Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Agenda for October 25, 2012, 7:00-8:30 pm 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield

1.    Special Projects/Announcements
a)    The League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund will host a Fall Conference, "From Land and Sea: Food for the Good of Connecticut," on Saturday, October 27 at the Agriscience and Biotechnology Center in Trumbull from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  More info and online registration: http://www.lwvct.org/events.html
b)    CLCC Regional Land Trust Round Table in December.
c)    CLCC and the Alliance are hosting their annual Standards & Practices training on Saturday, November 3rd.  The topic is “Building an Effective Fundraising Plan”, taught by Sharon Danosky.
d)    CLCC’s 2013 Land Conservation Conference is scheduled for Saturday, March 23rd at Wesleyan.  The theme is “Can Open Space Be Permanently Protected?”

2.    Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan- CCLC Challenge Grant
a)    The new Mission Statement has been posted on the web site and on Guide Star.
b)    Standards for Action,
c)    CCLC grant update. Konica has printed the funding package to be used by Chip and Hannah, donation value $350. Letter of appreciation?

3.    Committee Reports- come with report prepared
a)    Acquisitions: Stouts Fields to be closed by month end, Lisa Lane survey has is almost finished, Lisa Lane will need a new appraisal for the NRCS portion of the funding, Hawk Hill has NRCS grant/ awaiting DEEP announcement and the prospective Windsor Locks Land Donation was sold to a buyer, no donation. 
b)    Financial- Report on current account status and insurance renewal
c)    Events:
Wintonbury Wine and Dine- January 2013, 80-90 people at 10 host homes- (chair Patrick          Sullivan- committee)
Stouts Fields Celebration, December????
d)    Stewardship: Thrall Barn Roofing
e)    Membership: two new Life family memberships: Rosalie/Peter Brainard and Kathleen/Patrick Sullivan
f)     Grants: The Hawk Hill Project has received $35,000 from Bafflin Foundation and a NRCS Farmland Grant.

