While we catch our breath the Museum Board met twice earlier this month to attend planning meetings. The projects and activities for 2019 need to be planned in advance. For example the summer concert series has been discussed and contracts issued to bring in 9 musical groups next summer. A grant will be applied for to construct a second hiking trail and facility improvements at the Red Barn Preserve. We have penciled in thoughts for two guest speakers, proposed two crafts classes , requested our Board member Gary Alford host a shore dinner, scheduled two Volunteers days, and talked about maintenance projects that will need to be completed before the end of the summer. Looks like 2019 is shaping up to be another busy year.
We may have closed the Main Street museum doors for the season but we have not closed the Red Barn Preserve. Some of you may have noticed a lot of cars parked at the farm over the last couple of weeks. Our volunteers are scrambling to finish a few projects. George Coslar and Jeff Swift built a wonderful Kiosk next to the barn that will be used to display our hiking trail information. Rich Bzura got a chance to test out his paint sprayer on the south side of the Red Barn. The garden plot was harvested and plans are in place to grow at least one giant pumpkin next year. Thanks to the donations from friends of the museum-5 new park benches have been placed around the Preserve. A couple of board members have laid out the rough location of the proposed second hiking trail and a new outhouse has been installed .
I mentioned last month that Dr Jessica Rogers (Assistant professor of Environmental studies, SUNY Potsdam) requested permission to conduct studies at the Red Barn Preserve to eliminate an invasive species know as purple loosestrife. Jessica presented her project to the Gateway Museum Board of Trustees and it was approved. During the summer of 2019 and 2020 Jessica and her summer interns will set up test quadrants to determine the most effective way to control this plant. While we are sad to know that we have a lot of purple loosestrife around the Preserve- we are happy to have Jessica help to eliminate the species.
The most exciting news this month concerns the Farm House at the Red Barn Preserve. The Farm house is a wonderful stone house build in 1835. It needs a lot of work to make the place livable. Money has been raised from the community to start the renovation of the house. Work started last week and will continue until Spring. The former owners of the property Allan and Loraine Bogardus would be proud to see the effort museum members are putting in to bring about all the changes.
The Gateway Museum and its volunteers work hard to bring positive changes to the community. Most of the time the efforts are focused on developing new exhibits or creating recreational opportunities at the Red Barn Preserve. Sometimes our members reach out beyond our normal boundaries to make a difference. Recently several board members got together to talk about replacing the three “Welcome to Morristown” signs that have badly deteriorated over the last 12 years. These signs were originally installed by the Morristown Chamber of Commerce. New graphics have been prepared and a fund raising drive launched to pay for this work. We hope to have the new signs up before the end of the year.
We welcome anyone who would like to work a couple of hours for the museum. It’s not too early to provide us your name and interests for next year. I would be happy to add you to our list of volunteers. You can provide us your contact information through the website or call me on my cell phone at 614-205-8437.
October 16, 2108