Minutes from the December, 2007 Meeting

Minutes from 12/18/07 Meeting of the Friends of Boulder Knoll


Lorrie Canas
Ben Alderton
Jeff Rapoport
Kim Stoner
Fellis Jordan
Jill Casertano
Al. Mitlehner

1) Review of the holistic goal discussion from last months meeting

  • Update of financial assets: currently $1400.
  •  Kim recommended we begin to prepare on our own for meeting Seth Wilner, in regards to holistic financial planning, particularly our need to become financially self-sustaining.

2) ERT discussion- some members have read the ERT and initial responses were discussed.

  • Fellis expressed concern/ interest in who on the town planning committee has the expertise to read the report critically and effect appropriate decision making. According to Michael Milone, our questions should be directed to Laura DiCaprio- what expertise does she have?
  • Jill noted the repeated mention of the issues of water and water run off at the property: The entire property exists in a watershed (north of the road, the Broad Brook Reservoir, south of the road, the Mill River Watershed) and 25% of property is wetland (some which has been used for agricultural purposes and will need to be reclaimed). There is also noted a considerable about of Highly Erodable Land, which will need to be considered for agriculture.
  • Kim noted that mowing appears to be critical for any processes to begin, and that for conservation purposes, much of it will need to be completed either before April, or after October.
  • The group further discussed the need to reexamine our proposal to the town and develop a set of priorities that reflect the ERT findings. Differences of opinion were expressed related the to extent to which the FBK should aim to be in direct control of the entire property, or advisory in some areas, and directly involved in perhaps a smaller portion (perhaps a couple of acres for organic community gardens, or a biointensive farming for a small CSA) for agriculture and education. The ERT repeatedly recommended using the property for conservation and education, and discussion of our role in this was discussed
  • Jeff suggested that we need to gather more information from a cross section of the town  regarding what the town needs and wants from the land on Boulder Rd. We need to find out what is needed at local farmers markets, in the schools, and elsewhere it ensure that we are providing for a need. Jeff also noted that we have, as an organization, a considerable about of expertise regarding this property that the new town gov’t perhaps does not have. We need to prepare materials to educate the town, including maps, overlaws, etc. to demonstrate what is there, needed, etc.
  • The issues of the barn was also discussed, including the cost effectiveness of restoring and rebuilding vs. starting from scratch, and green construction reusing materials already there and bringing in reclaimed materials  was further mentioned.

The group decided that the FBK would act accordingly in response to the ERT 

  • Kim will write a press release with the goals of informing citizens that the ERT is complete and available for reading at the Cheshire Public Library. The release will also note that FBK is now affiliated with the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and tax deductible gifts can be made via this organization to FBK.
  • Kim will contact Laura DiCaprio and try to arrange a meeting with her, as the new head of the planning committee, to discuss the ERT and the Town’s planning for responding to the ERT. She will also inquire as to the appropriateness of including Bob Ceccolini (head of Parks and Rec) in communication regarding Boulder Knoll Farm and the ERT.
  • Kim will write a brief to the town with the following recommendations:
    • Marking of wetlands and buffer zones should be done ASAP
    • Mowing of the farm should be completed by April for maximum conservation benefits to wild life.
    • Invasive Species Management planning should begin ASAP

3) Community Foundation of Greater New Haven- Agreement is in place, and thanks to Kim, Greg and Jeff, and initial deposit of $1,000. has been made. Fellis will print a set of labels to be inserted in the flyer, directing those interested in a tax deductible donation to make checks to the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, with a note that the funds should be directed to the Friends of Boulder Knoll Fund.

4) Fundraising plans- Need for increasing our financial base is clear.

  • Fellis offered to inquire into the, a yahoo based search engine that gives a penny to an identified cause with every search conducted.
  • Lorrie suggested inquiring into a booth at the Cheshire Home show and at the coming outdoor educators conference at Quinnipiac University, to hand out information and collect funds. 

5) Spring Adult Education Course.

Kim recommended an alternative to sitting in a classroom, talking about the needs of the community: a series of Saturday morning walks through open space areas of town. Walks could have an educational component, with a guest speaker to talk about related topics. Jill offered that included a couple of Family friendly walks would be a good tool to reach out to the family demographic in the town. An opportunity for collaboration with the Land Trust, on the Ives.Pelz farms and the Audobon society at the property on Cheshire St. was also discussed.

NEXT MEETING: January 17th at 7:00 PM. LOCATION TBA.

Tentative dates for meeting with Seth Wilner about financial planning- March 3 & 4th (Sunday /Monday). Details to follow.

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