Sept. 21, 2021

Present: Sarah Rhinehart Dibble, Joe Sarnicola, Chuck Mason, Claire Lovell, Sue Secaur (guest)

  • Introduction of guests 
    • Sue Secaur has been involved in our park pick-up events in the past.
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes-ACTION ITEM
    • We don’t have a quorum.
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • We received a $5,000 check from the City, which comes to a total of $10,000 for the year.  Our total bank account balance is $17,928.80.
    • Just one expenditure, a sponsor of $500 to the BID for Founders Day.
    • We need 7 members.  Sue will join, happily!  
    • Maybe we can post something in the newspaper.  Chuck will ask the Citizen.
    • Sarah will do a Facebook blast.
  • Treasurer Position
    • We’re looking for a new treasurer.
    • Chuck’s willing to do it on an interim basis.
    • Joe will hand over the materials to Chuck and has cut up his ABC credit card.
  • Sarah Announcement
    • Sarah has taken a new job at the Union Springs School District, so she’s no longer the NHS advisor at Auburn HS.  This is effective as October 4.
    • She would prefer to step away but we’re already under-”staffed”
    • Sarah will ask the new NHS advisor if she’d be interested in joining ABC.
    • Claire notes that our by-laws require an AECSD representative on the commission.
  • 2020 – 2021 Projects
    • Scarecrow Contest
      • The Batavia coordinator hasn’t been available to talk.
    • Riverwalk Cleanup
      • Let’s plan another cleanup before winter, like mid-November.  Sarah will send out a Doodle poll for availability.
    • Bulb Planting
      • Claire will chase down Pete to buy 1500-2000 crocus bulbs and plan planting.  Sue will help.
    • Awards
      • Claire will send ideas in an email and we can discuss over asynchronously.
    • Public Programs
      • We’ll get some speaker ideas to sponsor via Seymour Library as a Zoom program.  Sarah knows a hydrologist. Claire suggests Janet Allen of Habitat Gardening of CNY.  Pete Cramer could do it, too.  Sue suggests Cosentino for his backyard gardening.  Maybe Dickman’s would send someone.  Perhaps Walt Aikman.  Perhaps the gardener on South St.  
      • ABC would have to pay honorarium, work with the library, help arrange speakers, and so on.  Claire can do this.
    • Shaw & Bohler
      • Sarah will visit and look for business closeout sales we could use.
  • Schedule next meeting
    • 3rd Tuesday of the month at 5:30 at City Hall: October 19
  • Motion to adjourn at 5:59.
  • Thank you, Joe, for your service!!!

July 27, 2021

Present: Joe Sarnicola, Claire Lovell, Sarah Dibble, Pete Cramer, Chuck Mason, Glenn Thomas

  • Call to Motion at 5:41 pm
    • Tim made the motion and Glenn seconded.  All approve.
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes 
    • Sarah made a motion to approve.  All approve.
  • Resignations
    • Dan has moved to Buffalo and regretfully resigns.
    • Joe is resigning as of October 1.
  • New members
    • The commission needs to attract new members, including a treasurer and social media director.
    • Tim suggests the Leadership Cayuga graduating class.  He has a list of the members.
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • The City gave us our $5,000 budget for the year.  
    • Our bank balance is $13,504.08.
    • David Homick has been paid out for the website- $76, retroactive to January.  The BID has been paid $500 for sponsoring Founders Day.
  • Permaculture Park Update – Pete
    • One of the fenced-in trees was busted by a storm.  It may regrow. 
    • The willow structure is growing well!
  • Social Media Update – New Social Media Director
    • Sarah shared the ABC Google Drive with Claire, who will add the minutes to the website.
    • Sarah suggests a professional group out of Cayuga BOCES. 
    • Claire suggests that the group first discuss the intended audience and hopeful objective for any PR efforts and social media work.
  • Casey Park Plywood Figures Update – Joe
    • The Finger Lakes Arts Council had a few successful days with painting efforts to refurbish the plywood figures. 
    • They’ll also bring 3 or 4 to the Tomatofest (there are 16 in total).
  • Historical Signs repainting – Glenn
    • Glenn purchased the paint but hasn’t yet begun taking the signs down to repaint.
    • He plans on starting at Lake Ave and Camp Street.
    • Chuck reiterates his recommendation for Real Deal Dollar Store on Grant Ave for Glenn’s paintbrushes and wire brushes. 
    • Glenn will let someone know when he’s going in order to get photographs.  ABC will need to get before and after pictures.
    • Joe suggests the sign on the Auburn Public Theater next.
    • Glenn will save his receipts and turn them into Joe.
  • 2021 Projects -Prioritize / pick dates
    • Clean-up nature trail in Fleming/Dunning Ave
    • Clean-up West-End of Genesee Street
      • All the Department of Transportation, so we’ll leave this.
    • Clean-up of Y-Fields / Clifford Park       
  • Rescheduled to Tuesday, August 10
  •  Routine riverwalk cleanup
  • September 25th  (Art in the Park is September 18th)
  • Routine Buonocore Park cleanup, Market Street Park, and Freedom Park 
  • The BID has a new maintenance employee, Chuck Weed, who’s doing a good job in these parks.
  • All of the parks are going to have new signage through the City’s comprehensive plan.
  • Tim asks if Chuck will ask Mike Talbot to replace the Owasco River sign on the Genesee Street bridge.
  • Planting/Maintenance of triangle at the welcome to BID District – near St. Mary’s
  • Chuck asked A&M Graphics what the price of a new, nicer sign like the sign at Seward Park, on Genesee Street, and Lake Ave.
  •  Adopt the corner flower garden in front of Wild’s on Genesee St.  – Cigarette butt holder
  • Claire has weeded throughout the summer.
  • Adopt the garden on Exchange Street between APT and Next Chapter Pub
    • Chuck personally adopted the space there, where he’s planted some basil and mulched.
  • Welcome to Auburn sign on Lake Ave
    • The tech teacher at AHS is going to measure for the missing W.  Sarah will check in on him when school starts up again.
  • Crocus planting throughout playgrounds and parks
    • 2,000 bulbs for $289
    • They’d have to be planted in the fall before the ground is frozen
    • Sarah makes a motion that we purchase the bulbs.  Tim will second.  All approve. Sarah will buy them.

