President’s 2009 Annual Report

President Schroeder
Photo: Henry Finch

Outgoing President Beth Schroeder delivered this address at the Newton Conservators’ 2009 Annual Dinner.

In the past year, the Newton Conservators welcomed two new board members to our group: Willis Wang and Alison Leary. We also welcomed returning board member Mike Clarke. We were pleased to be a co-sponsor of the Newton Tree Conservancy (NTC). Our board member, Katherine Howard, is serving as NTC president.

The Land Management Committee, chaired by Sue Avery, continues to monitor Newton’s open spaces and to work on the Newton Almanac – to be published this fall. Jane Sender and Larry Burdick began a land stewardship program, which includes yearly visits to properties with conservation restrictions. Board members and advisors will be invited to come along on these walks in the future.

Eric Reenstierna has been editing and publishing our quarterly newsletter. Ted Kuklinski has continued to inform us with his e-news. Our Web site is better than ever, thanks to the talents of Dan Brody. Frank Howard has continued to film our endeavors, most recently filming the planting of new trees by the Newton Tree Conservancy.

The Trails Committee, headed by Henry Finch, will begin adding signage to trails in Newton. The Newton Conservators have an especially long and interesting list of spring walks for the public this year, coordinated by Alison Leary.

The Newton Conservators have a new computer-friendly logo, designed by Pat Robinson. This is the first logo change since our original logo was designed by Jean Husher in 1961. Our membership list has been updated to an automated system that allows members to join online. Jane Sender, Katherine Howard, and Dan Brody made this possible. The Newton Conservators adopted a Conflict of Interest policy.

Last November the Newton Conservators submitted a broad “wish list” of goals to the Community Preservation Committee. Grant Committee members Bill Hagar, Alison Leary, Margaret Albright, and Willis Wang approved six grants: cold frames at Newton North High School; trail marking at Cabot Woods by NNHS students; an organic garden for Oak Hill School; a community garden at Lincoln-Elliot School; a harvest garden at Ward School; and scholarship funds for the Environmental Science Program.

The Newton Conservators supported rebuilding of the Lower Falls DCR Bridge Preservation Project, contributing $4,000. We thank Larry Smith for diligently following up on this project. We contributed $15,000 to the Crystal Lake Master Plan and accepted a conservation restriction on this property. We thank Ted Kuklinski for working toward the success of this project. We are about to accept a conservation restriction to protect the Commonwealth Golf Course. An escrow fund will be created to help protect this property. Special thanks go to Willis Wang for working on this project.

– Beth Schroeder