Jeanie Lindquist, President
Ashby Land Trust April 2, 2005
The year 2004 began on a high note as in January we finished our fundraising for the purchase and preservation of Mount Watatic. In the end, all the debts were paid, all the lenders were satisfied, hundreds of people participated in the Campaign, and we preserved the mountain.
All that remained was the creation of the donor recognition exhibit, a seemingly straightforward task. As the Mount Watatic chapter closed, the attention of the Board of Directors gratefully turned to the nuts and bolts of land trust life. Our fifth annual meeting was well attended with an enjoyable presentation by Joel Lerner, retiring director of the Division of Conservation Services. We welcomed Alice Ward as our newest Board member, and are pleased to have her energy and knowledge on board.
During the summer, Board member Roberta Flashman led a training session on monitoring conservation property. We completed the baseline documentation for the Arnold property conservation restriction and monitored two of our other properties. We published a newsletter in February and one in November. Two Board members attended the Land Trust Alliance’s (LTA) annual conference in October and are leading the Board through a review of the LTA’s revised Standards and Practices. We are studying ways we can ensure that we continue to operate our organization to the highest ethical standards.
Two land preservation purchases by the Division of Fish and Wildlife that had been stalled at the end of 2003 were completed this year. The Land Trust helped keep these transactions progressing. The Land Trust has now facilitated the protection of three parcels totaling 450 acres. In addition, we hold two conservation restrictions totaling 15 acres, co-hold two more totaling 185 acres, and share the ownership of Mount Watatic with 280 acres. This is a grand total of over 900 acres preserved in six years! We are pleased and committed to doing more each year to preserve the rural character of Ashby.
It turned out that the preparation and dedication of the Mount Watatic donor recognition exhibit was a bit more involved than we had anticipated. But we persisted and were able to hold the celebration on October 17, 2004. The day was a great success and put a fitting final touch on a long and rewarding project.
The year closed on a note of sorrow as Land Trust member Anette Travis died on Dec. 6. Mike and Anette were early supporters of the Ashby Land Trust, and Mike was the founding vice president. When they lived at Hardy Road, they were very involved with the early effort to stop the development of Mount Watatic and they contributed generously to the Campaign for Watatic. Anette requested that donations in her memory be made to the Land Trust, and we have been honored by the generosity of her friends and family.
Our primary goal for 2005 is to sustain and grow our membership. We intend to do that through reaching out to our existing members and through activities that generate excitement and visibility. We have big ideas and are eager to include more people in our plans. As 2005 begins, we have already co-sponsored an evening on the basics of Conservation Restrictions, and have plans for several other seminars related to land conservation. During 2005 we will also continue to steward the land already under our protection and provide our expertise to landowners wishing to preserve their land.
Thank you to our loyal members and to the 2004 Board of Directors whose commitment and hard work keep our organization strong.
Founded: February 1998
Incorporated: May 1999
First conservation restriction: December 1999 (3 acres)
Second CR May 2000 (12 acres); Assisted with 210-acre State purchase
Third conservation restriction: May 2001 (170 acres)
Jointly purchased Mount Watatic: July 2002 (280 acres)
Granted permanent status as charitable organization: November 2003
Fourth conservation restriction: December 2003 (15 acres)
Reached Campaign for Watatic fundraising goal: January 2004
Assisted with two State purchases totaling 240 acres: 2004
Over 900 acres preserved!