Minutes FoDIP Monthly Meeting – August 10, 2022

Board Members Present:  Helene Wechterman, Diana Lopez, Caroline Steffen, Karen Hutson, Fred Kraske, Mel Nass, Shirley Lane, Irene Devlin, Ira Wechterman

Board Member(s) Absent:  Merryl Kafka

Parks Department:  Patty and Carlos

Guests:  Barney S., Ann M., Phyllis N.

President Report:  Helene Wechterman 


  • Encouraging FoDIP members to research “Amazon Smile” program for a donation opportunity to FoDIP.  As you make Amazon purchases a small percentage will automatically be donated to FoDIP if you sign up ahead of time.
  • FoDIP membership renewal can be activated via our website using PayPal.
  • WinnDixie is offering a small donation program to FoDIP by customer purchases of canvas shopping bags.
  • Please try to read previous FoDIP Minutes before arriving at each meeting.  This will allow each attendee to have a basic knowledge of topics for offering any new ideas and/or need for correction(s).

Park’s Update from Patty (delivered by Helene) …

  • Butterfly Garden – Due to the need of Australian Pine removal with heavy equipment, it has been determined to hold off on marking the pathways because they do not want to damage any new plantings.  Also, they will need to work around the tortoise burrows in the area. Caroline will remain involved as changes are implemented.   
  • DI signage – Wayward Signs on the island have been ordered to fill in on areas missed during the initial installation of signs.
  • Vendor has submitted one proof for signage on Mangrove Walkway; still in process for others.
  • Still awaiting install dates for Water Fountain at Kiosk.
  • Purchase Order has been submitted for a flat top barge.  A requisition is being submitted for a pull boat for the barge.  This equipment will expedite the workload needed for clearing the island of Australian pines and debris.
  • Reminder to research website for Broward County Parks Department for special events on the island.  www.broward.org/parks .  Then click on “Special Events” tab.  You will see various park events including Deerfield Island Park Events.  Preregistration is required by a phone call or online.

Membership :  Irene Devlin

New Members – 3                     Renewals – 4

Irene will research FoDIP’s total membership number and give us this info. at the next meeting.

Treasurer:  Helene Wechterman - Bank Account shows a current balance of $78,200 with $60,000 of this still allocated for educational purposes in the future. Fundraising is not our ultimate goal at this time.   FoDIP’s primary goal is to increase the Ambassador Volunteer List and Education for ourselves and the local community. 

Old Business:

Nominating Committee:  Thank you to Diana Lopez, Phylis Philipson, and Ira Wechterman for their coordinated effort in organizing email letters sent to board members requesting personal desire to remain on the board and/or hold officer positions. These letters emphasized the specific expectations that the board was looking for in becoming a board member and/or officer.  Coming In September (next meeting) this committee will present a slate of officers and nominations for the current board to vote on.

Ambassador Program:   At this time, it appears the most popular time frame for island visitors is between 11:00 and 2:00/3:00.  As a Volunteer Ambassador, please consider signing up for this 3-4 hour time slot to better accommodate a welcoming atmosphere.  If the morning only timeslot is still best for you, please continue with that particular time.  Call Fred or Helene for placing your name on this monthly calendar.

Ambassador Box:  Ambassadors are encouraged to research all education material available inside the large trunk. We can always improve our knowledge that we share with interested island visitors.

New Business:

Fairy Doors:  Patty (from the Park’s Dept). and Caroline are communicating with Gabriela (a local artist) who are pursuing this future activity for children. This crafty and active idea has previously been done on the island and several members would like to see it make a comeback.

 FoDIP member suggestions were discussed in general.  The following is a list of ideas (some are new and some are activities that were well received and could be repeated)


  • Purchase small clipboards for children usage during scavenger hunting
  • Any new scavenger hunt ideas for children?
  • Reminder that bio-boxes are available to use at the kiosk if two ambassadors are present
    • Discussion of ways to display bio-boxes
  • Place more visitor benches in shady areas while they are waiting on shuttle
  • Add small signage beside donation box to reflect “Did you enjoy yourself?  Help us do More” Thank you ??
  • Once per month/every other month speaker at meetings for member education (i.e. naturalists, horticulturalist, sea turtle experts, birds, etc.)
  • Repeat Pioneer Days booth in February
  • Party Events thru Parks Dept. registration
  • Rudolph craft on the island (around Thanksgiving) using palm fronds
    • Ira and Phylis will coordinate this event and report at next meeting.
  • “Build an Island” – planting propagules with children
  • Kayak tours
  • The large Deerfield Island Park sign on south side at the marina entrance is covered by many tree limbs.  Needs to be cleared by a professional mangrove expert.
  • Sea Grape Painting
  • Make adjustments using Google Calendar for importing all FoDIP events/Ambassador scheduling
  • Consider using The Pelican local newspaper again for marketing
  • Considering organizing an “Events Committee”
  • Considering a “clean up” event of the existing butterfly garden with a naturalist in November or December
  • Caroline is applying for a grant to be utilized for a future volunteer clean-up program (TBD)

These events will only work with volunteer support by our FoDIP members.

Please look at your calendar and attend a meeting to find out where you fit in with our friend’s group.

Next meeting is scheduled for September 8, 2022.  Be at Sullivan Park by 9:45 a.m. 

Respectfully submitted by Karen Hutson