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.