Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Notes - March 11, 2015

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

Present:  Kevin Gough, Paula Jones, Dale Bertoldi, Sten Caspersson, Chip Caton, Vic Herson, Vikki Reski, Pete Cruikshank

1.  Minutes for the February 11, 2015 Board Meeting were approved. 
Snowshoeing at Wintonbury Hills Golf Course

2.  There were two additions to the agenda – Hawk Hill advertisement on Connecticut farmlink; Membership work in 2015. 

3.  There was no additional discussion on the 2015 budget. 

4.  Committee Reports

a)      Grants

1.      Hawk Hill – We will advertise on farmlink after the property closing.

2.      Evans Property – The Open Space grant application was hand-delivered to DEEP on February 26.

3.      Community Investment Act funding – Paula submitted a letter of testimony on behalf of the Land Trust objecting to the proposed sweep of CIA funds into the State’s General Fund.  Chip suggested providing a sample letter to legislators in our March newsletter.  Paula will e-mail the letter she submitted to Chip and the rest of the Board so that it can be used to craft the newsletter sample and other personal letters to legislators.  

b)      Financial

1.      Vikki is stepping down as Acting Treasurer after second quarter; she will be focusing more on stewardship of Land Trust properties.  She is joining the Board of Auer Farm and hopes to cultivate cooperative efforts between the organizations.  Many thanks to Vikki for her past, present, and future heroic efforts on behalf of the Land Trust!

2.      Vikki reported she will be updating the System for Award Management (SAM) registration for Federal grants and for the CT. Secretary of State this month.

3.      February 28, 2015 balances:  $5,434.34 in checking; $39,421.50 in savings; $264,657.86 in restricted funds.  There were two payments for work on the Evans Property acquisition:  $2,500 for the Yellow Book appraisal, and a partial payment of $2,124 for the A2 survey.  The total survey cost will be $3,500. Sten Caspersson and Mary Ann Henzler are working on the 2014 end-of-year statement.

4.      Vikki will be paying the bill to register our website domain for another two years.  The Board authorized her to request a debit card for the WLT account since online payments for such expenditures are preferred.

c)      Events

1.      The Hawk Hill celebration is currently planned for May 9th at 3 or 4 p.m.  The Hagers will be providing the use of their barn for the festivities.  There will be a ceremony at the Hawk Hill Barn; Vic Herson will be the Master of Ceremonies.

2.      We will also be presenting at Seabury the morning of May 9th.  Our host is Seabury’s In Support of Democracy (ISOD) group.  Thanks to Jim Trail for helping set this up. 

3.      Annual Meeting on June 10th – Paula will contact Jim Trail after he returns from his trip to start planning the details of our Annual Meeting to be held at Seabury.  In the meantime, Paula will check on Julie Victoria’s (from DEEP) availability to speak about the State’s revised plan for wildlife conservation.  Ms. Victoria will be doing a presentation on this topic at the Canton Land Trust’s Annual Meeting in March.

4.      The Land Trust and Prosser Library will co-sponsor “It all Happened on the Farmington River:  A Story of Historic Sites, Fish, Factories, Floods & Flows” on July 1st.  This is a fun and informative presentation by Eileen Fielding, Executive Director of Farmington River Watershed Association.  The Land Trust will provide light refreshments. 

5.      Hikes and work days – Given the snow cover and resulting expected melt and mud, the scheduled work days for Lisa Lane and Van Otterloo will be modified.  The Van Otterloo workday will now be on March 28th.  Lisa Lane work days will be scheduled for April.

6.      Celebrate Bloomfield – Dale reported that the Bloomfield Journal will be publishing a special edition on this week-long event.  Participants have been asked to provide an article about their organization.  A quarter page article costs $200; a half page article costs $400.  Chip will research the two options and recommend a size/expenditure to the Board.

7.      Late summer fundraising event – There was general consensus we should hold a tag sale.  Dale suggested we have the sale at the Hawk Hill barn, since we will own the property at that point.

d)     Membership/Community/Website

1.      Lisa Lane Farm – Vikki requested approval to spend up to $2,000 from the stewardship fund to purchase straw wattles.  The wattles will be used as (start-up) bed edges in the community garden.  Renters of garden plots will be responsible for maintaining plot edges after the straw composts.   The request was approved.

2.      Membership – Paula and Chip will contact Christopher Shepard.  Christopher had offered last October to meet with Board members to help us get started setting some specific membership objectives.

3.      The Land Trust Alliance article on Wintonbury Land Trust has been submitted.  We will ask for permission to reprint the article after it’s published.

e)      Capacity Building

1.      New logo – The Board selected the second of three options for the new logo.     

2.      Summer Interns – Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will not provide funding for interns.  Chip offered to pursue other private donor options.

f)       Stewardship

1.      Thrall Farm equity report – Kevin reported the equity credited to Newgate Farms for 2014 work on the property.  The value credited was $11,306.  The Sedors have done a great job on the property. 

5.  New Business

a)    Next meeting date:  April 8, 2015, (2nd Wednesday of the month), 6 – 7:30 p.m., Seabury Retirement Community.

b)   Community Question & Answer – As a follow-up to last month’s question from Sten regarding access to Land Trust funds, Paula confirmed that the President and Treasurer (Dale and Vikki-Acting Treasurer, respectively) are authorized to sign checks on behalf of the Land Trust.  Dale, Vikki, and Chip currently have check writing and depositing authority.  We agreed that we will discontinue Chip’s authority after second quarter when a new Treasurer has been appointed.  

Meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

Recorded by Paula Jones