WEATHERSFIELD CONSERVATION COMMISSION
DECEMBER 06, 2018
Attending: Heather Shand, Roy Burton, Jeff Pelton, George Ainley, Nathalie Belleau, and Tina Wood.
Absent: Harry Temple, Howard Beach, and Ellen Clattenburg No guests.
Meeting was called to order at 7:07.
Minutes from September 27, 2018 were accepted as read (there was no October meeting because the Bobcat talk was at the same time, the November meeting was postponed to Dec. 06 because of a storm. There is no December meeting as usual because of the holidays.
TOWN OWNED LAND: We were asked by Ed Morris, Town Manager, to walk a piece of town-owned property which is land-locked. It is a small piece (10 acres more or less). Originally, Clarance Martin traded the land for back taxes but it has no access. It is located south of Rt. 131, west of Mountain View Road, and east of Dennis Eagle’s property. Jeff walked it with Dennis Eagles, who was familiar with the land but not the boundaries. It should be surveyed by the town. Jeff reported this information back to Ed Morris.
It would be interesting to have site visits of other town-owed land which could be a future project.
TREASURY: Sven investigated the status of Con. Com. funds. We have $1623.42 from a previous grant and $237.60 on hand form the town budget. The Bobcat talk netted $12 (but was very well attended). We are considering joining the Association of Conservation Commissions which costs $50 to join enabling us to apply for a small grant. We would hope to use any grant money to produce a brochure about the Natural Areas in Weathersfield. The grant deadline is April 14, 2019.
- Ash tree Inventory: At the meeting of the ANRC there was a great deal of discussion of the ash borer insect and its destruction of ash trees. They encouraged towns to take an ash tree inventory to keep track of existing trees and identify the rate of mortality. This rural road inventory would involve rapid identification and collection of basic data. It would involve training, tutorials, and loaned equipment (programmed i-pads, for example).
Roy will talk to Barbara Schultz, state entomologist, to discuss the efficacy of the program. The grant application is due January 31, 2019.
- The search for Chestnut trees: Some larger than usual chestnut trees were discovered on a property in Enfield, NH that is conserved by the Upper Valley Land Trust and discovered during UVLT monitoring of the land. We wondered if there were any viable chestnut trees in Weathersfield and how we would go about discovering them.
- Natural Areas Brochure: Jeff has the idea of developing a brochure of town wide significant natural areas such as Little Ascutney Basin, the Town Forest, Cascade Falls, Stoughton Pond and others. We each are tasked with developing a list of resources that might be included.
- Valley Quest: Jeff wondered about getting involved in the Valley Quest program (a game of discovering a series of clues in town that would lead to a final destination where the participants’ VQ booklet would be stamped). This would get kids outdoors and help them discover more about Weathersfield.
5 Wildlife Photo Contest: Roy and Heather are engaged in the finalizing the details of the photo contest and will determine the date, format and prizes which we will discuss at the next meeting.
- Town Forest Recreation Plan: Ten towns (Weathersfield is one) were chosen by the Vt. Urban Community Forest Program to receive $10,000 for planning how best to use their town forests for recreation and community use. Consultants are available and there is a 58 page booklet to help. Jeff will see that we each get a copy.
- Publicity: Heather will come up with a list of area of area Conservation Com. to share program and workshop notifications.
Meeting adjourned at 9:10.
Next meeting will be January 24, 2019, meeting place to be announced.