  • 2021 Fundraising
  • ABC Tent at ERHC? Chuck to keep us updated
    • ABC is welcome at any of the Saturday markets.  We’ll just have to fill out a form.  The last Saturday is September 4.
  • Founders Day – Saturday, August 7
    • Chuck and Tim will both be busy on Founders Day. 
    • It’s 9 am to 4 pm.  Be there by 9 am.  Chuck will set up the tent and two chairs.
    • Sarah will put together a gift basket of Lowes gardening equipment and Joe will put together a gift basket.  Visitors to our tent can enter the raffle simply by giving us their email address (to sign up for emails) or potentially volunteering. 
  • Rummage sale – when safe from COVID – location? dates?
    • Probably not feasible.  Not for 2021.
  • Scarecrow contest – Dates?  Start planning now
    • Stephanie at the BID was very supportive.
    • Sarah hasn’t heard back from the woman in Batavia.  In Batavia, there’s a $20 entrance fee, for which they got some (unknown) supplies.
    •  We could just open the contest up to the community, but we’ll need to have people sign themselves up so we know who’s participating.
    • The scarecrows can go up in mid-September through October 31, at which point ABC will do the judging
  • Other Business  – Claire
  •  ABC Awards
    • “Great job” awards – just take a picture and post it online with accolades
    • Something like the Bouck sign
    •  Medians on Lake Ave
    • Could have a handful of these signs made.  Note that they shouldn’t be removed.
    •  “Nominate your neighbors.” 
  • Garden Tours
    •  For 2022.
    • Tickets, planned tours.
  • Bulletin board
    • Tim suggested finding sponsorships for an external bulletin board.  He’ll find details and more information.

Next meeting Tuesday August 10, 2021 @ 5:30pm at Clifford Park on Mary Street.

  • Tim made a motion to adjourn.  Pete seconded. Adjourned at 6:41 pm

June 22, 2021

Present: Dan Orzechowski, Glenn Thomas, Joe Sarnicola, Claire Lovell, Sarah Dibble, Pete Cramer

  • Call to Motion at 5:31pm
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes
    • Delaying until next month for access to minutes
  • Park Pick Up Day was successful
    • It was very well received, although we got a lower turnout than for the Earth Day park pick up.  There was a lot less to do than we had anticipated.
    • A Montessori school picked up a few days earlier and a Verizon group did it a few weeks earlier.
    • It was also flower planting day, which attracted 60 other volunteers.  It was Westminster’s volunteer day.  It was great to have us represented and seen alongside the other groups.
    • The City got in to clean up the cross and it looks great.
    • We should get our schedule planned ahead of time and posted broadly for best promotion.
  • Lake Ave Welcome Sign
    • Someone (a vigilante?) weeded the garden.
    • Sarah will ask the tech ed teacher at the high school if he can fabricate something to replace the W in Welcome.
  • Fitch Ave Entrance to Fort Hill Cemetery 
    • Someone asked Joe if we could adopt the Fitch Ave entrance to the cemetery. However, they do have paid staff and it’s private property.
  • Website
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • We got a $5 donation from Amazon Smile
    • We spent $23 on supplies for Park Pick Up Day
    • Current balance of $504.08 with a check to come from the city, we hope.  Chuck will investigate.
  • Next Riverwalk Pick Up Days
    • Chuck has already seen lots of trash piling up.
    • Chuck suggests we replace our July meeting with a pick up event with ABC members: July 13 at 5:30.
    • Chuck will make it a Facebook event.
  • Finger Lakes Art Council Project: Casey Park Figures
    • Not many volunteers appeared for the June 11 & 12 work days.
    • FLAC will set up a table at downtown festivities (like Tomatofest) for people to donate and have their picture taken with the figures.
  • Scarecrow Contest
    • Sarah will focus on this and ask Batavia how they did it.
    • We can shoot for the weekend two weeks before Halloween: October 16.
  • Social Media & Promotion
    • We need to remember to take before and after pictures for small projects like weeding and mulching.  Claire weeded the garden on South St in front of Wilds, and Joe mulched the whole garden at the Genesee St Welcome sign.  If we promote these small deeds, we might get more volunteers and/or donations.
  • Bulb Planting
    • We’d love to plant bulb flowers! 
    • Snowdrops and crocuses would be especially great.  They can be planted in the grass and they’ll die away before anyone has to mow.
    • Pete asks which park or playground could use the flowers, since there are dozens of parks.  
    • Sarah could post a poll in the “If You’re From Auburn…” Facebook group asking where we should start. 
    • Claire will send a list of parks with suggestions to Sarah.
  • Historic Markers
    • Glenn’s going to try working on the Military Depot sign.  
    • Chuck notes that another guy paints the whole thing blue and then paints the raised section yellow with a sponge roller.
    • Chuck suggests checking out Real Deals dollar store for wire brushes and things like that.
  • Dan’s Farewell
    • Dan is moving to Buffalo at the end of July!  Congratulations!
  • Schedule next meeting Tuesday July 13 , 2021 @ 5:30 pm at the riverwalk dam on the bridge.
  • Sarah made a motion to adjourn at 6:04.  Pete seconded. All approved.

