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Successful First Annual Meeting Held Sunday 1/31/2010

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Just over 50 people attended the First Annual Meeting of the Buckingham Pond Conservancy on Sunday, January 31, 2010. It was a great meeting full of enthusiasm and ideas! If you missed the meeting, here are the highlights:

  • We reviewed our accomplishments todate. From organizing cleanups, to developing relationships with City departments, to facilitating improvements to the park, we should all be very proud of the accomplishments of the Steering Committee over the past year. You can find a full list here: 2010-1-31-accomplishments2009
  • We passed the Conservancy's first bylaws, available here: bpcbylawsasadopted1-31-2010
  • We elected a slate of officers and directors. Read more about this group here: Proposed Slate
  • We met in small groups to discuss next steps for each of the Conservancy's working groups on:
    1. Membership & Outreach
    2. Water Quality & Pond Ecology
    3. Public Safety & Public Spaces and
    4. History and Research.

    Ideas developed in these groups are available here:
    meeting-notes-1-31-2010

These four groups will be meeting on an ongoing basis to continue the Conservancy's efforts to polish this jewel we call Buckingham Pond. If you are interested in participating in any of these groups, please reach out to albanybpc@gmail.com so we can get you connected. We need people who are willing to do just one small task every now and then as well as people who can make a more significant time commitment, so please let us know what you can do to help.

Pond Pictures on All Over Albany

The Annual Meeting on Sunday was terrific - more than 50 neighbors turned out and we generated a lot of ideas for 2010.

I'll be posting the meeting notes shortly, but thought everyone would like to see that photos of our own pond were featured on All Over Albany.

Here's the link: http://alloveralbany.com/archive/2010/02/01/tiny-frozen-bubbles.

Proposed Slate Announced

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The volunteer Steering Committee of the Buckingham Pond Conservancy appointed Mark Yolles and Sylvia Pirani as the nominating committee to identify a slate of officers to propose for election at the first annual meeting to be held Sunday 1/31 at 2:00 PM at the Bethany Reformed Church. Please read more about the meeting below or here and join us on Sunday.

The nominating committee has presented the following slate:

President: Anne Savage
Anne is one of the founding members of the Buckingham Pond Conservancy. She lives just two blocks from the pond on Lenox Avenue and can often be found at the pond skiing, skating, walking or at the playground with her daughter. Anne brings her skills as a meeting facilitator, community planner and web developer to her work at the Conservancy.

Vice President: Harry Ermides
Harry is very interested in all aspects of “pond” life as he has lived on Berkshire Blvd, watching its evolution from directly in front of the pond for 35 years. He is currently retired and a member of the BPC Steering Committee, board of directors of St. Sophia Church (Whitehall Rd), and President of Graceland Cemetery Board of Directors, having served since 2001.

Secretary: Mark Bechard
Mark resides at 63 Lenox Avenue. He has been a resident of the neighborhood since 1999. Previously he lived on Milner Avenue at Buckingham Drive for 10 years. Mark has been an Albany resident since 1978 and has been active in the Conservancy for the past year.

Treasurer: Paula Martinez
Paula has lived in the Buckingham Pond area for the past 10 years with her husband Dave, her cat Katmandu and her dog Molly. She has served as a BPC Steering Committee member for the past year.

At Large Members:

Eileen Gerrish: Eileen has lived on Berkshire Blvd. for four years. She is active with pond cleanups and a member of the BPC Steering Committee. Eileen is a member of the Albany Kiwanis Club and the state director of the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association.

Felton McLaughlin: Felton lives next to the pond on Lenox Avenue. He is a commercial realtor with NAI Platform, Director of the Albany Business Roundtable, and a Board Member of the St. Catherine of Siena School. Since turtles lay their eggs in his front lawn every spring, Felton and his family have a particular interest in preserving the pond and its wildlife.

Marsha Nadell Penrose: Marsha is a native of Albany and grew up in the Raft's Pond/Buckingham Lake neighborhood. She is a founding member of the Buckingham Lake/Crestwood Neighborhood Association and has been on the steering committee of the Buckingham Pond Conservancy since its inception. She is the Executive Director of The Next Step, Inc. a long term intensive residential treatment program for chemically dependent women and a breeder of champion Norfolk Terriers.

First Annual Meeting Set for Sunday 1/31

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Please join the Buckingham Pond Conservancy Steering Committee for the First Annual Meeting of the Conservancy on Sunday 1/31/2010 at 2:00 PM at the Bethany Reformed Church on New Scotland Avenue at Lenox Avenue. The Buckingham Pond Conservancy is a non-partisan group, founded in January 2009, devoted to protecting, preserving, and enhancing Buckingham Pond and its surrounding green space. At the meeting, the Steering Committee will provide an update on the Conservancy’s activities and ask for your help in setting priorities for next year including adopting bylaws and electing a board of directors. If you would like to become a charter member of the Conservancy, please bring your $5 annual membership dues with you to the meeting. Everyone is welcome at the meeting, but only members will be eligible to vote. The bylaws are available for review here: bpcbylawsdraftfor1-31-2010, and at the circulation desk of the Pine Hills Branch of the Albany Public Library starting Friday January 22, 2010. The annual meeting will also mark the kick off of four Working Groups for the conservancy:

  • Water Quality and Pond Ecology Working Group to address water flow, water quality, water testing, erosion, runoff issues, neighborhood education, runoff abatement, species protection, invasive plant/animal issues, educational outreach to all constituents of the park, interface with appropriate governmental entities, address usage and over-usage issues.
  • Public Spaces and Safety Working Group to maintain the green space of the area in accordance with the BPC goals. Includes traffic issues in roads immediately adjacent to the pond, playground issues, walkway safety and enhancements, litter, washout issues, lighting, interface with appropriate governmental entities.
  • History and Research Working Group maintain written records and repository of pond history, research, advocacy groups, BPC Steering Committee and BPC Committee, presentations and findings of governmental agencies vis a vis the pond and surrounds. Verify, archive and establish a repository of all written, spoken and filmed items pertaining to Buckingham Pond. To include any applications, grants, donations, etc. Will also establish organizational records of the newly formed BPC, including compliance with non-profit reporting and recordkeeping.
  • Outreach and Membership Working Group Build, expand and maintain contact lists of all those interested in the pond, its surrounds and the BPC. Keep records of BPC member status/standing. Help promote BPC efforts through media contacts and governmental relations. Work with other committees in educational outreach and grant proposals. Build public awareness of the BPC and its goals and successes. Establish partnerships with other like-minded organizations and agencies

Please join us – the Conservancy has done a tremendous amount in one short year. We look forward to sharing our progress with you and working together to make this special part of Albany everything it can be! If you can't come, but would like to participate, let us know at AlbanyBPC@gmail.com.

Pictures from November Clean Up

Here are a few "Pond Preservation Day" pictures from Sunday 11/1. About 20 neighborhood volunteers and a troop of Girl Scouts planted several daffodil and wildflower beds near the playground and removed most of the purple loosestrife (an aggressive invasive species) from the east end of the pond. While I'm sure we'll see some purple loosestrife next year, hopefully we made a good dent in it. In any case, we had beautiful weather and the work was fun and rewarding!

Many many thanks to the City of Albany and City Gardener Judy Stacey for providing materials and guidance!

Planting Crew
Hardworking Girl Scouts
Felton
Mark
Anne
Mark & Rachel

Next Meeting

Please join us at the next board meeting.  Board meetings are the best way to find out what we are doing and get more involved.
Next meeting:
Monday November 6 at 7:30 PM
(We generally meet the first Monday of each month)
Bach Branch of Albany Public Library
455 New Scotland Ave

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