It was standing room only at the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters when the Annual Community Meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association was convened this last week. The keynote speaker was Matt Blankenship, a wildlife conflict specialist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, whose presentation was entitled “Living with Wildlife.” The Association held its Board election, and a video presentation provided a photo review of some of the Association’s activities over the last year. Representatives of several local organizations were also available to meet with residents interested in learning more each group.
The Year in Review
In 2018 the GNA continued its tradition of offering a summertime community picnic. Musical guests Humor & Heart played. Taylor Seafood Farms made a generous donation of seafood and staff to prepare and serve shellfish delights we’re fortunate to offer at a community event of this kind. Association Board members and volunteers crewed the event and local businesses and organizations pitched in with donations and staffed informational tables. We covered the event in two pieces published before and after the picnic.
This last November the Association hosted a town hall on traffic safety, featuring representatives of the Sheriff’s Department. If you’re on Nextdoor, you can read a thorough summary here.
Volunteers associated with the GNA also conducted several trash clean-ups along area roads in the last year. A schedule of future clean-up events will appear on our Facebook Page and Nextdoor’s Events calendar.
Local Organizations Featured
Here are the names and links to information for the not-for-profit organizations that provided information at the Community meeting:
Arbutus Folk School. Local contact is David Paul.
Fences for Fido. Local contacts are Mike and Becky Reavis.
St Christopher’s Church and Food Pantry. Local contacts are Lindy Vincent or Bill Hanna.
“Living With Animals”
Matt Blankenship’s presentation greatly interested all of us. Before this meeting who knew Fish & Wildlife employed “wildlife conflict specialists”? Mr. Blankenship described many of the animals with whom we share our Peninsula and provided tips about how to enjoy them and, in some instances, how to protect our property from them. His presentation highlighted the presence of deer, woodpeckers, coyotes, bobcats, black bears, and cougars in our area. There were a lot of questions at the Q&A that followed! One big takeaway had to do with the variety of resources available to us from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Also discussed was the importance of reporting especially large animal sighting (for example, bears and cougars) to Fish & Wildlife. Their phone number is (877) 933-9847, and there is a web page for making reports of dangerous wildlife at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/dangerous/reports/
Thank you to Board members Jan Hopwood and Jim Goldsmith for this year’s keynote speaker.
Board Election Fails to Fill All Positions
GNA bylaws permit a Board of Directors of between 10 and 17 members. Each year, half these positions on the Board are put up for election and this year there were six open positions to be filled. We were able to fill one of these positions at the meeting.
The Association can continue to operate with a Board of closer to 10 members, instead of the full 17. However, this is a volunteer-run organization and it benefits all if we can fill more positions on the Board. Anyone living or owning property within the boundaries of the Griffin School District can serve on the Board. And we can continue to add Directors throughout the year; it does not require a community meeting.
For more information about serving on our Board, please click here to view our Board Member FAQ. Contact any Board Member, if you have questions. Board meetings are open to the public and the 2019 schedule of meetings will be published on our Facebook Page and on Nextdoor shortly after the Board’s February organizing meeting.