Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Notes: Wintonbury Land Trust
Present: Chip Caton, Anne Farnum, Tamara & Oliver Hochman, Jay Stoccatore, Himali Shah, Paula Jones, Kevin Gough, Vikki Reski, and Dale Bertoldi

1. Call to Order
2. Review of Properties
-Received and closed on an additional 3.9 acres from Mrs. Speer to add to the Speer preserve. We have received and deposited a check for expenses. A letter of thanks will be written.
-Thrall Preserve Internship has revealed some interesting facts about the barns. The Potato Barn was built around 1934 and used for potato storage. During the ‘war years’ the Thralls grew a food crop on this property to make them eligible for fertilizer. It is one of Windsor’s only potato barns left. The Tobacco shed was built in the 1920’s and is of smaller size than most sheds because it was used to dry broadleaf tobacco. A charcoal shed is still attached. Most sheds of this type burned down. The power point presentation is available for officers to view and comment on through the basecamp. Dale will write a letter of appreciation for the work that was done. Vikki will check historic barn options for roof repair on the potato barn.
- Kevin will approach Sam Hammer at Holcomb Farms with the offer to use this land for organic farming. It has 6.5 acres of productive land, an irrigation pond, and a storage barn.
-New Stewards for Tunxis Heights are Paula Jones and Kevin Gough. They bring forward experience in the Farmington Valley Watershed. Great to have them join our team.
-Closed on the Privilege Rd. parcel of 22 acres of property given to the Land Trust. A check for taxes is expected in the mail.
3. Reviewed Bloomfield Grange photos and maps. Roof has at least 5 additional years on it. Ideas to help preserve the building were as follows: local non-profit joint use, town dialogue with maintenance in mind, neighborhood outreach (community gardens), farming community, summer camp and near neighbors such as the Swim and Tennis Club. The Board voted to meet w/ the Grange to propose a strategy to preserve this Historic property sharing costs.
4. Treasurers report:
In 2009 we spent nearly $ 4,000 and had an income of $1490. We therefore operated in the negative ($ 2510).
5. Next meeting is scheduled for March 14. Discussions will be centered on marketing and membership.
6. The Farm Viability Grants have been announced. The grant submitted by the Town of Bloomfield with the CEEC and the Wintonbury Land Trust was not one of the selected projects. Elizabeth Moore from the American Farmland Trust expressed surprise but has encouraged us in pursuing our goals outlined in the grant with the volunteer hours. Anne Farnum has done a good deal of initial research on Natural Resources. An open space meeting has been scheduled for February 5 to kick off work between Open Space and Wintonbury Land Trust. Open Space Grants have been announced from DEP which include moneys for open space and community gardens. Vikki Reski will be sitting on the Bloomfield Plan of Conservation and Development Committee. The first meeting will be February 22 or 23.
7. John Hochman will present a workshop on the basecamp and editing the web site on February 5 at 7:00 at 171 Still Road. John has been a key player in the web site development. The Land Trust appreciates his continued support. Himali Shah has volunteered to work on membership and the web. Vikki will e-mail Himali the membership files.
8. New Business
- Chip Caton been in contact with the Colchester Land Trust. The Colchester LT has offered that our Board members attend their next meeting to discuss the success and failures in local fund raising. Colchester has been quite successful in increasing their membership of recent. Chip, Anne and Dale expressed interest in attending.
- The large salt pile stored at Loretti Farm is too close to the wetland and is stored improperly. Loretti has been informed of the salt pile. He will ask that the pile be removed by the party who placed it there without his permission. The Wetland Commission has been informed through David Mann.
-Tamara filed the Quadrennial Report Forms in Bloomfield, Simsbury, West Hartford and Windsor. The 990 was also filed.
10. Adjourn

The Thrall Property

Donated December 2007 by Win-Stanley Properties, this 12 acre parcel represents the only land owned by Wintonbury Land Trust that is in Windsor.
Located just off Day Hill Road, exit 38 off 91.
This property was once part of the Thrall Tobacco Farm holdings in Windsor. Its history is preserved in the 1961 film entitled ‘Parrish” about tobacco farming. In fact the two barns and pond that still remain on the WLT parcel were used as background in the film.
Most of the meadowland near pond has succession overgrowth in transition. There is a staggering of fruit trees near the two barns on the property. Once past the roadway growth, one can easily walk this property unencumbered on established paths while envisioning the prosperous ‘Tobacco Valley’ farm industry. The Potato Barn, 40’x62’, built during WWII in order to grow a food crop and thus have access to fertilizers, is one of the last remaining Potato barns in the Windsor area. The barn has a drive level access and on the lower level, truck bed loading. The Tobacco shed, 30’x180’, built between 1918 and 1929s, is an example of an early charcoal fired shed. The pond on site is most likely a factor in its survival.

Fall at Van Otterloo

Fall at Van Otterloo reveals water features such as the pond, bridge and stream bed. Stewardship is in progress. MDC Right of Way sits to the North of the Property.