Friday, August 30, 2013

WLT Meeting Minutes 07-28-2013

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – July 28, 2013, 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield  

Present:  Dale Bertoldi, Doris Johnson, Paula Jones, Vikki Reski, Vic Herson

1.      The June 20, 2013 Meeting were approved with one correction.

2.      Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan

a)    Leaders on Board – three individuals have expressed interest in the Land Trust as a result of the July 9th “speed date” event.  Board members have had or will be having follow-up discussions with these potential new members.

b)   Organizational assessment review of progress and final meeting with Sharon Danosky – It was noted that we need to have our final evaluative meeting with Sharon.   The Board also agreed that we need to review and update the Bylaws prior to a members’ meeting in 2014.

c)   Meeting order – We established a new protocol for meetings with the objective of keeping meeting length reasonable.  The Standing Agenda will be:  1. Approval of Minutes; 2. Committee report-outs (5 existing committees, plus grants; core group doing the report-outs plus other committee members participating as needed); 3. Board Old Business and New Business; 4. Members Open Q&A.

d)  Board Responsibilities/committees – Generally speaking, board members serve on a committee.  WLT members who are interested in serving on the Board will typically serve on a committee for some period of time to gain knowledge of the organization, and to have the opportunity to be mentored by a Board member.  The majority of the Land Trust’s work will be done by committees (with that work being reported out and not conducted at Board meetings.)
3.      Committee Reports

a) Acquisitions:

1.      Lisa Lane – Vikki reported that the legal fee associated with the easement is $1,500.  That amount is within what was budgeted for closing costs, but Vikki thought it appropriate to bring to the Board’s attention.  The consensus was that the $1,500 was an allowable expense since it had been budgeted for, but we confirmed the approach of bringing higher expenses to the Board’s attention.

2.      Hawk Hill – We received two bids for surveying Hawk Hill and will use Alford & Associates to do the work.  The cost of the survey is covered by grant funding. 

3.      LaSalette Trail - Hartford Foundation for Public Giving awarded a $200,000 grant towards completion of this project.  The grant will provide funding for operations, and for the Hawk Hill and Maulucci projects.

b) Stewardship

1.      Thrall Farm - Lease status:  We will be meeting with Newgate Farms to sign the lease on July 30th.  The lease effective date will be August 1st. 

2.      Stout Fields: The maintenance day (to clean up overhanging branches and field edges) will be September 21st. There will be a short meeting (in the field) to discuss the Stout Fields Celebration event planned for the following Saturday, September 28th.

3.      Van Otterloo:  The grass needs to be cut on the path.

c) Financial – The 2012 tax filing is in final review.   End of June balances: 

Checking: $752.82; Saving:  $18,105.93; Restricted:  $139,154.83

d) Events

1.      August Hike - We will hike to Hublein Tower from the Speer Preserve on Saturday, August 24th.  Meet at the top of Juniper Road.

2.      Fall Hike – A fall hike is being planned for mid-October in collaboration with the Simsbury Land Trust.   The hike will showcase trail connectivity between Bloomfield and Simsbury.  Details will be available in time for our September newsletter.

3.      Stout Fields Celebration – The celebration will be Saturday, September 28th.  Details to follow in the August newsletter.  As noted above in 3.b) 2, a workday is planned for the preceding Saturday.  Doris offered to explore signage possibilities for this property.

4.      Lisa Lane Celebration – Doris will chair this event’s planning committee.  The date will be set after a closing date is established. 

e)   Membership/Community Outreach

1.                  Vikki Reski and Diana Hughes met to coordinate the July newsletter which was sent out on Wednesday, July24th. Paula will e-mail Diana about doing a story on the Thrall Farm project for one of the fall newsletters. 

2.      We will ask one of the individuals from the Leaders on Board event (who expressed interest in joining WLT) to help set up a Shutterfly account for a web site location of WLT photographs.

4.      Special Projects/Announcements – Doris reported that Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, Inc. (Kentucky) received the 2013 EPA Region 1 Environmental Merit Award in the Environment, Community, Academia & Nonprofit Category.

5.      Next meeting Dates:  August 22nd (at 7 P.M.) and September 21st (short meeting in the field prior to Stout field work as noted above).

Recorded by Paula Jones

Monday, August 12, 2013

WLT 06/20/2013 Meeting Minutes

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – June 20, 2013, 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield  

Present:  Dale Bertoldi, Chip Caton, Kevin Gough, Doris Johnson, Paula Jones, Vikki Reski, Vic Herson

1.      The May 16, 2013 Meeting were approved with two corrections.

2.      Committee Reports

a) Stewardship:

1.      Thrall Farm - Lease status:  Newgate Farms has been reviewing the draft lease with their attorney; they should have final comments around July 2nd.  Kevin and Paula will add a provision retaining WLT’s right to publicize the project, and indicating WLT’s expectation that Newgate Farms will publicize it as well. 

