Monday, March 16, 2015

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Notes - February 11, 2015

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – February 11, 2015, Seabury Retirement Community, Bloomfield  

Present:  Kevin Gough, Paula Jones, Dale Bertoldi, Sten Caspersson, Chip Caton, Jim Trail, Vikki Reski
1.  Minutes for the January 14, 2015 Board Meeting were approved. 
Snow & Cold?  Embrace it!

2.  There were no additions to the agenda. 

3.  2015 Planning – The Board agreed on six goals for 2015:
  • Form a membership committee and update the membership data base. 
  • Sponsor four community outreach events – Hawk Hill celebration; Earth Day celebration; Trails Day/Celebrate Bloomfield event; plus a 4th event in the fall. 
  • Update the Land Trust logo and website.  Link trails data sheets to the website.
  • Close on Hawk Hill and the Evans Property.
  • Update the web site and find a webmaster.
  • Complete the LaSalette Trail from Filley House to Penwood Park.
We agreed that the 4th community outreach event should be a fund-raiser (e.g., Progressive Dinner, Tag Sale, and Wine-tasting).  The numerous hikes being planned for 2015 are targeted primarily to benefit Wintonbury Land Trust members.
Vic Herson, who was unable to attend, requested that we consider whether or not to offer a Bike Tour in May or June this year.  Given our existing plans for late spring/early summer, Vic suggested it doesn't make sense to schedule the bike tour for May/June.  The Board agreed, but discussed the possibility of offering the bike tour in the fall (September?).  Would we potentially draw more participants since our impression is that there are less bike tours offered then?  Paula will follow up with Vic and ask him to get some input from others (previous riders, cycling friends) to gauge interest in a fall ride.
Regarding 2015 budgeting, Vikki Reski recommended budgeting $5,000 for stewardship, versus $500 shown on the preliminary Budget.  There was consensus to accept that recommendation.  Additionally, there was some discussion about increasing the amount allocated for events from $2,800 to $3,000.
4.  Committee Reports
a)      Grants –   Evans Property – Kevin Gough & Paula Jones are working on the DEEP Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Grant Application, due March 1, 2015.  A question in the Eligibility Section of the application is whether the Land Trust has adopted and implemented the Land Trust Standards & Practices.  Wintonbury Land Trust did so in 2009, but Paula recommended that WLT formally resolve to adopt the recommendations from Danofsky & Associates LLC’s organizational assessment of the Land Trust.  Accordingly, the following statement and resolution was approved unanimously: 
Wintonbury Land Trust adopted the 2007 Land Trust Standards & Practices in 2009, and undertook an organizational assessment by Danofsky & Associates LLC during the fall of 2011.  Results of that assessment were subsequently presented to the Board in a report dated January 2012. Since that time, the Board has been implementing changes based on the report recommendations, and will continue to do so.  In order to formally acknowledge the Board’s acceptance of the report, the Board duly adopts and ratifies the following resolution:
RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of Wintonbury Land Trust hereby formally accepts the recommendations of Danofsky & Associates LLC presented in the Organizational Assessment & Strategic Plan, January 2012, Prepared for Wintonbury Land Trust, in order to strengthen governance policies and procedures.  
It was also noted that the Connecticut Environmental Review Team report on the Evans Property noted the property’s value in connecting the neighborhood to local schools.  That aspect of trail connectivity should be noted in the grant application.  
Based on ideas Sten Caspersson e-mailed to the Board in January after reading the CT ERT report, he and Chip will work together designing a flyer on the Evans Property for fund-raising purposes.   
b)      Financial – January 30, 2015 balances:  $5,434.34 in checking; $39,421.50 in savings; $239,635.66 in restricted funds.   Vikki, Sten, and Mary Ann Henzler are working on a more comprehensive 2014 end-of-year statement.  There was discussion and general agreement that some funds be allocated from savings to general stewardship.
c)      Events
1.      Hawk Hill celebration – This event is planned for late April or the first week of May.  Chip will serve as the Board contact to the event planning committee.
2.      Annual Meeting & WLT celebration – Jim Trail reported that the Seabury Dining Room could be available for our annual meeting if the meeting is held the second Wednesday of June.  Seabury’s retiring Marketing Director (now Seabury resident) is very enthusiastic about the Land Trust having its Annual Meeting there.  Jim will be traveling and miss the March Board meeting, but will get the set-up process underway before he leaves.  On a related note, Jim indicated that Seabury’s ISOD (In Support of Democracy) group is also enthusiastic about WLT doing a Saturday morning presentation about the Land Trust for Seabury residents.  Jim will find out what Saturday dates are available.  Paula offered to help with Annual Meeting (& presentation) planning. 
3.      Hikes and work days – Dale reported that Sacred Heart Church has offered tables to non-profits on Friday (June 5th) of “Celebrate Bloomfield” week for the purpose of increasing community awareness. 
d)     Membership/Community/Website – Yale School of Forestry Conference “Urban Nature as a Human Resource” – this agenda item was tabled since Doris Johnson was unable to attend (& report).
e)      Capacity Building
1.      Media Campaign – We will pursue the Land Trust “Storyboard” idea, assuming we can obtain an updated Bloomfield map from Town Planner Jose Giner.  Chip will also work with Robin to finalize our new logo, and to update our informational/membership brochure.  Konica-Minolta will donate printing services.  Chip suggested we target completion of these materials in time for one of our Community Outreach events.  
2.      Summer Interns - Vikki proposed summer internships for work on membership and community garden stewardship.  She suggested we consider offering stipends to interns.  The Board was in general agreement with this idea.  She will make calls to University of Hartford and Trinity for input on stipend amounts.  
5.  New Business
a)    Next meeting date:  March 11, 2015, (2nd Wednesday of the month), 6 – 7:30 p.m., Seabury Retirement Community.
b)   Community Question & Answer – Sten asked who has access to Land Trust funds.  Dale Bertoldi, Vikki Reski, and Chip Caton indicated that they currently have check writing and depositing authority.  In (briefly) checking the bylaws, the President and Treasurer (Dale and Vikki-Acting Treasurer, respectively) are authorized to sign checks on behalf of the Land Trust.  The Vice President (Chip) is explicitly authorized to work with the President and execute duties on his behalf during his absence, including execution of papers.  The Board agreed we should review the Bylaws prior to the Annual Meeting to determine if a change should be proposed to the membership (explicitly) giving the Vice President signing authority for payments of money.  Paula also indicated that an Article be added to the bylaws, incorporating our (existing) Conflict of Interest Policy, since this was recommended in the WLT Organizational Assessment.   
Meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.  
Recorded by Paula Jones