Tuesday, November 14, 2023

October 2023

 Eagle Heights Garden Committee Minutes

October 11, 2023  7 PM

Remote Meeting

Ann, Ian, Lily, Alex, Jolene, Barb L, Jessica, 

Barb A and Karen.

Minutes  With a motion by Ann and seconded by Lily, the September 2023 minutes were approved. 

Registrar Update

Lily reports there are now 4 empty plots and the water will be turned off sometime next week.

E and R Seeds has already donated a box of seeds for the Seed Fair. We also received a box of seeds from a local garden center.

The Seed Fair will be April 6th and the seed repackaging and sorting is on January 15th. 

The committee agreed to spend up to $100 on Seed Fair supplies.

Andy, a former garden worker, asks if he could have the old metal pieces of the removed Arbor.  Discussion ensued.  Jolene said that we are not allowed to give away state property.  Some people suggested replacing the arbor with a good concrete foundation and the committee agreed to discuss it this winter.

The weed piles need to be removed.  Lily asked for a cost estimate from UW Physical Plant to remove both weed piles.  Lily will ask if any of the other gardening groups have been using the pile also and can contribute to the removal costs. When the weed pile is removed, UW Pest Management will be there to check if there are rats living in the pile.

Nicole and Lily met with NRCS representatives last week.  Pollinator gardens were discussed.  We will hear more later.  

The date for putting away the carts and tools is November 5th.

2024 Applications

The 2024 applications are being updated.  Could the student status be based on the number of credits? Are auditors considered students? Jolene suggested we use the UW Housing criteria for verifying student status. Discussion ensued about the rise in price and people's ability to pay.  The lowest is the student price.  For people in the community price range, we could have an appeal process to the committee.  Lily will send any email telling gardeners about the new fees.

Garden Worker Report

The last path mowing will be soon.  Very few people are signing up for workdays lately.  The tasks still to be done are replacing a few faucets, digging trees and generally cleaning up.  Ian said he had a discussion with a Preserve volunteer about the 500’s native shrub border.  There will be a discussion with the GOC about who has responsibility for this area.  Lily will send an email to Laura and Rhonda about the boundaries and connect with Ian. 

Ian will send an email to Ric and Karen about repairing carts.  Ian would also like to clean out the shed.


Jolene suggests that the Gardens keep pace with the UW cost of living increases so there is not such a jump in wages like we had in the recent past.  The committee agreed we should follow the UW cola in the future.

Adjourned 7:43

Submitted by Karen, subject to correction by the Garden Committee   

September 2023

 Eagle Heights Garden Committee Minutes

September 13, 2023  7 PM

Remote Meeting

Ann, Ian, Lily, Jolene, Alex, Nichole, Robert, Jessica, 

Hema and Karen.

Minutes  The August 2023 minutes were approved. 

Registrar Update

Lily reports that the only people on the waiting list are people that have requested specific plots near or adjacent to current ones. No new applicants are on the list. 

The tomato tasting was a big success! There were many varieties and a good turnout. We should plan to do it again next year around the same time. 

The weed juries did not go well this year. Some groups did not report, or were quite late. Of the reports, some groups always list many plots in their section, including some that look very nice, and others don’t list plots that are obviously abandoned. Lily did a walkthrough anyway, but the whole system creates extra work and makes it more difficult to hold people accountable for weedy or abandoned plots. It only takes about an hour to walk all of EH and check the plots, so Lily proposes just one group for each site that meets with the registrar once a month and we walk through together. This would be fairer, more consistent and would be much easier too. The committee agreed to the change.

Weed piles are huge and Lily learned that Shorewood is no longer picking them up. There was a meeting that we were not present for a while ago and Shorewood  left with the understanding that our agreement with them is over.  Lily will try to have a meeting with all parties and try to find a solution.

UW Housing Apartment Facilities has been extremely helpful. They helped remove the unwanted chips from EH and they will work with us to deliver leaves and chips as much as they are able. 

Lily has also requested horse manure but has not gotten a reply about that either. 

There was a discussion about when to present new fees and potentially have a town hall meeting. Ann suggests October to inform people, and said an online meeting in addition to in-person would be a good idea. Jolene says the Community Center will be closed Oct 9-16.