June Park Cleanup

Every month in the summer of 2021, ABC members are cleaning up the Owasco River Park near the Mill Street Dam and the Buonocore Park on the corner of Genesee Street and Loop Road.

Join us on June 26 at 10 am!

Volunteers are asked to meet by the Mill Street Dam or where Canal Street intersects with Osborne Street. Bring your own gloves and rakes. Supplies such as garbage bags and leaf bags will be provided. We will also have some tools available.

This event is sponsored by the Auburn Beautification Commission, Cayuga Climate Action, The Auburn Downtown BID and the City of Auburn.


May 11, 2021

Present: Dan Orzechowski, Glenn Thomas, Joe Sarnicola, Claire Lovell, Sarah Dibble

  • Call to Motion at 5:32pm
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes
    • Glenn made a motion to approve and Dan seconded.  All approved.
  • Budget Update – Joe
  • Finger Lakes Art Council Project: Casey Park Figures
    • Got a truck and moved the figures to Willard Chapel.
    • There will be an article in the newspaper on Sunday 
    • Work day planned: June 12, 11 am to 2 pm
  • Website Discussion
    • Claire talked to Dave Homick but he was on vacation, so she doesn’t have the FTP information yet.
    • Dan will forward Claire the login information
  • Social Media Update – Dan/Sarah
    • Dan posted pictures on Facebook and got some traction
    • Everyone should send pretty pictures of Auburn to Dan
  • Earth Day Event Overview
    • At least 60 volunteers, including city councilmembers, county legislators, city workers, and the whole modified field hockey team from AHS.  
    • 2,210 pounds of trash were picked up. 1,600 pounds of yard waste plus 8 tires and some shopping carts.
    • Sarah has hundreds of pictures on her phone from the event.
    • Dan let the Citizen know about the upcoming cleanups.
    • Tim has the signup sheet from Earth Day.
  • ABC Park Pick-up day: Saturday May 22, 2021 9am Veterans Park
    • Will need tools from Permaculture Park, so Sarah will ask Pete for them.
    • Would like to get another group photo… Please try and attend!
    • Sarah or Joe will get bottled water.
    • Sarah will resend to the school district and National Honor Society.
    • Joe will check to see if we need more mulch for the Welcome to Auburn sign near Hoopes Park on Genesee.
    • It’s also the Day of Service, which includes the BID planting (hanging flowers around downtown), Veterans Cross cleanup, and Westminster Church picnic at 11 am.
    • Sarah will bring a table, bottled water and a sign up sheet.
  • Other Business
    • Historic Markers
      • Glenn is interested in repainting historic markers.  He asks for funding or supplies directly: metal brush, sandpaper, and paint.  He got the specific details for paint from the Pomeroy foundation. 
      • In particular, he wants to work on a Lake Ave sign.
      • Glenn will buy the supplies and ask for reimbursement (estimated at less than $50).  
      • Sarah makes a motion to approve the funding and Joe seconds.  All approved.
    • Welcome to Auburn sign
      • The W is missing from the Lake Ave “Welcome to Auburn” sign
      • It’s made out of plastic (not wood) so Sarah will ask the tech teacher to see if a new one can be 3D printed. 
    • Vigil for Hunter Hanmore
      • Hoopes Park at 8 pm on Wednesday night
      • Celebration of life on Saturday, May 15 at 3 pm at Sennett Fire House Hall
  • Schedule next meeting Tuesday June 15 , 2021 @ 5:30 pm – Zoom?
  • Sarah made a motion to adjourn at 5:57.  Glenn seconded. All approved.

