Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WLT Meeting, September 29, 2010

Present: Chip Caton, Dale Bertoldi, Vikki Reski, Jay Stoccatore, Tamara Hochmann, Vic Herson, Gail and Vic Herson Paula Jones and Kevin Gough, Mary Rickel Pelletier
1. Call to Order
2. Mary Rickel Pelletier spoke about the Park River Revitalization and North Central Conservation District 319 Watershed Grant submitted on September 15. The Grant would involve two land trust properties, Capewell Greene and Van Otterloo and the Town of Bloomfield Filley Park. The grant focuses on water quality; habitat protection and restoration education. The Wintonbury Land Trust has agreed to support the grant through volunteer hours.
Most of Bloomfield sits in the North Park River Watershed. A small section of Bloomfield known as the Great Drain is in the Farmington River Watershed and south eastern Bloomfield is in the Connecticut River Watershed.
The Park River Revitalization has just completed a study on the North Park River Watershed which can viewed at
Other partners in the grant are U of H Park Water Art Project and Connecticut Historical Society.
3. John Stout has asked the Wintonbury Land Trust for a Proposal on the 13.1 acre property, lots 1&2 in the estate of Frances S. Stout. Chip Caton and Dale Bertoldi discussed the site plans which John Stout provided for the Land Trust review. The property has been submitted for wetlands review. The re-subdivision site plan shows three lots. The Stouts have allowed neighborhood access to Penwood Park through Lots 1 and 2 which are meadows providing wonderful views of the Roy farmland and the Connecticut River Valley beyond. This is a major property in the proposed LaSallette Trail which links the New England Scenic Trail in Penwood to Filley Park in the Center of Bloomfield.
John Stout has discussed with Chip Caton a $25,000 per acre price. Research on site comparables will be done by Chip and Vikki. If the price is comparable to local properties, a proposal will be submitted to John. The proposal will ask for at least two years to raise $100,000 to $125,000 to match grants from NRCS grasslands and Ct. Forest and Park Association.
4. Review of Properties
-Vikki and Dale will meet with Kevin Connelly to discuss removal of invasive vines and shrubs on the west side of the Thrall Pond as part of the Hamilton Sundstrand Sustainability Grant at Thrall. They will also check dimensions on the site to determine the location of the existing path along the north side of the property. Trail work started on the 2010 Trails Day along the eastern farm road. A wetland path will be continued on either the west or the east side of the site. Volunteers will be welcome; call Dale Bertoldi at 860-243-1749.
-Michael and Naomi Cohen have donated a 0.5 acre building lot at 26 Terry Plains Rd. Paperwork has been signed by Dale Bertoldi. Michael and Naomi Cohen graciously donated the legal fees. Tami received a check from the Cohens. Tami will drop the assessor’s form on the property at the town office.
5. Membership
-The land trust is setting the files up for membership renewals. It is anticaped that this will be done mostly as e-mail reminders. The renewals could also happen online.
6. Vikki Reski completed a program for a Converts Coordinator which presented over four days at Great Mountain Forest's Yale Forestry Camp. The Coverts project has been running for about 20 years and is a forest wildlife education program sponsored by UCONN Cooperative Extension System, CT Forest and Parks Association, Highstead, DEP Wildlife and Forestry Departments. Vikki will be working on stewardship in the Schaffer Preserve and on forest stewardship outreach.
7. Presentations
-Robin Sherwood provided professional guidance on the graphic design for the new brochure that was printed for the Library and Holcomb Farms Events. Thank you for your help.
-The “Photographic Art of Local Agriculture” show opened Sunday September 19 at Holcomb Farm with eight Wintonbury Land Trust photos in the recently renovated Workshop building. Call Holcomb Farms at 860-844-8616 for more information. 6
- September 21 at the Prosser Library the film “Parrish” was shown to an audience of over 50 people. Chip Canton spoke about the filming in Windsor on the Thrall Land Trust property. The new Wintonbury Land Trust brochure was handed out.
-On Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 7:00 P.M., the Wintonbury Land Trust will present a program about its history and current projects. Chip Caton will coordinate. Vikki and Chip have been working on a power point presentation. A short meeting may follow.
8. Treasurers’ Report: All property taxes for recent acquisitions, $1,427.19, are paid. The $2000 check for the Hamilton Sundstrand Grant was deposited. The $250 membership to Land Trust Alliance will be paid. Insurance was renewed for October 1. The insurance covers cleanup not replacement buildings. It is a basic policy with an umbrella. Printing cost of the brochure were $126.14
9. Bike Tour of properties, geo-caching and GIS coordinates of properties will be moved to the next meeting agenda.
10. Adjourn

Monday, December 6, 2010

Connecting People with Nature

Thrall Parcel at 490 Old Day Hill Road is a twelve-acre site, which has six acres of prime farmland, two barns, a pond and wetlands. The six acres of farmland has not been tilled for at least twenty years.

A study done by two students, John Whiting and Hanna Bertoldi, in early 2010 provided the historical and site background necessary for good stewardship of the property. The study found that property having a history in farming since the revolutionary war.
Early in 2010 the Wintonbury Land Trust signed a five-year contract with Stefan Farms, a local farmer, who as cleared about 2 acres in front of the old-field tobacco barn. The farm has good access from 91 and the potato barn and pond are apparent from Day Hill Road.

Through a grant from Hamilton-Sundstrand existing walking trails been reestablished and removal of invasive plants in key locations have made the site more accessible to people. The invasive plant removal allows native plants space to create a healthy sustaining plant community. Planting of native shrubs will be part of the next phase of site renovation. The work also allowed efficient field layout for food production. The path will reconnect with the existing path that leads into the wetland area of the site
GPS systems were used to map and determine connections between existing trails.