4.    Board Positions and subcommittee positions
    1. Diversity in board.
    2. Need Membership chair

5.    Next meeting Dates:  November 25, December Stout Celebration?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

August 30, 2012 Meeting Minutes

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST April 22, 2012, 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield
Present:  Dale Bertoldi, Vikki Reski, Paula Jones, Chip Caton, Kevin Gough, Tamara Hochman
1)      Special Projects/Announcements 
a.       CLCC  Global Positioning System (GPS) for Monitoring and Mapping Land Trust Holdings, Friday, September 21, 2012, 9 am – 4 pm, Haddam, $90.00.
b.      Bloomfield High School’s Harris Agriscience Center and the library in cooperation with WLT will have a fall harvest program with local farmers.  It is expected a harvest dinner will be planned.
c.       Conservation Options for Protecting Family Lands, September 24, 7:00 – 8:30, Middlesex County Extension Center Annex Room, 1066 Saybrook Rd., Haddam, CT.  This event is free but RSVP’s are required.  Please contact Tom Worthley, Thomas.worthley@uconn.edu.
2)      Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan – CCLC Challenge Grant
a.       Mission Statement and Vision Review - The Board voted to adopt the Mission and Vision statement, with minor edits, that Kevin Gough had drafted.  The new statements are shown below.  Tami offered to post the new language on our website.
b.      Divide the Standards for Action – Paula Jones will work on draft standards for ethics and conflict of interest for our October meeting.  Dale will send out prototype filters to the Acquisition Committee for evaluating potential acquisitions.  (These were used in a recent exercise and constitute a good starting point.)  Guidance on easements should be a higher priority.  We will utilize Google docs for shared working documents.
c.       CCLC Grant – Hannah Roditi is drafting materials for our Capital Campaign.  Chip and Vikki will review her draft materials and eventually send them out to the group with their recommendations.  The Campaign is targeted to begin in October, since we are occupied now with fundraising related to the Neighborhood Assistance Act program (with an end date of October 1st.). 
3)      Committee Reports –
a.       Acquisitions - Stout Fields:  Close is scheduled for September 14th.  Our attorney has recommended that we purchase our own title insurance.  Lisa Lane:   Nothing new to report.  Sonski Estate:  We have closed on this parcel.    Hawk Hill:  We have received $35,000 from Bafflin Foundation and a NCRS Farmland Grant.
b.      Financial – 2011 taxes have been filed.  We received an insurance rebate from Chubb.  The Financial Committee will meet prior to our next meeting to review the Budget.
c.       Events – Farm Celebration:  Cancelled until septic resolved.  Stout Fields Picnic:  An events chair is needed.  We discussed the idea of having a short presentation in the Fields, then moving to the Picnic Grounds in Penwood.  Wintonbury Wine and Dine:  January 2103, 80 – 90 people at 10 host homes (Chair:  Patrick Sullivan).  CLCC Regional Land Trust Round Table in December:  Paula will check on details with Farmington River Watershed Association, who is involved in the organization of the event.
d.      Stewardship:  Thrall Farm Report – see report below Mission and Vision statements.
e.       Marketing:  Neighborhood Assistance Act program approved for both Bloomfield ($60,000) and Windsor ($45,000).  Qualified businesses must submit paperwork between September 15th and October 1st.
f.       Grants:  See Hawk Hill in 3) a above.
4)      Board Positions and subcommittee positions
a.       Diversity in Board – not discussed
b.      Need membership chair – not discussed
5)      Wild and Scenic Designation for the Lower Farmington – Paula and Kevin gave an update on the Wild and Scenic Study for the Lower Farmington.  (They are Bloomfield’s representatives to the Wild and Scenic Study Committee.)  The National Park Service (NPS) Study Report has been published, and the Public Comment period is open until October 17, 2012.  The Study Report describes three alternatives which differ according to which segments of the river would be excluded from designation, due to exclusion boundaries around dam impoundments.  The NPS recommends Alternative B as the environmentally-preferred alternative.  Alternative B would establish the upstream exclusion boundary for Rainbow Dam at the Rt. 187 Bridge.  The Town of Bloomfield supports Alternative B.  The Board approved submitting a comment expressing Wintonbury Land Trust’s support for designation and Alternative B.   Dale will submit the comment.
6)      Next meeting dates:  October 25, November 25.
WLT Mission
Wintonbury Land Trust was founded in 1982 and continues a proud tradition of grass roots leadership in the effort to protect and conserve land and natural resources in its community. The mission of the Land Trust is to promote the preservation, improvement, protection, and conservation of natural resources for the benefit of the community. Its major goals are:
·         Protection of natural resources, especially soil and water quality and woodland health.
·         Conservation of farms and undeveloped land, e.g. woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife corridors, in Bloomfield and surrounding areas.
·         Conservation of appropriate urban landscapes with respect to the community’s built environment.
·         Connectivity with other community features (Greenways, wildlife corridors, trails, parks, and adjacent lands).
WLT Vision
The vision of the Wintonbury Land Trust incorporates the following elements:
·         Increase protected land in area served;
·         Connect people with nature;
·         Increased visibility & influence within the community;
·         Tighter stewardship and management of the lands under Wintonbury’s protection, leading to greater community benefit & use of those lands; and
·         Greater communication at all levels – including Wintonbury’s Board, membership, and the general community – which fosters greater participation in all land trust activities.
Thrall Farm Report – August 30, 2012
The farmer we’ve been negotiating with informed us on July 10th that she did not want to continue with the project.  We subsequently contacted Newgate Farms which is located in Windsor, and owned by the Sedor family.  They do multiple farm markets and started a CSA this year which has grown to about 80 members.  They are currently farming about 50 acres among 3 towns, Windsor, East Granby, and Suffield. Their 50 acres are a combination of owned and leased land.
Their CSA is currently based at their “Home Farm” at 740 Prospect Hill Road, Windsor, which is just a short distance away from Thrall.  This farm is a multi-generational operation.   The three principals are Judith, Stanley, and Donald Sedor.  They are the third and fourth generations of the family in farming, and the fifth generation is involved. 
The Sedors are very enthusiastic about the Thrall property.  They have developed a 5 year business plan for the property which calls for:
  • Growing perennial herbs (in raised beds), fruit trees, berries, and a sunflower maze.
  • Using the potato barn for CSA pickup and a farm store.
  • Having a community room on the upper floor of the barn for events to promote and educate people about local agriculture (e.g., school visits).
As a result of these recent developments:
  • WLT has a new letter of intent (for an equity lease) with Newgate Farm. 
  • On August 31st we will resubmit the Farmland Restoration Program grant application that had been submitted in May, substituting Newgate Farm as the new farmer.