SC minutes 1/20/2021

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EEAC Steering Committee Regular Monthly Meeting
January 20, 2021    Wed 5:30 pm – 7 pm    Online Zoom Meeting

Fran Agnone
Isa Del Bello
River DiLeo
E. Shig Matsukawa
Bonnie McGuire
Mary Most
Sarah Pigeon
Ray Pultinas
Bonnie Ralston
Andy Stone
Robert Wallace
Mike Zamm

Committee Reports and Updates

Previous meeting minutes: approved

Personal thanks to Bonnie and Fran for making corrections – I’m still trying to improve on my performance

Program Committee (Fran acting Program Chair)

Virtual program idea: Tech Tools Share-Out

Adaptive plan committee recognized a tool we never used before led to the idea to develop a program around sharing all the tech tools we’ve been using – and so a Tech Share Out has been planned by River, Fran, and Sarah for Tuesday Feb 23 from 4-5 pm.  The idea is for up to 4-5 experienced practitioners present on some sort of tech tool they’ve used – Merlin App and I-naturalist are examples.  Michaela, DOE contact – is being asked to share her knowledge of Mentormeter/ troubleshooting tips access to Google classroom.  The BioBus might highlight what they’ve been doing as another possibility.  Each presenter would have 10-15 minutes.  If the response is positive perhaps a series of Tech Tools Share Out will be held occasionally.  Planning team reaching out this week, next week begin bigger outreach on listserv.  The timing at 4pm is favorable for  teachers to attend.  River raised the issues of improving accessibility to these presentations by being able to feature closed captioning.  Zoom presently requires the use of 3rd party apps.  Alternatively, GoogleMeet does have close captioning but there are recognized pros and cons to using the platform.  Another aspect of accessibility would be for the presentations to be uploaded on the website with blurb – or making a report.  – there was a call for suggestions

  • Bonnie Ralston offered to use this as an opportunity to use a new adaptive plan rubric to evaluate in terms of our overall mission which should be standard practice for all of our programming moving forward.
  • Bonnie R. suggested that Museum Access Consortium may have additional tools and is willing to reach out.
  • Anyone else know a tool?  
  • River emphasized that presenters not be steering committee members – this is a good opportunity to reach out to EEAC partners, contacts, members and resources
  • There was general support and enthusiasm expressed for this initiative.


River asked, are we ok for EEAC to purchase a Zoom account for $149/year?  

Discussion ensued:

Is it unlimited?  Purchasing requested for most basic, for unlimited but not concurrent meetings.  Sarah knew that the service allowed for 100 people. Beyond that number there is an extra cost.  Webinars are priced separately.

Does it allow for us to record?

Capacity for storage is limited so it should be downloaded regularly

Who would be responsible?

Program Chair initially but will move to sharing

Shig reported that portions of recorded events can be uploaded to a specific location and live on our web server.  Regarding storage space mostly unlimited – up to 50 GB? We are not close to that now.

Approved by consent

Clarification that presentations only will be stored.   Breakout sessions are not recorded.

Suggestion made that Annual meeting can be our test run for uploading to the web – to see how it looks

Fran- asked River to share to Google Drive

There were no further updates from Ray as Communications did not meet in past month.

Next Communications meeting to be held on Monday February 1 – at 5:30 – invitations already sent out

However, during recent Member Meeting, the following Communications related topics were discussed:

  1. Rebranding/Logo Redesign
  2. New Member Packet
  3. Marketing Plan

Website and Database Updates:

  • Shig added an item to the Website budget for 2021: possibility of renewing the domain for up to 9 years.
  • Choice of either $35.00 for annual renewals, or $150.00 with 9-yr domain name renewal:

EEAC Website Budget 2021

The most intuitive web domain name is already taken, since it is likely that we will keep the domain name it was agreed that the 9 year rate be purchased.

Mike – complemented Shig that all of the newsletters are now accessible on the webpage – this amounts to the whole organization’s history and ethical background.

He shared his impression of how valuable this is as a resource, especially for future researchers.  In his words many of the newsletters are “very deep”– one even 28 pages long.  We might still need to figure out how best to use.  

Sarah suggested creating a History activity – for students – Perhaps there could be an accompanying lesson plan on the site or a college project – something for the future –

Mike reiterated that many dissertations do not come close to capturing this history of environmentalism in New York City and that means a lot of valuable information at our fingertips – he expressed willingness to be on a committee to discuss and plan further

  • Shig announced that we switched from old site to new site on 1/13/2021 (day before Forum Workshop).  New site will try to replicate the old site but the benefit is that the use of WordPress makes it easier to change the theme and style design but the content will stay the same.
    The new site has better functions – data base and membership system – ongoing improvement of functionality – within a couple of months –
  • Shig offered brief explanation – differences between new and old site (WordPress system, easy to change theme [redesign], edit content, add functions [i.e., database, membership system]).
  • New site replicates old site’s design as much as possible, using WordPress.
  • The internal section:
    Old internal no longer updated, but still available (
  • New internal is under the new site, so each SC member will have their own user account (Editor level access) and will set their own password.Fran River and Shig can set up Website plan –

Still to come:

  • Redesign of the website based on the Adaptive Plan – later this year (2021).
  • Membership system (Feb-Mar?).
Database content status report:
  • River shared Database page, if any of us share professional development now is a great time – don’t need to sign or log in anyone can submit  – then Fran, River or Shig will approve and get a log in so they could revise and edit periodically
  • Likewise for events calendar – on home page

    lots of positive feedback shared – Congratulations Shig for outstanding job!