April 13, 2021

Present: Sarah Dibble, Tim Donovan, Chuck Mason, Joe Sarnicola, Claire Lovell

Excused: Dan Orzechowski, Glenn Thomas, Pete Cramer

  • Call to Motion at 5:35 pm
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes
    • Chuck made a motion, Sarah seconded, all approved.
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • $55 spent this month for the accounting firm
    • Bank balance is $8,959.76
  • Social Media Update – Dan/Sarah
    • Facebook has done well with the pickup day on April 24.  Over 4,000 views on our Facebook page have come up as a result of the pickup day.  Sarah has put it out to the high school and will send it to the National Honor Society.
    • Chuck’s drone video (thanks to the Auburn PD!) has been wonderful to help promote the Earth Day pickup day.
    • Website Discussion
      • Our website was down for a week this month.  Sarah found the man (Dave Homick) who hosts the site and pays for the domain registration.  He’s no longer an Auburnian and isn’t interested in building a new site for us.  We pay him $110 per year.  
      • Dan Orzechowski and Claire Lovell both volunteered to build a new site for ABC.  Claire’s husband, Dan Lovell, could host (Code Munkeys), for the same price or less.
    • Tim reached out to Chris Molloy and asked for photographs for the sake of social media.  Chris was very accommodating and sent many photos over, which Dan and Sarah were able to use on Facebook. 
  • Earth Day Event reminder: Saturday April 24, 2021 10am Mill Street Dam
    • All hands on deck!  We’re going to get an updated group photo and distribute ABC polo shirts.
    • Mike and the city guys will be there to pick up the trash bags.  April 24 is also the city cleanup day at the dump.
    • 18 people are marked as going on the FB event.  128 people are “interested.”  We may see a few dozen people.  We need to be prepared with bags and gloves, although people were told to bring their own rakes and gloves.  Joe will do an inventory of supplies.  Chuck recommends buying enough bags for a few pickup days all at once, available this weekend so we don’t run out.  Sarah will bring some lawn bags, too.  
    • With more people, we can spread out farther.  Optimally, we’ll go from the dam to the Market Street Park, and maybe over to the opposite side toward Owasco Street.  
    • Sarah will bring a table and a sign-in sheet (for ABC promotions and COVID contact tracing if needed).  
    • Chuck invited Sarah to the City Council meeting on Thursday, April 22 at 5 pm to accept the Earth Day Proclamation.  Sarah will bring a single student.
  • ABC Park Pick-up day: Saturday May 22, 2021 9am Veterans Park
    • Chuck will ask his colleague Rhonda to update the posters for the May 22 event, to be shared after the April 24th event. Chuck will send it out to ABC members.
    • The City always throws the Arbor Day logo on park pickup posters for the sake of future Arbor Day Foundation grants. 
  • Casey Park Plywood Figures Update – Sarah
    • Sarah had met with Jeffrey Pirrozolo for another reason, and they discussed the figures.  Pirrozolo called Joe and Joe is picking them up on Friday.
    • Chuck makes a motion to proceed with the project and get the figures restored through the Finger Lakes Art Council for the suggested $400.  Sarah seconds.
  • Photo Contest – Sarah
    • Can anyone make a flyer for this?
  • Other Business
    • Claire shared The Lorax Project | “I Speak for the Trees” Grant Program information, which is $150 toward Earth Day kinds of activities.  Sarah will share the grant opportunity with students in the climate group at the high school.
    • The “Welcome to Auburn” sign near the high school is missing its W.  It might cost up to $100 to have a replacement W created.  Sarah will ask the AHS tech teacher, Justin, to look at it.  If that falls through, Chuck will find someone.
    • Chuck was invited to a meeting lately about a large Lowe’s grant that would require far more expertise and time than ABC has, so he declined on behalf of ABC.
  • Tim will continue reaching out to the church group that routinely participates in the park pickup day.
  • Claire asked if there’s a water hookup near the Wilds’ garden.  Tim will ask the owner for help getting water.
  • Schedule next meeting Tuesday May 11, 2021 @ 5:30 pm – Zoom
    • The first Tuesdays at 5:30 seems to work for most members.
  • Adjourn 
    • Tim makes a motion to adjourn.  Joe seconds. All approve.  

March 8, 2021

Present:  Sarah Dibble, Claire Lovell, Joe Sarnicola, Pete Cramer, Tim Donovan, Chuck Mason, Dan Orzechowski, Glenn Thomas

Guest: Mike Talbot (until 5:13)

  • Call to Motion
    Sarah made a call to motion at 5:03 pm
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes  
    Chuck made a motion to approve, Pete seconded, all approve.
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • This month there has been an accounting fee of $65 and another $60 to join New York Council of Non-profits (NYCON), which keeps us in a directory and nonprofit advice and guidance. Tim requests that we invite NYCON to visit and give a presentation.
    • Joe also has a $650 check for insurance that he will bring to Sarah at the high school to sign.
    • Expenditures $775 for the month, leaving a balance of $9,014.76.
  • Permaculture Park Update – Pete
    • Pete is pruning the fruit trees.  Everything looks good there.
    • The city will eventually install large signs (through Walt and Mike).
  • Social Media Update – Dan
    • Dan has gotten access to the ABC Facebook account.  He asks if he can advertise (unpaid) the meetings ahead of time. Sarah approves.
    • Dan has been working on the website and installed a few free plugins. He asks if anyone has recent pictures for updating the galleries and for social media. Please email pictures to Dan. Joe and Sarah will find pictures of the Casey Park courtyard and the Franklin St triangle.
    • He asks if there is an ABC logo file. Sarah will send him one.
    • Sarah will also send him the list of board members.
  • Casey Park Plywood Figures Update – Joe
    • Joe hasn’t heard from Jeff Pirozzolo yet.
    • This is a series of plywood figures of historically significant people. The district is going to research the provenance before handing them over to ABC.  The Arts Council will help restore the figures and ABC will find a new home for them.
  • Look into Historical Signs repainting – Glenn
  • 2021 Projects -Prioritize / pick dates  – Mike Talbot

