahead!


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