A gardener who is an artist asked about painting shed at EH to make it more colorful. If this is of interest, in addition to committee approval we would need Preserve approval. 

There has been a request for tools closer to piles. We talked about this last year also. Something to consider for next season. 

Would it be possible to have some quarter plots in the future?  There are some gardeners that still struggle with maintaining a half plot. Quarter plots would only be possible at the ends of rows but this might make gardening more accessible to them.  

Seed Fair date is April 6th 2024.

Garden Worker Report

Nichole now has a full time job with the USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS).  The NRCS can provide advice and help and are expanding their mission to help community gardens.  It also may be possible to receive grants.  Discussion ensued including installing pollinator gardens, improving irrigation, fencing, the ever expanding turkey population and having some accessible plots.  The committee thought accessible plots would be more easily done at University Houses because it is closer to the parking.  Lily will check to see if Eagle Heights Garden is eligible.

Ian reported that he and Nicole want to clean out the shed. All are welcome.

There is ongoing confusion about where the University House water shutoff is located. Discussion  ensued.  Jloene will assist in this matter.

Co-Chair Applicants

The three co-chair applicants each spoke to the committee.  After their presentations they were asked to leave the remote meeting.  Discussion ensued.

The Committee unanimously chose Alex as the new co-chair.

Adjourned 7:55

Submitted by Karen, subject to correction by the Garden Committee   

August 2023

 Eagle Heights Garden Committee Minutes

August 9, 2023  7 PM

At University Houses and some people by Remote Meeting

Ann, Barb A, Lily, Jolene, Barb L, Nichole, Ric, Jessica, 

Doug, Sandra and Karen.

Minutes  Motion by Ann and seconded by Ric to approve the July 2023 minutes. The minutes were approved. 

Registrar Update

Lily reports that the waiting list is quite short.  There have been complaints about bikes in the UW Preserve.  Bikes are allowed in the garden, but not in the Preserve.  Laura would like us to cover the bike sign at the entrance.

There was a suggestion to use a butane torch to burn weeds off the wire fences.  The Committee decided that this was a fire hazard and is not allowed.  

There was discussion about an elderberry bush in a plot.  Discussion ensued.  There are elderberry bushes along the easement.  Elderberry bushes are aggressive and very difficult to remove.  Elderberries were removed with great difficulty from a plot.  The garden workers have made a big effort to remove trees from the gardens and are making good progress.  

Motion by Ric and seconded by Bard L to remove the elderberry from the plot after this year's harvest.  All agreed.

A gardener was requested to remove Artemesia along the 12” boundary path with the neighbor and fell.  Discussion ensued.  It is difficult to get everyone to clear the paths between plots.  People plant along the border and plants get larger than people expect.  Lily will send out an email about keeping the 12” path between plots clear.

How many gardeners need a workday?

Lily estimates that 118 gardeners still need to complete a workday.  There need to be enough workday opportunities so we can go back to the rule requiring a workday every year for every plot.

Doug will have a ditch workday and there will be a workday later to remove the elderberry.

Garden Worker Report

Ian reported a dead tree at University Houses.  Since we were there, we could see the dead tree was on UW Preserve land and not our responsibility.  

The west leaf pile at University Houses cannot be serviced any longer by Housing because the road is impassable in wet weather and overgrown.

The weed pile at Eagle Heights has not been removed this year.  Lily will ask about it at the GOC.  Nichole reports that many tasks have been caught up and she is now here working. Ian has now been removing the trees in plots and the buffer zones. Ian would like to know how many people still need to do workdays? 

Budget and Fees 

There was discussion about the budget and fee review.  The GOC had concerns that the rise in fees for students and residents is too high.  Since the chart with the information could not be shared electronically with all present, the decision to take the GOC recommendation will be made by email discussion.  

Electronic Vole Deterrents

The vole deterrent puts out a beeping sound.  After discussion there was a general consensus that these electronic deterrents do not work.  Better advice is to take away the cover for them and they also do not like cayenne pepper.  Someone suggested that Castor Bean was a deterrent.  Castor beans are extremely poisonous!  The garden said the castor beans would be removed from the plant.

Herb Garden

There was concern that a community herb garden would be quickly decimated and was probably not a good idea.

August Calendar

The tasks include weeding, the 700s wall and workdays in the former 400’s.  Nichol will email Lily to set up workdays for the weekend.