EEAC and NYSOEA Partnership

not much to report: NYSOEA will continue to publish events on our list serve

Projects Forum

Review of 1/14 event

Mike asked for comments and evaluation

Feedback shared:

  • participation thin compared to in person events of the past
  • One working group did not have enough participants to join so that was nixed
  • On the basis of notes sent by Ray to Mike, Mike suggested that we might have a potential project –  The right to know how nature works – some form of environmental education – should be a fundamental human right
  • Mike will also review notes from Isa – who discussed outcome of a proposal for skills sharing workshops, classes or discussion – that would provide clarity for non-formal environmental educators

    Examples – is methane good and bad? – not an easy question –  or Resiliency Training – these workshops would be designed to provoke natural curiosity.   

    Perhaps a project can still come out of it.
  • Bonnie M recommended and there are other organizations that offer free trainings – we could also link to these other org – she has a list that she send out to staff  
  • Suggestion made that these events be submitted on the calendar page
  • Shig will explore giving editor access to steering committee members presently only reserved for administrators
  • Mike will put together his report on the Projects Forum.  

Adaptive Plan Accountability

Bonnie Ralston – introduced NEW INITIATIVE CONSIDERATIONS:

CULTIVATION, INCLUSION, REFLECTION TO ACTION (based on key words of new mission statement.

How do we move from the plan to taking action?

By what method do we choose strategic priorities and then how do we create a tracking document to hold leaders responsible?  How do we improve our organizational leadership?

A tool is introduced that will enable our leaders to be held more accountable – breaking down into small steps

  • task it out – who does what, when is it due and when it is complete
  • each subcommittee will fill out together – danger of paralysis at complexity – making it more doable – when everyone agrees on what next step is the better
  • month by month tracking document snapshot of where we are at
  • a mechanism in place that will allow us to see the big moves
  • River added – next step take out priorities and get them to the subcommittees – different steps could be added –
  • divvying up the responsibility – majority falls into the Communications realm
  • We are tasked with review and approve “New Initiative Considerations” document
  • Looking at key words of mission statement – making sure everything is reflective of the mission  

Good feedback  – what can we capture for transparency sake? lets get used to using it

Good to indicate to our members

Not to get too meta – but this segment inspired Sarah to try something similar at Solar 1

Useful to step back – look at old initiatives – evaluate

 Could be used at our retreat “virtual shmore”

Stated that it is important that we all are reading carefully and buying into this – even if new initiatives come out of forum – everything we do – must be open to comments and more input the better –we are holding ourselves to this.  

Recommendation to share on the Listserve as evidence of how we are changing and to get feedback.

Bonnie M suggested that this not be shared with everyone but to those who can provide productive feedback – more like the creation of a focus group.

Membership and Finance

Mary Most shared – problematic stats

  • we are 10% of renewals
  • 50-60 groups on google group who are not members and 50 – 60 members who are not on google group
  • backlog sending out receipts
  • two reasons for existing problems:

    anyone who has mailed a check we still do not know since we have not been able to receive correspondence at NYU since February

    Amalgamated bank still has Judith retaining signatory rights and rights not yet been carried over to Mary, Sarah and River

Regret expressed that we were not able to reinforce membership renewals during our recent events.  Whenever we do event moving forward, we must use that opportunity to get renewals  

Also should be going on any forms going out to membership for instance evaluation sheets when they are sent –

The following statistics were shared in agenda:

Member and Finance stats as of 12/07 updated on Annual Meeting slide:

EEAC Finances as of Nov 30:

Starting Dec. 31, 2019: $7,448.78


Membership: $1,337.62

Interest YTD: $4.09 (11/30/20)

Total Assets: $8,790.49

Expenses: $1,206.27 (Includes $1,000 donation to COVID Relief Fund)

Current Balance: $7,584.22 as of Nov 30, 2020

Need to:

  • update membership list & finance stats for any sign-ups via Eventbrite since after 12/7 Annual Meeting.
  • Create and send receipts to everyone who paid 2021 membership; save in GoogleDrive
  • Eventbrite Membership Drive has been updated; website updated to show this new link (thank you to Shig!)
  • Google Group lists: working with Carol Franken to check back & forth against Membership spreadsheet to make sure all EEAC members are on Google Group, and that we invite all subscribers to join EEAC.


MM: When do we see and approve the minutes from the Annual meeting?

Ray: I do not believe that there were notes taken at the Annual meeting – however, there is a recording.

Meeting concluded at 7:03

It was pointed out that the following day 1/21/21 would be National Squirrel Appreciation Day and the beginning of nine consecutive palindrome days.

Categorized as SC Minutes

By Raymond Pultinas

EEAC steering committee member since 2018. Founder and Director of the James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center. Read more about Raymond Pultinas >.