Conservation Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 30, 7:00 P.M.
Members Present - Susan Smiley, Al Karnatz, Cheryl Mitchell, Mark Krawczyk
No changes to agenda
As of September 2018, records show the Committee has $1294
Schedule Armchair Naturalist Presentations
Insect Population Decline
Susan Smiley has reached out to several entomologists to see if we might find a potential speaker on the subject of plummeting global insect populations. Currently we have not been able to locate a speaker. Susan also mentioned insect-tracking citizen science-type projects hosted by the Vermont Center for EcoStudies. We decided that it might be a bit too ambitious to hope for town residents to participate in a monitoring program so we will hold off on moving forward on this effort.
Plight of the Honeybees
Cheryl Mitchell checked with Kirk Webster to see if he might be willing to speak on the plight of honey bees. Al will follow up to see if he's available on March 20th (Wednesday)
Art and Landscape Showing and Lesson
Cheryl also mentioned having spoken with Janet Fredricks - a local artist who has done a considerable amount of work around the New Haven area and would be willing to both speak on her work and also possibly lead an in-the-field artistic lesson. We discussed the idea of organizing a bit more of a public showing/installation possibly hosted by Golden Well that could also include a few other artists. This could help broaden the appeal of this type of public gathering. We will follow up with Janet and Golden Well to see about scheduling this during the summer months.
New Haven Winter Swamp Walk
Susan has been organizing a field walk at a local swamp lot on South Street with the goal of learning about both the history of swamp lots and the ecology there. Ideal timing is February because it will be frozen and also tick pressure should be low to non-existent . Polly Darnell is part of a local 'Master Naturalist' program and there is likely interest among their network to help spread the word and also possibly help lead the ecology portion of the walk. We discussed hosting the roughly 2 hour event on Saturday March 2 starting at 10am. Susan and Al will handle event organization.
Apple Tree Release
We discussed hosting an apple tree 'release' event in November to be followed by a pruning workshop in February or so of 2020. We'll plan to host this at Susan Smiley's farm. We will also reach out to local arborist Adam Becker to see if he'd be willing to lead the event/s.
Will we repeat the Tree Contest?
We will consider running the contest again in 2019 although we'll wait to gauge community interest. We otherwise may elect to make it an every other year event. Mark Krawczyk will create two 2'x3' posters that feature the entrants/winners from 2018. We will have these ready to post for Town Meeting.
Review draft of Conservation Fund
Al Karnatz recommended the removal of passage f under section 1. General Criteria for the Conservation Reserve Fund - "Would not be protected without the assistance of this fund", on the grounds that this would be very difficult to prove and seems to already be covered in section c - "Leverages additional funds…". The other committee members present agreed with this suggestion. Susan will report our discussion to the Selectboard. Al plans to attend the next select board meeting as well.
Meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.