ABC Projects

  • Earth Day  Event?  Saturday April 24 Time? Flyer?
    • Earth Day is Thursday, April 22 but we will have better availability on Saturday. 
    • On Saturday, April 24, we will clean up the Riverwalk, meeting at the plaza parking lot with the sign company, behind Generations Bank. We’ll meet there at 10 am.
    • We have buckets, trash bags and three grabber-sticks.  Sarah can provide some gloves and Joe has some work gloves and a wagon. 
    • Mike has staff working on Saturdays who could pick up trash that day. Sarah will keep in touch with him.
    • Pete will extend an invitation to the Cayuga Climate Coalition.
    • Annual Park Pick-up Day  – Saturday May 22
      • Mike reports that the City is happy to lend tools and to pick up the garbage afterwards as they have every year.
      • This event starts at 9 am at Veteran’s Park.
      • Mitch will lend us a popup tent.? If not Sarah can provide
      • Chuck will send Sarah the flyer to update for 2021.
    • Clean-up nature trail in Flemming/Dunning Ave
    • Routine riverwalk cleanup – Quarterly
    • Routine Bonocore Park cleanup, Market Street Park, and Freedom Park

City  – Ask Mike Talbot

  • Clean Cross @ Veteran’s Park
    • Mike notes that the City does routinely do this every few years. They use Clorox and a pressure washer and will do it this year.
    • Tulips or Snow Alyssum @ Veteran’s Park
      • Mike suggests the group walk through the area and pick out a spot or two to plant flowers.
    • Do something with Arterial – Near Mark’s/Byrne Dairy

BID – Ask Stephanie DeVito

  • Planting/Maintenance of triangle at the welcome to BID District – near St. Mary’s
    • Stephanie was excited about ABC adopting this triangle.
    • Adopt the corner flower garden in front of Wild’s on Genesee St.  – Cigarette butt holder
      • Stephanie said the cigarette butt problem is universal and wishes us luck.
    • Sparkle on State Street
      • The BID wants to drape State Street from KeyBank (Genesee street) to Prison City (Dill street) with string lights. 
      • We would need to think about how many lights we would need, electricity requirements, lifespan (with regard to weather) and sustainability.
      • Tim wonders about the minimum height of the string lights, because that street does serve tall trucks.
      • Chuck notes that from June through September, the City is constructing a park there, so it’s probably a bad year to drape lights there.
  • 2021 Fundraising
    • ABC Tent at ERHC? Chuck to keep us updated
    • Scarecrow contest (like in Batavia NY)
      • Businesses and individuals can decorate lamp-posts along Genesee Street. 
      • Stephanie at the BID is happy to help!
      • We will need to determine what supplies we need and bring that list to Home Depot to ask for donations.  Tim volunteers to do this.
      • What date span should we do?
      • Sarah will seek out the project leader in Batavia to get information.
    • Tree Sale
      • Pete had done all the number crunching for this potential fundraiser.  Joe noted that it sounds like a lot of work for Pete and the landowner.  The beds would have to be prepared first, and the plants would have to go in the ground on May 7 (the pick up day in 2021). They’ll need to be mulched after planting.  They should be dug up in the fall.
      • Pete suggests that once we plant them in Sarah’s yard, we work up the promotion and a campaign for planting in the fall (and to sell the trees at a profit).  Pete and Sarah will talk privately about her yard and logistics.
  • Other Business
    • T-shirts/Polos
      • Sarah has ABC polo shirts to distribute to the new members, and would like to get an updated group picture at our next clean up.
    • Earth Day Kids Craft
      • Artist Sandy Shutter is opening a new art gallery in Willard Chapel and will have an Earth Day event featuring a free craft activity for kids. Joe wondered if ABC would sponsor the craft materials ($50-$100).  The group discussed the potential mission creep and decided not to support the request.
      • The group will discuss a mission clarification at the April meeting and will draft a form for donation requests.
    • (Pete will be unavailable for a few days around April 19)
    • Claire suggested we sponsor an online lecture or two this spring, possibly in collaboration with the public library, about planting and gardening.
      • Perhaps Pete? Or Janet Allen? Someone from SUNY ESF?
    • Dan suggested a local contest, incentivized by a modest gift card (~$10-$20), for photography of beautiful Auburn.

  • Schedule next meeting Monday April 12, 2021 @ 5pm – Zoom?
    • Joe has a new job where he will be unavailable on Monday evenings (3 to 9 pm).  Sarah will send out an email about availability.
  • Adjourn
    • Tim makes a motion to adjourn. Dan seconds. All approve.  Adjourned at 6:08 pm.