2.      Stout Fields: Vikki Reski will be taking soil samples for testing in July. We are planning a maintenance day in the fall to clean up overhanging branches and field edges.

3.      Van Otterloo:  The grass needs to be cut on the path within the next few weeks.  Doris offered to schedule a work party.   Chip offered to mark the trail using the tree template later this summer.

b) Acquisitions:

1.      Lisa Lane - Doris received approval from Thom Hooper to post signs for Lisa Lane near the Farm.  Vikki is working on setting up a meeting with Bloomfield’s Interim Town Manager, Philip Schenck, to introduce him to this project and to the Land Trust.  Vikki is also working with Diane Mack on some administration tasks (with NRCS), including a quarterly report due at the end of June.

c) LaSalette Trail/Hawk Hill:

1.      A quarterly report for NRCS is due at the end of June.

2.      We received a check from the Land Trust Alliance for the 1772 Foundation Farm Preservation grant for $50,000 for Hawk Hill Farm. Dale has written a thank-you letter.

3.      Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is expected to review our Proposal on the LaSalette Trail in its July meeting.

d) Grants:

1.      A CTNAAP application was submitted in Bloomfield for Wintonbury Land Trust Open Space, stewardship and operational expenses.  The total funding amount requested was $94,000.

f)  Financial Committee:  Vikki and Kevin are finalizing numbers for the 2012 tax form.

g) Events:

1.      We had a good turnout (14 hikers) for our Connecticut Trails Day event, June 2nd at Seabury.  Kevin and Paula co-led this hike with Jim and Nancy Trail of Seabury.  

2.      Our 3rd annual Bike Tour took place on June 15th.  Twenty five riders participated, two of whom became new members.  Special thanks to the Tour Committee (Vic, Patrick Sullivan, and Cary Henderson), Robin Sherwood for graphic design, Cary Henderson for supplies and support from REI, Mary Johnston for volunteering at the registration table and Konica for supporting the printing of posters and brochures. We briefly discussed some ideas for next year’s Tour:  use a different starting/ending point (e.g., LaSalette or Hawk Hill), have someone remain at the ending point with refreshments until all riders are in, offer 2 loop options (shorter & longer to accommodate different experience levels).  Doris also suggested that Vic talk to Kevin Sullivan for other ideas.

3.      The Membership Committee suggested a fall hike for the end of October.  Kevin and Paula offered to organize this event and will reach out to Simsbury Land Trust to explore the possibility of a joint event showcasing trail connectivity from Bloomfield to Simsbury.  The objective is to have event information ready for August and September newsletters.

4.      Stout Fields Celebration – We need someone to volunteer as the event planner.  Chip offered to help with the planning since he has a good sense of what work needs to be done. 

h)      Membership/Community Outreach meeting: Vikki Reski, Diana Hughes and Wendy Wolcott met. Future mail-chimp membership mailings are planned for the next five months. Wendy is updating membership lists.

Welcome to new members Edward Raymond and Donna Lauderman. Thank you to all existing members who renewed. Please mail in your membership to P.O box 734 or renew on-line.

3.      Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan

a)    CCLC grant update:  Chip provided a brief summary of the consultant’s billed hours.  We tabled discussion until we have time to review it.

b)   Wintonbury Historical Society has a file of WLT material at the WHS' History Center.  Fannie Gabriel, Past President of WHS, suggested that the WHS could archive materials for us if we would like.  This is a possibility to explore as far as safe storage of paper materials.

4.      Board Positions and subcommittee positions:  The ‘Leaders on Board’ new “speed date” event has been postponed to July 9th.

5.      Special Projects/Announcements

a) The CT General Assembly passed a bill (SB 190) related to ATV use on state lands.  The bill is before the governor for signature.

b)  Paula and Kevin attended "A Celebration of Barns" on June 8th.  This event, presented by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, signified the end of the Trust’s nine-year effort to research and document barns in Connecticut.  Thrall Potato Barn was shown as the example of a potato barn in the opening session on History of Agriculture in Connecticut.  (Auer Farm Mushroom Barn was also shown as the only example of a mushroom barn in the state.)  The presenter pointed out that WLT had received a 2012 Barn Grant from the CT Trust to help fund the replacement cost of the south side roof of Thrall Potato Barn.  (Note:  The CT Trust also prepared an application this spring on WLT’s behalf to list Thrall Potato Barn on the State Historic Register). 

6.      Next meeting Dates:  July 28th (at 7 P.M.) and August 22nd (at 7 P.M.).

Recorded by Paula Jones