Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Minutes for 8/22/2013

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – August 22, 2013, 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield  

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

1.      The July 28, 2013 Meeting Minutes were approved with clarification added regarding the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving grant for the LaSalette Trail.

2.  There were no Agenda additions.
3. Committee Reports

a) Grants and Acquisitions:

1.      Meeting with Town Manager – Vikki reported a productive meeting with the Town Manager.  He expressed support for our work, and interest in the Town’s stewardship/management role (where appropriate) in WLT’s acquisition projects.

2.      Lisa Lane – WLT’s attorney is making modifications to the Easement document, which will then go to DEEP (for informational purposes) and to FRCS for a final look.  Once this process is completed, we should have a closing date, probably before year end.

3.       Hawk Hill – It was noted that we will need additional fund-raising to provide an adequate stewardship fund for this project since it will be a working farm, including buildings requiring maintenance.  The targeted closing for this project is 2014.

4.      We agreed it’s an opportune time to do a comparison of the management plans and legal structures of our three farm projects (Hawk Hill, Lisa Lane, and Thrall Farm).  This would likely fall to a cross section of subcommittees (Grant, Acquisition, Stewardship) to do.

b) Stewardship

1.      Thrall Farm – The lease with Newgate Farms has been signed, effective August 1st.  Thrall Stewards (Kevin Gough and Paula Jones) will begin meeting monthly with the Sedors beginning in September (according to the terms of the lease).    

2.      Stout Fields: The maintenance day will be September 21st. John Stout has prepared a comprehensive list of maintenance needs.  Prior to the workday, there will be a short meeting (in the field) to discuss the Stout Fields Celebration event planned for the following Saturday, September 28th.  Vikki and Hanna (Bertoldi) dug eight sample holes in each field to send to the CT Agricultural Station for testing.  Chip and Doris are working on signage for this property.

3.      Van Otterloo:  The grass needs to be cut on the path.  Chip will mark the path, and assemble the tools.  Doris will check on the availability of a work crew; if a crew is not available, we will schedule a work day.

c) Financial

1.      The 2012 taxes have been filed. 

2.      Account balances as of July 31, 2013:  $652.84 Checking; $18,107.47 Savings; $137,322.47 Restricted.

3.      Vikki attended a Land Trust Seminar on Financials; she will share seminar materials with       the Financial Committee with the objective of ultimately doing a presentation to the Board.  The seminar included useful guidance on types and amounts of stewardship funds.

4.      New Members – Welcome to new members Marlene Mayes and Duncaster Foundation.  Duncaster gave the Land Trust a ‘Community Outreach Award’; $500 for Corporate Membership and $500 general operating support.

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 late October (tentative date 10/26) in collaboration with the Simsbury Land Trust.   Our SLT contact is Dick Davis.  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.  Chip, Wendy Wolcott, and Louise Morrise, are serving on planning committee.

4.      Lisa Lane Celebration – The date will be set after a closing date is established. 

e) Membership/Community Outreach

1.                  Newsletter – Chip and Diana Hughes are coordinating the August newsletter, which will feature a piece on Hawk Hill. 

2.      Web site for Photos – Hanna Bertoldi is looking at Google Drive as a potential website for sharing photographs.  (Note:  Last month we had talked about Shutterfly as a possibility.) 

4. Old Business - Organizational Assessment and Strategic Plan

a)    Organizational assessment review of progress and final meeting with Sharon Danosky – Paula will contact Sharon Danofsky to ask what pre-work/materials are required for that session before we schedule a date. 

b)   Subcommittee – We agreed it would be helpful to establish a subcommittee to work on the Bylaws.  Paula had already offered to work on the Bylaws.   Vikki suggested asking Diane Mack.

5. New Business -

a)   Chip brought the ID project up for Board consideration after obtaining an estimate from Robin Sherwood to do the work.  We agreed to table the discussion until our next meeting so that questions about the project could be sent out and answered at the next meeting.  (The ID project was initially raised during our May 16th meeting.) 

b)   Next Meeting Dates – (52  Duncaster Road unless otherwise noted)

a.       September 15th - There will be a short meeting from 5 – 6 PM to discuss the ID project and the Stout Fields Celebration.  

b.      September 21st – There will be a short meeting in the field prior to the Stout Fields maintenance day. 

c.       October 24th, 7 PM. 
Recorded by Paula Jones