VCC June 11, 2020
Present: Patricia King, Holly Weidner, David Jenney, Chris French; Regrets: Steve Jones;

1) Laura stepped down as chair and as a member due to commitment in other groups. We appreciated her being willing to be chair and join our committee the past year. Holly is willing to do the next few meetings. She suggests that we take turns every 2-3 months for both continuity and spread the responsibility.

2) End of the year finances: $300 left from 2019-2020. Ideas were reviewed. We will use the remaining money to buy the Lake Smart plantings that need to be used for the memorial park/shoreline on China Lake; Check with Steve J re: what is needed. In the future, we want to put up a budget for specific projects that we want to pursue early in the year to be able to get request in by Jan 2021. Some possibilities include trail signage, trail bridging, joining the Maine CC ($125).

3) What do we want to do next year: Brain storming/where do we feel moved to work: amplify and “advertise” programs available for land owners like Farmland Trust, KLT; partnering with other town organizations/committees: gardening/cemetery/recycling /recreation/school; doing trail walk through cemeteries, or KLT land; have walks or programs linked to Historical Society or Grange interests; telling stories of our history; working with school teachers to set up short videos that teach about conservation issues; copy St. George’s effort to do composting at transfer station; home/community garden education: work like a local cooperative extension mentor and education: work with -grange- food pantry; work with the rec dept. to use that area for open air, public talks;

4) Members of VCC: it was noted that Holly and Betsy’s terms are ending this month. Both are willing to continue to serve. We will submit their names to selectmen for reappointment. Also it was noted that the town website page needs updating for term limits under the CC section; all of this will be brought to Mary Sabins’ attention.

5) Water quality issues: Update on ARI funding from town; From Landis Hudson, Exec Dir. Maine Rivers:

We are set for funding this summer, amazing but true and the Vassalboro TIF makes a huge difference for our ability to actually go to construction. The Select Board approved the full amount we requested but it will come in two payments for the Box Mill work. We hope/expect to be able to raise funding for the Outlet Dam work without asking for more funding from the TIF Committee.
Matt Streeter has been planting 320 perennials, bushes and trees in the old pond beds and stream side properties; he will be working at removing invasive plants this summer; he has 2 teens to help;
- contact him if you know of others who can help.

6) There is a new group that formed to help Steve J. (Fieldstone Gardens) with the maintenance of grounds around the library, Historical Society, Grange and N Vassalboro memorial site. We would like to be supportive of this work and will look to ways to advertise the work days.

7) Trail Comm. update on Town Forest: the trail was marked this spring for better visibility of the trail. GPS has been created and will be added to the town website this summer. The group is considering the feasibility of a fishing dock/non-motorized boat launch at the China Lake/outlet stream location; it has to be 150 ft. from fishway for fishing and on the Historical Society side, preferably on the Town property (not the KWD); KWD and ARI are supportive of the idea and are working with them.

8) Maine Farmland Trust /Kennebec Land Trust/Woodland Trust: how can we get information out to landowners about the options available to them with groups like these? Patricia noted there are farms for sale or may go for sale in the future; We will continue to look at whether we might have booths available or talks available at events in the future or whether we need to invite a targeted audience.

9) Next meeting is August 13 6:30-8pm at Fieldstone weather permitting. Rain location TBA