Farewell and Hello: Changes to the Board of Directors

As spring blooms, changes are afoot on the Land’s Sake Board of Directors. At our recent Annual Meeting on May 15th, we honored and bid farewell to retiring members Alyson Muzila and Drew Pappone.

16835146162_e26f154fe1_mAlyson Muzila joined the Board in 2004, serving as Board Chair for several years. Alyson was instrumental in developing the Board of Directors from an operational overseer to a governance body in the past decade. Alyson’s passion and love for all things Land’s Sake will be sorely missed on the Board, but will continue in her visits to the farm with her four children and husband Peter. You can read Alyson’s powerful reflections on the importance of Land’s Sake in her blog posting from 2011 here.

Drew Pappone first became involved with Land’s Sake not as a Board Member, but as a GreenPower camper, and then eventually a farm and forest staff member. In his time on the Board, Drew has been a constant advocate for expanding our reach beyond Weston, and important voice for the staff, and he has encouraged us to think about diversity on the farm.

Ned Rossiter PictureAlso at the Annual Meeting, Members voted to elect Ned Rossiter as the first Land’s Sake Board of Directors Emeritus. Ned, a career high school history teacher in the Newton schools and longtime resident of Weston, has been with Land’s Sake since its founding over 30 years ago. From the building of the Farm Stand to the 2015 Sugaring Off, Ned has been a constant presence, enthusiastic volunteer, and valuable supporter of the work of Land’s Sake. You can read more about Ned’s experiences here.

After honoring these longtime members and recognizing Alex Selvig for his participation over the previous year, the board also elected four new Board of Directors members: Alix Mackey, Jordan McCarron, Caitlin Salyer, and Steve Weeple. We’re very excited to welcome them to the Board, and can’t wait for another great season! You can learn more about our newest Board members here.

 

Land’s Sake Tenancy FAQs

Over the past year, Land’s Sake has worked with the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen to address the question of long-term tenancy at the 40 Acre Field on Wellesley Street. The warrant at May’s town meeting will feature an article authorizing the Selectmen to negotiate, request bids, and enter into a long-term lease for the 40 Acre Field. Land’s Sake endorses this article and encourages all Weston citizens to support it. You can learn more from our FAQs below, and by watching our presentation for the Weston League of Women Voters.

What does the warrant article cover?

The May 2015 town warrant will include an article asking voters to approve a long term lease at the 40 Acre Field on Wellesley Street. Any additional terms, requirements or conditions of the lease will be determined by the Town Manager and the Selectmen.

What would be different at the 40 Acre Field if the article passes?

Nothing. Currently, Land’s Sake holds a short term license to operate on the property, which we must renew every 1 to 3 years. Passage of the article would allow Land’s Sake to bid on a long-term lease to do what it has always done.   The warrant article would only change the duration of the tenant’s (hopefully Land’s Sake) tenancy on the site.

Would this warrant article result in additional charges to the town?

No. There is no request for funds at the site involved in this measure.

Would this warrant article result in changes to the 40 Acre Field?

No. Any change to the 40 Acre Field would require Town approval as a part of a separate process. A long term lease will help to preserve the uniqueness of this important town property and help keep that space open & green for the long term.

Why is a longer lease necessary?

Any farmer using this land will want the long term certainty that allows him or her to think for the future. A longer lease allows a greater focus on soil investments, crop rotations, irrigation and other systems that help to make a farm viable in this highly competitive marketplace. Operational improvements like underground electricity for refrigeration, food safety systems, and year-round water need a long-term horizon to justify the significant financial investment.

Where else has this happened?

Other towns have signed leases of over 20 years with community farming organizations and have proven successful long term partners. These communities have included Natick and the Natick Community Organic Farm; Newton and the Newton Community Farm; and Winchester and the Wright-Locke Farm, among others.