February 8, 2021

Members Present:

Joe Sarnicola, Sarah Dibble, Tim Donovan, Peter Cramer, Claire Lovell, Glenn Thomas, Chuck Mason

Members Absent:

Dan Orzechowski

  • Call to Motion
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes-ACTION ITEM
    • Joe makes a motion, Pete seconds
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • We got a rebate of $12 from the MasterCard account
    • Joe checked the mail and found the board insurance bill and NYCON membership bill, so those will both show up in next month’s budget update.
    • Joe and Sarah will go to the bank to switch names to Sarah (from Mitch)
    • Chuck will look into the City’s $5,000 annual contribution
    • Balance is $9,789.76
  • Permaculture Park Update – Pete
    • No new updates. Wintertime.  This month, they’ll prune the fruit trees.
    • The fencing purchase was canceled (and returned on the credit card) because Pete’s access to a trailer fell through. 
  • Social Media Update – Dan/Chuck
    • Dan was able to sign into the new ABC Instagram account.
    • Chuck is the administrator for the ABC FB account and will need to add Dan.  Sarah is only an editor.
  • Casey Park Plywood Figures Update – Joe
    • Joe sent an email to Jeff  Pirozzolo (superintendent). The person in charge of the figures has been out on quarantine.
  • Harriet Tubman Mural Update – Joe
    • They’re looking for insurance assistance and $30,000, which we can’t help with.
  • Look into Historical Signs repainting – Glenn
    • Glenn left a message with Paula at the Pomeroy Foundation but hasn’t heard back.  
    • He also talked to Ruth Bradley, the Cayuga County Historian, who gave him some insight about maintenance. She suggested talking to the Pomeroy Foundation to get information about the paint, and also noted we should talk to the local property owners before we touch the signs.  Some property owners have maintained the signs themselves. 
    • Glenn found an online map with the markers of Cayuga County: Historical Marker Database Map ( 
    • Tim suggested Glenn talk to Michael Long, retired city employee.
  • 2021 Projects – Prioritize / pick dates
    • Annual Park Pick-up Day – Saturday May 22, 2021
      • Sarah will double check with the Health Department (we’ll follow safety guidelines). Chuck notes that typical city events aren’t scheduled in 2021.
      • Chuck will try to send the existing flyer to Sarah and she can update it.
    • Earth Day Event – Thursday April 22, 2021
      • Sarah suggested a social media post.
      • Chuck suggested a riverwalk cleanup the next Saturday: April 24.
      • Pete will ask the Cayuga Climate Coalition if they’d like to collaborate on this.  
    • ABC sponsored Wreath for Memorial Day – Monday May 31, 2021
      • The event will probably not happen because of COVID, but we could still do a sponsored wreath for the Veteran’s park.
    • Claire suggests committing to a set schedule for monthly cleanups. Chuck notes that we could do the riverwalk clean up monthly because it accumulates so much trash. He proposes four cleanups over the year at the rivertrail.  
    • Other proposed cleanup spots:
      • Clean-up nature trail in Flemming/Dunning Ave
      • Clean-up West-End of Genesee Street
      • Clean- up of Y-Fields 
      • Routine Bonocore Park cleanup, Market Street Park, and Freedom Park 
  • City  – Ask Mike Talbot
    • Sarah will invite Mike to the March meeting.
    • Do something with Arterial – Near Mark’s/Byrne Dairy.  
      • Sarah did talk to Julie Liccion and the Z-club’s plans are still on hold as they wait for the state to respond.
      • Tim noted the vast improvement of Erie Boulevard in Dewitt
    • Clean Cross @ Veteran’s Park
    • Tulips or Snow Alyssum @ Veteran’s Park
  • BID – Ask Stephanie DeVito
    • Sarah will also invite Stephanie to the March meeting. 
    • Planting/Maintenance of triangle at the welcome to BID District – near St. Mary’s
    • Adopt the corner flower garden in front of Wild’s on Genesee St. and install a cigarette butt holder?
  • 2021 Fundraising
    • ABC Tent at ERHC? Chuck to keep us updated
      • On hold due to COVID
    • Rummage sale – when safe from COVID – location? Dates?
      • On hold due to COVID
    • Scarecrow contest – Dates?  Start planning now
      • Sarah had sent out two articles about a scarecrow competition in Batavia that we could mimic (here and here). Entries were $20 to participate and there was a “cash prize for most creative.”  
      • Claire suggested asking Lowe’s for sponsorship, as the Batavia one had Home Depot as a sponsor. 
      • This would definitely require talks with Mike Talbot and Stephanie Devito, too.
  • Selling plants/trees – Pete/Claire
    • The plant sale listing will say things like “2-2,” meaning it was raised for 2 years and transplanted for 2 years, but the size is extremely variable.  If we had a place, we could plant them immediately and then sell them from that land over time.
    • We need space with sun and no grass.  Sarah volunteered her yard.
    • Pete mentioned that the Cortland County program offers a few other really nice options. He specifies that there are a lot of great trees in the Cayuga program.  
    • He recommends that we ask Walt Aikman what he’d like to see in Auburn.
    • A bed 4’ by 8’ long – 50 could be planted 6 inches apart.  Some bigger conifers needed a foot apart.  They can be relatively close.  If deer are an issue, we’d need a fence.  These trees are about 6” by 2’.  
    • Pete will do some math to figure out the number we’d need.  
  • Other Business 
    • Tim brought up that it’s the last phase of community development block grant money.  He’d like to see a new sign at Bonocore Park.  Chuck notes that there is a new program from the planning department for new signs at all city parks.
  • Next meeting: Monday March 8, 2021 @ 5pm – Zoom
  • Adjourned at 5:58 pm

