Minutes of the January 17, 2008 Board of Directors Meeting of the Friends of Boulder Knoll.
Guest: Ed Konowitz
Kim initiated the meeting by reading a draft of a letter to the Town Council regarding the Environmental Review Team (ERT) report. In the letter the following recommendations were made:
- Town should focus immediately on issues related to water (quality, impact on groundwater and watersheds, etc.), mowing and invasion species management. Mowing should occur, where possible before April.
- Use of herbicides carefully and selectively in order to manage and remove invasive species needs to be considered.
- Town should access the resources available from local volunteers to perform much of the needed mowing/ invasive species management, in addition to resources available in the town.
- A well is critical and should be drilled ASAP.
Kim distributed this letter to the members for feedback and received limited response. Diane Visconti did recommend that our recommendations include recommendations for the barn.
The Board members present proceeded with a discussion regarding what our recommendation for the barn should be. The following summarizes key points presented.
- The Planning Committee of the Town Council discussed the barn at its most recent meeting. Reference to the number $150,000-$300,000 to stabilize the barn and make it weather tight. This would make the barn appropriate for storage only. Bill Voelker has been encouraged to apply for a matching grant from the state department of Culture and Tourism.
- Kim offered the perspective that perhaps it is better to take the barn down and rebuild it, as recommend by Joe DiRisi, who noted a figure of $50,000 to do so.
- Bob offered that the barn should be preserved, as it is structurally sound at this point. The three sided storage structure that exists next to the barn can be used for equipment storage. Barn should be redone for educational purposes.
- Greg suggested consideration of dismantling the barn and storing pieces until the town determines the future use of the property.
Board decided after discussion that we supported the town’s recommendation to hire an architect to determine the most cost effective and appropriate plan for dealing with the barn. We recommended that the town ask for a comparative break down of costs for a) demolition and rebuilding, b) stabilization and restoration for use by the public/town, or c) dismantling and storage until a further time.
Further discussion was held in reference to the call for the town to utilize volunteers to assist with the mowing, invasive management, etc.
-Bob reported that the town employee who is currently haying one field at the farm has offered to mow the property. South end mowing will have to occur in the fall as this portion is too wet in the spring for mowing.
– Further mention was made that the Town would contact CLP to manage the invasives on CLP held right of ways- the site of the farm that currently has is home to most of the fragmites.
Discussion proceeded to the proposal made by Bob Behrer to establish an American Chestnut grove on a small parcel of the farm. This idea has been received warmly by most members of the Board as a great educational and conservation opportunity and could give us a positive foot in the door. Kim offered to contact the organization and/or individuals with whom this project would be conducted and invite them to our next meeting for further discussion.
The planned meeting with Seth Wilner for Holistic Economic Planning will occur on Sunday March 2 from 1pm-5pm and conclude on Monday morning March 3rd. We hope to meet at the home of Jeff Rapoport. Goals for this meeting included discussion of development of an economic plan for a CSA, and discussion of the feasibility of other ideas presented in our proposal.
Jeff Rapoport sent a reminder that Powerstation is willing to help with fundraising for the FBK. We should discuss fundraising soon to increase our economic base.
Further discussion focused on an adult education program that sponsored walks through town open space. The deadline for adult education for the spring has passed, but we discussed setting up a series of walks for the fall.
Fellis Jordan has successfully registered Friends of Boulder Knoll with www.goodsearch.com, and yahoo driven search engine that donates money for each search conducted. Simply note Friends of Boulder Knoll in the space provided and search away. Dan will add this link to the website.
The Boulder Knoll Montessori School has donated a small working copy machine to the Friends of Boulder Knoll. This will hopefully help to reduce our expenses related to copying of newsletters, etc.
OUR NEXT MEETING: Thursday February 21st at 7:00pm. Location TBA.
Submitted : Jill Casertano- Secretary