People commented about how wonderful the new pink paint looks on the tools.

Karen, Ric and Ian need to set up a cart repair workday.


Some people took a tour of University Houses Garden after the meeting.

Submitted by Karen, subject to correction by the Garden Committee  

July 2023

 Eagle Heights Garden Committee Minutes

July 12, 2023 7 PM

Remote Meeting

7:00 Present:  Ian, Ann, Barb A, Megan, Jolene, Sandra and Karen.

Minutes  Motion by Ann and seconded by Sandra to approve the June 2023 minutes. The minutes were approved. 

Registrar Update

The written report from Lily was read as she was on vacation.  The gardens are full but some plots are changing hands.  There are 9 people on the waiting list.  

Budget and Fees 

There was discussion about the budget and fee review.  The GOC had concerns that the rise in fees for students and residents is too high.  Since the chart with the information could not be shared electronically with all present, it was decided to put off any decision until the August meeting.  One question the committee had was what is the student / community member split at the gardens. 

Rain garden

It was suggested by Jim that we apply for a Dane County plant grant for more rain garden plants.  The application is due July 21st.

Motion by Ann and seconded by Barb A to have Jim or Doug apply for the Dane County plant grant on behalf of the Eagle Heights Garden.  Motion passed. 

Hose Reels

Southwest Reel, the company that made the hose reels is now out of business so a new supplier will need to be found.

Leaves at the University Houses back location

Apartment Facilities has concerns that delivering leaves to the back location is not sustainable because in wetter weather, the road is impassable and has become narrower over time.  

Proposed Soil Testing Project

A UW student and gardner has proposed a soil testing research project for community gardens in the Madison area and would like to include Eagle Heights.  They have already received their UW Preserve permit. They propose taking samples in the fall.  There was some concern about disruption of fall crops.  The researchers are happy to work with us to receive consent for each plot and exact area to be sampled. 

Motion by Megan and seconded by Barb Ato approve the soil testing research project.

Motion passed.

Proposed Herb Garden

There is a proposal to have a community herb garden.  There was some discussion about having a non plot location for this garden, perhaps by the new rain garden in the existing triangle.  

Garden Worker Report

Ian reports that many tasks have been caught up and Nichole is now here working. Ian has now been removing the trees in the paths. Ian would like to know how many people still need to do workdays? 

Committee members commented that the bright pink tool handles look great.  The University Houses tool handles still need to be painted.  

There was some discussion about replacing a waterline and putting a second waterline up the 300’s.  The faucets and risers have been assembled already for this project.  More new faucets may need to be purchased for repairs.  Ian will email the Plumbing sub-committee about replacing a water line.  


What is the policy about the use of electronic vole deterrents?

A garden has a neighbor with a beeping vole deterrent, which can be quite annoying.  The neighbor says she can turn it off when she is in the garden.  Are these deterrents effective? Sandra will contact UW Wildlife to ask their opinion about these devices.  The committee decided to discuss it at the next meeting.


Sandra, the webmaster, says there are more things we could do with the website.  She suggests we talk about it at a Fall meeting. She also suggested we have an active Facebook page for pretty pictures, gardening and cooking.  Multiple people should have access to the group and it should be under the Registrar’s email to retain access over time.  Facebook would not be used as the place for complaints or to report problems. There should be 3 to 5 administrators.

There have been some problems with the garden maintenance form being used for Housing problems.  Sandra will try to minimize these by changing the search terms so our website doesn’t appear so soon on a Google search.

Cart Repair

Ian will have a cart repair work group with Ric, Karen and other volunteers.in August.

Garden Worker Leave of Absence

Megan will take a leave of absence for a year.  She has been gone the last two months and is sorry she must leave.  The committee said goodbye for now and thanked her for her good work.

Still pending

Jolene suggested that workdays be set for the whole summer, one weekend and one week night. 

Is it possible to have a Compost sale this year?  Lily will check the budget and report back to the Committee.

In Person Meeting for August 9th

We will meet at University Houses  garden at 7pm on August 9th.  The rain location will be Room 139 in the Community Center.  

Motion to adjourn by Karen and seconded by Barb A

Adjourned about 7:43.

Submitted by Karen, subject to correction by the Garden Committee