January 19, 2021

Members Present:

Joe Sarnicola, Sarah Dibble, Glenn Thomas, Chuck Mason, Claire Lovell, Dan Orzechowski

Members Absent:

Tim Donovan, Peter Cramer

  • Call to order at 5:05 pm
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes
    • Joe made a motion to approve the minutes from December 14, 2020, with a date change to the minutes
    • Glenn seconded, unanimously approved
  • Officially Vote in Slate of 2021 Officers & New Members
    • Chair: Sarah Dibble
    • Vice Chair: Peter Cramer
    • Treasurer: Joe Sarnicola
    • Secretary: Claire Lovell
    • Member: Dan Orzechowski
    • Motion to approve the 2021 slate of officers made by Joe, seconded by Glenn, unanimously approved
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • Pete made one more purchase (fencing for $99) but it’s not yet on the ABC books.
    • One additional line is under programs & projects: $422.18 for plants ordered now that will be delivered in the spring.
    • Ending 2020 balance of $9,777.72
    • Claire made a motion to approve the 2021 budget, seconded by Chuck, unanimously approved. 
  • Review Tentative 2021 Budget
    • Delineate General Project Line Item Budget for 2021 Projects
    • Currently budgeted for $5,610, of which $2,360 remains for “general projects”
    • We already have buckets, grabbers, and bags for clean up projects.  We may need one more $20 grabber.  Sarah would donate boxes of gloves.
      • Annual Park Pick-up Day (already budgeted at $150)
      • Clean-up nature trail in Flemming/Dunning Ave
      • Clean-up West-End of Genesee Street (need clarification on exact place)
      • Clean- up of Y-Fields
      • Routine riverwalk cleanup
      • Routine Bonocore Park cleanup, Market Street Park, and Freedom Park
    • Planting at the triangle at the welcome to BID District – near St. Mary’s
      • Sarah will check with Stephanie Devito of the BID about permissions, in order to plant perennials, add landscaping paper, lay down mulch, and add a solar light (to match the other four Welcome to Auburn signs).
      • Sarah will email Pete for plant recommendations.
      • Glenn recommends that we plan to remove the solar lights before winter to keep them safe.
    • Clean Cross @ Veteran’s Park
      • The group isn’t sure if the cross is a stone that requires careful, professional cleaning, in which case we’ll need to get three quotes for cleaning it. Either way, we will need permission from the city before we touch the cross.
      • If it can be done with a power-washer, both Sarah and Glenn have personal power-washers.  Glenn suggests we could look into an anti-mold solution.
      • Chuck confirms that there’s a water hookup there.  He suggests we compile our list of project plans and then bring a comprehensive list of city-property projects to Mike Talbot, head of DPW, for his input and help with coordination.
      • The same would be true for planting Tulips or Snow Alyssum @ Veteran’s Park.
    • Do something with Arterial – Near Mark’s/Byrne Dairy 
      • Julie Liccion had started some application process with the state for the Z-club to do a pollinator garden.  This was prior to COVID.  The New York State Department of Transportation will need to be involved.  Sarah will ask Julie.
      • Chuck noted that the median, where there’s grass, is probably filled in with bad-quality fill, so planted trees would not be successful there.  
      • Given the barriers and complications, this will be a low priority for 2021.
    • Assist with funding/installation of Harriet Tubman Mural (on side of Nolan building)
      • This was way out of our budget, but we might do something as a token effort.
      • Laura Ullyette had contacted Joe initially, and he’ll follow up with her.
    • Adopt the corner flower garden in front of Wild’s on Genesee St.
      • Claire had planted some azaleas and other plants and found that the quality of soil was very poor, with only a few inches of dirt before finding large rocks.  Pete had shared a lot of helpful insight over email, noting that the spot is also difficult for plants because of the lack of sunlight.  Joe and Sarah suggest a rock garden or art installation instead.
      • Chuck added that this project should be brought up with Stephanie Devito of the BID.
    • Casey Park plywood figures
      • Joe got an email from the superintendent that they’re “still looking into it.” Joe will follow up in a few weeks if he doesn’t hear more.  
      • Joe suggested about $400 to be budgeted for this project if we can get the figures.
    • Historical Markers
      • Glenn will follow up about the possibilities for repainting chipped and faded signs.  There are certain colors to use, and the sign has to be treated properly.  Chuck noted that Seneca Falls had re-done many of their historical markers leading up to 2020 and would have a company name.
      • Claire brought up a new Legends and Lore marker program from the Pomeroy foundation.  Claire will email the link (Legends & Lore® Marker Grant Program | William G. Pomeroy Foundation ( 
      • Chuck mentioned that the city will find out in the spring if the Pomeroy Foundation will fund Women’s Suffrage markers that will be purple and white.
      • Chuck added that Cayuga County has one of the highest number of the markers, and the historian’s office is really good at keeping track of them.  However, more markers mean more maintenance.
    • Social Media presence
      • Sarah created an Instagram account for Auburn Beautification Commission: ABC (@aubbeautificationcom) • Instagram photos and videos. Dan will take it over, as that is his professional expertise.  Dan and Claire both suggest sticking with Facebook and Instagram, not bothering with Twitter.
      • Claire suggested we not just post our events and before-and-afters, but we also share and re-post pretty pictures from other Facebook groups and Instagram accounts, where possible. 
      • Claire made a motion to appoint Dan the social media coordinator, Joe seconded, unanimously approved. 
  • 2021 Fundraising Ideas & Planning
    • Claire had previously suggested re-selling young plants from the Cayuga County Conservation Plant Sale.  Pete had replied with a thoughtful email about just how young (and therefore delicate) those plants often were, so that re-selling them might not be feasible.  Claire will forward his information to the rest of the group to consider.
    • Could we do a scarecrow contest?  Sarah will look into the details of the inspiration contest.
    • ERHC – reselling tulip bulbs – but that Saturday weekly market might not happen this year, reports Chuck.
    • Joe suggests a coordinated yard sale when we’re able to do events again.
  • Schedule next meeting
    • Our next meeting will be Monday, February 8 at 5 pm.
  • Adjourn
    • Glenn made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe, unanimously approved at 5:54 pm

