Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Notes - July 16th, 2014

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – July 16, 2014, 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield  

Present:  Chip Caton, Vikki Reski, Kevin Gough, Vic Herson, Sten Caspersson, Dale Bertoldi, Doris Johnson, Pat Sullivan, Paula Jones, Jim Trail

1)      Minutes for the June 9th Board Meeting and June 18th Annual Meeting were approved.  We agreed that we will post the newly ratified Bylaws on our website.

2)      There were two announcements:  i) The 2014 2014Trust Alliance Rally will be held in Providence, RI, September 17th to 20th.  If someone wants to attend, Amy Paterson, Director of Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) has offered CLCC members a $100 subsidy to help defray the cost. ii)  Kevin and Paula will be participating in the COVERTS program from September 11th to 14th.  They will focus on the Schaffer property for their projects.

 3)      Committee Reports

a)      Capacity Building – Chip Caton presented 4 new logo designs prepared by Robin Sherwood.  We quickly reached consensus to focus on the second option, with a few specific suggestions for Robin to consider.  All agreed that Robin had done a great job!

b)      Grants – Vikki is working on a 1772 Foundation Barn Grant since the Hawk Hill barn will need some stabilization work before winter.   She expects the closing on Hawk Hill to be sometime this fall.

c)      Acquisitions

1.      Evans Property:  Dale reported that we did not receive a grant award from Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut on the Evans property.  He did get some feedback on our application, and reported that although there was interest in the Evans project, there was a lot of competition.   Vikki is pursuing an environmental review of that property through the Connecticut Environmental Review Team (ERT).  This report, besides its value to the Land Trust for management purposes, will be helpful by providing an objective view of the property’s resource values during fund raising.

2.      Roditi project:  The landowners have established they have a right-of-way into the parcels.  That determination is needed for an accurate appraisal of the parcels.

d)     Membership/Community/Website

1.      We had approached Back East Brewery last fall about ways they could support the Land Trust.  We reviewed what the Brewery owners had indicated they could do to help.  Flat Bread in Avon might also be willing to provide some support as they’ve done with other area non-profits.

2.      Membership – Paula will follow up with Christopher Shepard regarding his volunteer work on the membership data base, and ask if he could report his recommendations at an upcoming Board meeting, perhaps August.

3.      Trail Guide for website – Developing a Bloomfield Trail Guide was one of WLT’s 2014 goals.  Dale suggested that we launch this effort by asking volunteers to write trail descriptions using a standard format.  Connecticut Forest and Parks’ Walk Book and Simsbury Land Trust’s Walk Book were suggested as possible models for formatting purposes.  In addition to Land Trust property trails, we would provide links to other trails in town, including Seabury’s wonderful trail system.  We decided our publishing/publicizing process would be to feature a trail in our newsletter, followed by posting the description on our website.   Since we will be co-sponsoring a hike with Seabury Labor Day weekend, Paula and Jim agreed to launch the process with Seabury’s Wildwoods Trail by providing a description/link for the August newsletter.  Jim Trail suggested we consider using Picassa.  Since Picassa will overlay GPS-tagged photos on Google maps, we could take photos along the trails and create a Picassa album for each property.  Jim will send us a link of one Picassa Album he created for Seabury’s Trails Day in late June. 

e)      Financial – June account balances:  $2,457.81 in checking; $21,015.81 in savings; $113,511.25 in restricted.  Pat introduced a 5-year financial model that he has been working on.

f)       Events –

1.      Doris provided a short report of the many festivities planned for the Lisa Lane Farm Day on September 20th.

2.      Pat reported that planning has begun for the progressive dinner.   It will be scheduled in late fall, prior to the (human) winter migration to warmer climes.

3.      WLT and the Seabury Trails Committee will co-sponsor a hike on Seabury’s Wildwoods Trail on Saturday, August 30th, 9 A.M.  Rain date is Sunday, August 31st.

g)      Stewardship –

1.      Vikki will e-mail some proposed dates for fall stewardship work at Stout Family Fields and at Van Otterloo. 

2.      Doris and Vikki described the good work done by the Nexus youth group at Lisa Lane Farm:  “On June 28, 2014, in an effort to create a publicly accessible farm, the joint efforts of the Youth Program of Leadership Greater Hartford, The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Justice, The Town of Bloomfield, the Farmer and Wintonbury Land Trust worked with great success to pick up three designated areas on the Lisa Lane Farm.”  There was a nice article about this project in The Hartford Courant.  The youth group also solicited donations of tools for the Farm and Land Trust as part of their project.

3.      Paula suggested we set up some 2015 stewardship work days at our August Board meeting.  Diana Hughes (at the Annual Meeting) had suggested establishing some work dates so that people could hold the dates and plan to participate.

4)      New Business –

a)      Next meeting dates:  (3rd) Wednesday, August 20th; (2nd) Wednesdays September 10th and October 8th.  In general, we are planning on the 2nd Wednesday of the month for Board meetings.  Start time:  6 P.M.

Recorded by Paula Jones