Recorded by Felice Hancock, Secretary
The meeting had had 7 members in attendance, and the Board of Directors’ members who were present are as follows: Curtis Newsome, Jeff Turner (via telephone conference call from the river), Nancy Turner, and Anne Parker.
Newsome opened the meeting by requesting that the Minutes be read from the March Meeting by Felice Hancock. It was noted that the date of 2/16 was corrected to 2/6, as the date when Russ Pace was first contacted by the BNRP in regards to the homeless shelter. Other errors noted were a correction to the name of Lonnie Marks to properly Lon Marks, and the omission of the word down for the “two week shut (down) for installing the new centrifuge…” in report from Ashland Hercules Water Technologies-Franklin. With those corrections made, a motion to pass the March Minutes was made by Nancy turner and seconded by Jeff Turner.
Nancy Turner was then requested by Newsome to give the March Treasurer’s report. Revenue was $1,028.61; expenses were $2,283.34.
Bobby Turner was next called upon by Newsome to present the membership report. A total of 129 members are now enrolled. There are 5 new members: Mary Ellen Edmonds, Deborah Evans, Harvey Thompson, Mary Nelson Thompson, and Maggie Swain. Welcome to our new members!
Riverkeeper Report by Jeff Turner
3/15 Attended Adopt a Spot Meeting in Franklin to talk about Clean River Day. Almost 45 people attended.
3/18 Spent 3 days on the Nottoway River below Courtland. Took Southampton High School’s exceptional student Denney Turner on the river. She is in the Governor Darden School studying to be a photo journalist.
3/19 Phyllis Rasnake, Zuni, sent pictures and location of river blockage on the Blackwater from Dominion’s power-line build up around Zuni. Dominion is contacting the contractor to formulate a plan of action in removing trees, etc.
3/21 Contacted Tidewater News about Clean River Day’s ad and sent photos of groups who participated last year.
3/22 Presented to Windsor Middle School, the 3rd BNPR video, 108 students attended. Scoped out a supposed dug-out canoe on Nottoway River with past-lifeway expert Bill Hancock. Gary Alphin believed he had found a relic, turned out to be a hollow tree. Hancock noted that naturally occurring hollow trees which fall into rivers are commonly mistaken as canoes, since usually the trucks are partially beneath the water and therefore the entire tree can not be seen.
3/28 Riverkeeper Program’s banquet featured: good food; GREAT Music; a presentation to the Riverkeeper of two of the illustrations from the Mill Booklet, custom framed; initial distribution of the Mill Booklet to membership and guests; and the presentation of the Lon “Skinny” Marks Conservation Award to Anne Parker for her many efforts towards the environment.
3/29 Spent 3 days on the Nottoway River below Hercules– No water quality issues.
4/2 Spoke with Virginia Marine Resources Commission about river logging; they intend to issue the permit.
4/5 Presented to Drewryville Ruritan Club for first time, showed latest BNRP film.
Mill booklet completed and delivered. 150 copies were ordered and over half have been distributed to BNRP membership, area libraries, and the 3 libraries of Paul D. Camp Community College campuses. Historical societies and museums in Western Tidewater will also receive copies for their research archives. The project has been an initial overview, and it is hoped that area researchers will start to record more data for their respective areas, as the water-powered mills seem to have been an under-reported feature. A final report will be written up by Felice Hancock and co-signed by Nancy Turner, Treasurer; thereafter, it will be submitted to the VA Foundation for the Humanities who funded the $1,800 grant which provided an oral history workshop for area historians and also research; printing of the booklet came from a donation by the Lon Marks’ family in his honor. Thank you to all for contributed to the project, from interviews to photographs and more.
Clean River Day is scheduled for April 28/Saturday (although groups and individuals can still participate and be counted in the days prior.) Please encourage everyone to report to the Riverkeeper by noting unusual trash/objects picked up; how many trash bags were picked up; and by taking photos of their work groups.
Point of View camera/recorder by purchased and is working great. This device gives the Riverkeeper free-hands to better perform duties on the rivers. Its cost was half of the estimated cost of $1000.00.
Sean M. Maconaghy, EHS Manager for Ashland Hercules Water Technologies-Franklin, invited the BNRP Board and volunteer staff for a tour of the plant on May 9/Wednesday evening.