December 14, 2020

Members Present: 

Mitch Maniccia

Joe Sarnicola

Sarah Dibble

Dan Orzechowski

Chuck Mason

Peter Cramer

Members Absent:

Tim Donovan  

Glenn Thomas


Claire Lovell

  • Call to order at 5:05 pm
  • Motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting made by Joe, seconded by Dan, unanimously approved

Slate of officers 2021-2022 – To be officially approved at January meeting

Chair: Sarah Dibble

Vice Chair: Peter Cramer

Treasurer: Joe Sarnicola

Secretary: Claire Lovell

  • Motion to approve the slate of officers made by Sarah, seconded by Joe, unanimously approved

Budget Update

  • Review of 2021 – 2022 proposed budget
  • Suggestion of possibly delineate General Project’s line per project
  • Current balance $10,199.90
  • Motion to approve proposed budget made by Sarah, seconded by Dan, unanimously approved

2020 Projects

  • Casey Park Project – Plywood figures – Joe in touch with Finger Lakes Arts Council and AECSD Superintendent Jeff Pirrozolo, about restoration of figures and display all over city

Permaculture Park Update

  • Signs done for park – Pete and Walt to install
  • Black Walnut tree in park – oldest in county – city repaired split in tree using flexible webbing
  • Living Willow Art – project funded by CBDG

2021 Fundraising

  • Could we explore Community Block Development Grant projects?

2021 Potential Projects: Review & edit current list

  • Clean-up nature trail in Flemming/Dunning Ave
    • Clean-up West-End of Genesee Street
    • Clean- up of Y-Fields
    • Do something with Arterial – Near Mark’s/Byrne Dairy – possible clovers, snowbells, cherry trees
    • Planting at the triangle at the welcome to BID District – near St. Mary’s
    • Clean Cross @ Veteran’s Park
    • Tulips or Snow Alyssum @ Veteran’s Park
    • Assist with funding/installation of Harriet Tubman Mural (on side of Nolan building)
      • Mitch reached out to his connections in Dorchester County in Maryland (who had funded a Harriet Tubman mural there), who pointed him to some funders of that area.  He referred Laurel to the same kind of funders around here.
    • Adopt the corner flower garden in front of Wild’s on Genesee St. 
      • Claire did some guerilla planting of clearanced plants (rhododendrons & azaleas) and discovered that the garden bed is only 2-3 inches of dirt on top of a mound of large rocks.  Chuck noted that the
    • Look into Historical Signs repainting
    • Casey Park plywood figures
  • Routine riverwalk cleanup
  • Chuck proposes doing something with the Bonacore park across from Wegmans on the corner of Loop Road and Genesee Street.  CBDG funds were used for this park, like removing diseased trees and adding nice park furniture.  This park is part of the revitalized river trail.  This would tie in well with the river clean-up in the summer of 2020. 
  • The same will be true once the State Street Bridge is done; that area will need to be cleaned up next summer.  We could also review the Market Street park area, the Freedom Park, and through the Mill Street dam.
  • Chuck proposes a routine clean up schedule to do 3 or 4 clean up sessions each summer. 
  • Gary Oliver, a local volunteer, personally took care of the Market Street park this year, and it looks nice. 
  • Annual Park Pick-up Day

Other Business

  • Farewell Party? Mitch declined via email.  The group thanked Mitch for his years of great leadership.  ABC was the first community group he joined when he moved to Auburn in 2015 (and the first one he’s chaired since).
  • Joe mentioned that there are some things (Lowe’s card contact, nonprofit tax paperwork, etc.) that will have to be worked out for the transition from Mitch to Sarah.
  • Next Meeting Monday, January 11th at 5 pm via Zoom (rescheduled for Tuesday January 19)
  • Motion to adjourn made by Joe, seconded by Mitch, unanimously approved.
  • Meeting adjourned at 6:05