Friends of the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden
Minutes of the 46th Annual General Meeting
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Ikoi No Ba, University of Alberta Botanic Garden
Board Members –
Florence Kaplain, Gwen Holland, Ieuan Evans, Diane Bell, Katherine Irwin, Lynn Bellamy, Janet McLean, Lee Foote
Fog Staff – Dana Wallace
Members of Friends –Keith Hussen, Connie Prentice, Rose Bendfeld, Coleen Harman, Rik Burt, Jennifer Morse, Larry Holland, Neil Bell
Guests – Hal Hopkins, Jocelyne Fujinaga
Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm by Lynn Bellamy and 2nd by Lee Foote.
- Call to Order – Gwen Holland, President, called the meeting to order at 1:05 pm.
- Adoption of Agenda – moved by Lee Foote, 2nd by Janet McLean
- Adoption of Previous Minutes – moved by Diane Bell, 2nd by Lynn Bellamy
- President’s Report – Thank you all for coming. This is a very exciting time for the garden and the Friends are thrilled to be part of it. This past year we have made many needed purchases for the garden in the way of equipment, outdoor area tables and umbrellas as well as replacement roofing for the Ajumayas in the native garden. The Friends have also provided a bursary of $4,600 for nonprofit groups to assist with the cost of admittance to the garden. Last year 903 children from 11 different groups benefited from this donation. With the Walks with Us, many members and nonmembers have had a chance to learn and experience the garden with the help of knowledgeable guides. In the coming year, the Friends have committed to replacing the tents that were destroyed in the Imrie Wetland and Lilac garden by the early snowstorm last fall. We will also be supporting the renovation of the entrance to the Alpine garden and the purchase of benches in the new greenhouse. The Friends will continue to provide the bursary of $4000 to help with the cost of bringing children to the garden. Upgrades to the lily and peony beds will be provided by donations from the Lily society and the Welsh society. The walks in the garden will also continue. The Friends of the Garden receive their monies through membership fees, donations, the Edmonton Community Fund and proceeds from casinos. This year our casino will be held June 8 and 9. The majority of the monies received from the casino will be dedicated to the replacement of the Imrie walkway. This project will mark the 50th anniversary of the friends in June 2021. The casino is also the reason we are delaying officially changing our name to the Friends of the University of Alberta Botanic garden. Our application is under the Friends of the Devonian Botanic Garden so as not to confuse things we will hold a special meeting to change the name once the casino is completed and we receive the cheque . I would like to thank the board. It is such a joy working with everyone. I would also thank Nora Whitcher and the staff of the gift shop, Ruby Swanson, General Manager of the garden and Dr. Lee Foote for all their assistance this past summer. And thank you again for coming today and supporting the Garden and the Friends.
- Janet McLean on Mary Imrie - I first heard of Mary Imrie when I visited Imrie Park, a natural area near Onoway, Alberta. I assumed that the Imrie family had been local farmer/ranchers and had donated their farm via their daughter. The legacy of the Imrie Wetland was a bit confusing. As it turns out, Mary Imrie was a city girl. There was no farm. Mary, an only child, was born in Toronto and arrived in Edmonton when her father became editor of the Edmonton Journal. He was the editor when then journal won a Pulitizer Prize for journalism. Mary returned to Toronto to study architecture and then set up her office in Edmonton becoming Alberta's first female architect in 1944. Miss Imrie had a deep affection for Edmonton area landscapes. She made a number of land purchases during her lifetime. One motivation for these purchases was to provide camping opportunities when she couldn't find available campsites in an area. The properties she acquired were donated to the province and other organizations to be preserved in their natural state. The new Imrie boardwalk will provide acknowledgement of Mary Imrie for her contribution. The Friends of the Garden Board thought it important to acknowledge the woman behind the wetland who was ahead of her time in many ways. Gratefully, she recognized early the need for land conservation and the importance of sharing this land for public enjoyment. There are a number of other Imrie properties in the vicinity of the botanic garden. Some, like Prospector`s Point, do not reference her gift. You may find yourself enjoying an Imrie property on a summer hike.
- Diane Bell on Bee house donation - A group of grade 5 girls from Bishop Savaryn elementary school (16215-109 Street) felt the desire to support Monarch Butterfly habitats after having seen a documentary on television that highlighted their decline. They were able to raise money from several bake sales ($250) and wanted to use it in a way that would support pollinator habitats.
They had heard of the Friends of the Garden, and felt that we would be a great fit in helping them with their project. Our close ties with the Botanic Garden and its cultivated gardens, plant propagation/collections, year-round adult and children’s education programing offered an amazing opportunity. What better place to promote pollinators than at the Garden?! As migratory patterns of Monarchs are more limited to southern Canada, it was felt that promotion of other pollinators within the Garden would be a great use of proceeds from the girls’ hard work and big hearts. The Friends of the Garden are grateful to Hal Hopkins, who has taken on the construction of our bee house. The Garden staff and the Friends are in agreement that the bee house would be best suited for the Herb Garden, so this will be our project’s new home. We are excited to have the bee house in such a well visited location. Our hope is that it will illicit lots of questions from visitors, and serve as an opportunity to educate people as to the importance of habitat for our pollinators, and the little things we can all do to contribute to this cause. We hope to have the Monarch Girls come out to the Garden together, to see the completed project and what their hard work has been able to accomplish.
- Treasurer’s Financial Statement –The Executive Director reviewed the Financial Statements for 2016. Moved to accept by Lee Foote.
- Appointment of Auditor –Les Lesmeister to review the books for 2017.
- Election of Executive and Trustees –
Trustees - to be elected for another two year term – Florence Kaplain, Ieuan Evans, Lee Foote and Katherine Irwin. Diane Bell and Nicole Bedard agreed to let their name stand for election. Karen Olivier gave her resignation. Moved by Janet McLean and 2nd by Lynn Bellamy.