Friends of Fort Defiance members at their monthly meeting this week at the Estherville Public Library previewed the annual newsletter and planned projects for the upcoming summer.
Debbie Wilson, member and director of the Iowa Lakes Community College graphic arts program, showed members copies of the newsletter with an article by Gary Phillips, Friends vice president and director of Iowa Lakes environmental studies program, on the potential impact of the emerald ash borer to the park. Other articles touch on the Oct. 31 Fright Hike that brought over 600 to Whitetail Ridge Interpretive Trail, the Prairie Ecology Bus Center visit, raffle of woodburnings of the lodge done by artist Mike Watt and a story on work on Whitetail Ridge.
In other business, president John Wittneben said he and Dave Seylar will measure the picnic shelter to determine the amount of materials required to reroof it.
Wittneben said a prescribed burn is also necessary in the park.
"There's going to be a fire. Do you want it managed or to be an accident," asked Wittneben.
Phillips suggested Spring Creek near the campground would be a good area for a prescribed burn since it's hemmed by roads on three sides.
Wittneben also noted litter by the swing on the east side of the park and that the DNR would have no problem with the group placing a trash barrel as long as it were emptied.
Members also discussed a grant application for the head of the Spring Creek Trail and the four entrances to the Prairie Trail.
The group also endorsed the idea of hosting a coffee house for Iowa Lakes music students in September. Members also agreed to hold Fort Defiance Day Sept. 27 and dedication of Whitetail Ridge May 3.
The group meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month at the Estherville Public Library and twice a month during the summer to do work projects in the park.
Memberships are $10 for individuals or families and may be sent to: Friends of Fort Defiance, P.O. Box 314, Estherville, IA 51334.