Membership Renewal—Notice of Annual Meeting
Dear Friend of FOWWOS,
Friends of West Windsor Open Space may be a small non-profit organization, but in the last two decades we have had an outsized influence on the shape of our community. Using membership dues, grants, developer contributions, property and cash donations, and matching funds from County and State programs, we have facilitated the acquisition of a number of open space properties targeted under a carefully crafted open space plan, and worked with West Windsor Township on plans for the maintenance and, where appropriate, development of acquired parcels.
Our ANNUAL MEETING is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 in Room C of the Municipal Building, starting at 7:30 p.m.
We urge those interested and able to attend. Several Trustees will be elected at this meeting.
As importantly, we ask you to join FOWWOS, as a new or renewed member. Please complete the membership form and return it to us in the enclosed return envelope. Thank you.
OUTGOING PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE—from Alison Miller
I have been the President of Friends of West Windsor Open Space for eight years. They have been exciting and fulfilling years. FOWWOS has been involved in many different activities related to our charter which, besides requiring us to promote the preservation of open space, requires us to foster study of resource conservation and engage in charitable and educational activities related to open space conservation. We have met our obligation in all of those areas.
FOWWOS has been a key factor in the township’s continuing open space preservation program. In these last eight years we facilitated the acquisition of 120 acres in five of the parcels previously targeted for preservation located in different areas of the township. We have supported enjoyment of parkland by participating in trail maintenance and by purchasing bicycle racks for trailheads. We have supported educational activities by offering guided trail walks and by sponsoring a pond and garden built by students in the environmental science class at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North. We also have contributed prize money to the Shade Tree Commission’s yearly art contest for students on Arbor Day. Our non-profit status has enabled us to accept tax-deductible donations for the Grover Memorial and Nash Park. And we have become a fixture at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market, appearing there once a month with maps and information on open space.
All these activities have not come without cost. FOWWOS has received some funds from a developer under an agreement with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, but spent those funds, and more, on the Great Blue Heron Preserve in the Duck Pond Run watershed in 2011. Since 2013, we have spent $30,000 on soft costs for open space purchases and other activities. Now we need to replenish our resources so we can continue our conservation, charitable, and educational activities. We run the West Windsor Clean Streets Program, through which volunteers can clean up litter on township streets and earn state money for FOWWOS at the same time. But that is not enough to sustain our activities at the present level. We need our members, new and continuing, to support us with their dues.
Please join or re-join, FOWWOS.
Message from new FOWWOS President—Andrew Kulley
Before taking her oath of office as a newly elected West Windsor Council member, Alison Miller resigned as FOWWOS president. I am pleased that she will remain a FOWWOS trustee going forward, and am confident that she will continue to speak out on open space issues as a member of the West Windsor Council.
I agreed to fill the President’s role for the remainder of Alison’s term, and was voted by the Trustees to assume that office. For the last decade I have worked with other FOWWOS trustees on diverse open space issues. I want to thank Alison Miller for her service as our leader over these last eight years. She has served our organization, and the larger community, well.
Under FOWWOS by-laws, several Trustees will be elected at the annual meeting on February 16, 2016. At the March meeting the Trustees will elect new officers for FOWWOS to serve one-year terms.
West Windsor has a solid record of actions taken to acquire, maintain, and (where appropriate) develop open space for recreation. Despite that record, important work remains to be done. I look forward to continuing our efforts on behalf of the citizens of West Windsor in fulfilling our charter. FOWWOS will continue to work with the administration, council, and staff of West Windsor Township, and with Mercer County and State officials, in pursuing our goals. I join Alison in urging you to join or re-join FOWWOS, and to support us in our efforts.
Please visit our website, FOWWOS.ORG, to learn more about our organization and open space issues.