Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 17th Lisa Lane Tour

The Lisa Lane Farm Tour on July 17 at 10:00 had a great turnout thanks to Hannah Roditi who is coordinated the effort for a Master Gardener Project. Hannah Roditi and Shelley Durocher had canvassed neighborhood surrounding the farm the week of the tour. This yielded over 50 people who toured and brought produce from the farmer Desmond Samuda.
Speakers at the tour were owner and Windsor neighbor Kathryn (Kate) Lange, the farmer Desmond Samuda, CEEC Open Space Diane Mack, WLT President Dale Bertoldi and WLT tour guide Vikki Reski.
Crops on the farm include Calaloo, a type of leaf amaranth used for greens, squash, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. Special thanks to Kristen Grahams, Desmond Samuda’s niece who helped with tour arrangements.
A joint effort by Bloomfield’s Open Space Subcommittee and the WLT has resulted in an Open Space DEP grant application submitted in May 2010 (75% possible to purchase Development Rights for the 10 acre Lisa Lane Farm in the midst of an east side neighborhood which is a dense residential diverse (84% non-white) community. The Town has a commitment to buy the property from the owner for $300,000 if the grant is given and the team has found additional funding to make up the difference of grant funding in the purchase price. Two appraisals were done by the Town of Bloomfield. The team, the Conservation Energy Environment Open Space Subcommittee and the Wintonbury Land Trust have been working to secure additional funding. Money is tight in this economic climate. Neighborhood support of the farm is essential. The farm tour was a wonderful show of the neighborhood support.
Highlights of the grant application are:
The soil is significant state farm soil and has been amended with organic matter to obtain a fine textured growing medium.
The farmer who leases the land is Jamaican who grows calaloo, an amaranth used for greens and other ethnic crops.
The site has two vernal pools which offer abundant educational opportunities for the public schools. The Farm has in the past cooperated with the Agricultural Program at Bloomfield High.
The Urban Farm has walkable neighborhood access during hours of operation.
The Town of Windsor has defined a wildlife corridor which passes within a one block of the site along Meadow Brook which connects two North Natural Diversity Areas to several south of the site. Mount St. Benedict Cemetery is directly across Cottage Grove Road and Matianuck State Park and Keney Park are south within ½ mile.

WLT meeting 07 15, 2010

7:00-8:00 pm 52 Duncaster Road
Present: Dale Bertoldi, Vikki Reski, Chip Caton, Jay Stoccatore, Tamara and Oliver Hochmann, Vic Herson, Gail Herson and Kevin Gough
1. Call to Order/ approval of minutes.
2. Farm Tour on July 17 at 10:00 will promote conservation for the Town of Bloomfield Plan of Conservation and Development Public Meeting July 28. Hannah Roditi is coordinating this effort for a Master Gardener Project.
-Flyers for the Farm Tour have been posted at Public Spaces and are at the Farm for handouts.
-Hannah Roditi and Shelley Durocher will canvass neighborhood with flyers. Hannah will then do call back as
reminders of the tour.
-Speakers will include the owner Ron Pitts, the farmer Desmond Samuda, CEEC Open Space Diane Mack, WLT
President Dale Bertoldi, WLT tour guide Vikki Reski
- Hannah Roditi will work from her call list to increase participation of the Lisa Lane neighborhood at the Public
Meeting on the 29th.
3. Lisa Lane grant search
-After speaking with Elizabeth Moore from Ct. Farmland Trust, Vikki Reski believes that grants could be applied
for jointly or individually for Lisa Lane by the Town of Bloomfield and/or WLT. Some grants only nonprofits are
allowed funds. Elizabeth Moore stated that some of the farmland in Simsbury was obtained with funds obtained
by the Simsbury Land Trust and the Town working different grants for joint ownership. Elizabeth Moore strongly
recommends speaking with Hartford Foundation.
-Vikki has put in a couple calls to Sharon O’Meara at Hartford Foundation for Giving and sent her background on
the Lisa Lane Project. Vikki has not spoken with her.
4. Review of Properties
a) Thrall Barn Project and Sustainability Grant: Himali Shah is checking on when the check will be cut.
b) Land offered for donation:
-The board approved accepting the Michael and Naomi Cohen 0.5 acre building lot at 26 Terry Plains Rd. Michael Cohen will donate all the transfer costs as well as any residual taxes. WLT will accept Michael and Naomi Cohen as Life members.
-Dale will speak to Leonard Bull about donating the Pine Meadow Lane lots 1221, 1222 to the Town of
Bloomfield to allow an additional neighbor connection to Joyce Street Park.
c) Vikki Reski spoke to Richard Simmons who owns 9.58 acres at 452 Tunxis Ave. Richard is currently farming in Suffield but would like a property sale that would keep this prime farmland in farming. The land abuts the Farmington River Park and Culbro Prime Farmland. Board members will bike to the property early Sunday morning to evaluate. Vikki has printed a map.
5. Membership
Welcome new members: Nathaniel Strick & Jennifer Carvallho, Diane Mack and Robin, Lois Hager, Hannah Roditi, Cary Henderson and Robin Sherwood, Cheryl Fox and Diane Libbey.
6. Map on web site was updated by Tamara Hochmann. Check it out.
7. Presentations
a) Library: On Tuesday, September 21, 7:00 P.M. `Parrish’ a film with the Windsor WLT Thrall Property as it was in the 1960’s will be shown. It will be followed by a Q&A facilitated by WLT Chip Caton. This will be described in a paragraph and published in the library’s Footnotes, which is mailed to all Bloomfield residents around August 31. We will also post it on our web site. A presentation about the Wintonbury Land Trust is scheduled on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 7:00 P.M. Chip Caton will also present with support from Dale Bertoldi and Vikki Reski. Vikki Reski will send some support data to Carol Lenning at the library.
b) Shelley Durocher and Chip Caton are currently working up a list of neighboring corporations for presentations on partnerships for repairing the storage barn at Thrall Property.
8. See web site for short cut to blog for Trails Day and Earth Day Walk activity summaries.
9. June bank balance is $23,000.
10. New Business for next meeting: Geocatching, Bike tour of properties, presentations & report on properties. Adjourn