BCT President, Tino Kamarck presents the Conservationist of the Year Award to BCT Trustee and founding member, Peter Soule.
On Thursday, August 18, 2022, Brewster Conservation Trust held its 39th Annual Meeting at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. BCT President, Tino Kamarck opened the meeting and welcomed 45 in-person and 20 virtual attendees. Tino gave a quick update on the former Cape Cod Sea Camps' Long Pond parcel and reported that fundraising efforts toward BCT's $1.75M commitment to the Town's purchase were going well.
BCT Trustee Peter Johnson, filled in for Land Preservation Committee Chair, Amy Chesnut, and reported on BCT's 2022 achievements in land preservation. Peter noted that since 1983, BCT has protected over 215 parcels totaling more than 1,470 acres with over 1,230 acres of upland woodlands and 241 acres of wetlands. Peter reported that BCT remains first in Cape land trusts in number of projects and number of acres protected. Some highlights included 4.34 acres at Squantum Path, donated in honor of Jacob and Barbara Brown; 0.44 acres on Main Street, future site of Backus Park; 0.21 acres on Satucket/Airline road, donated by Steve Backus, as well; and 4.93 acres on Holly Avenue near the Bakers Ponds Trails.
BCT Land Stewardship Committee Chair, Bonnie Newman, gave the report on land monitoring and management of properties including boundary marking, encroachment issues, trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, meadow maintenance, and storm clean up. Stewardship highlights also included updates on the multi-year restoration projects - including Ellis Landing beach grass planting and fence installation, Eddy Sisters permitting, and cover crop completed, and Slough Road meadow seeding. Other multi-year showcase projects included habitat restoration at the Dowling parcel on Lower Road, and habitat restoration at the Hay Conservation Center. Bonnie acknowledged Jon Bruce, BCT's Land Stewardship Coordinator and BCT's land stewardship volunteer crews, as well as BCT AmeriCorps member, Vince Tanguilig.
Hal Minis, Communications Committee Chair, presented an overview of BCT's 2022 outreach programs and reported that BCT completed a total of 12 StoryWalks®, 15 public walks, 2 cape-wide events, 2 talks in partnership with Brewster Ladies Library, 2 virtual talks, and participation in the Beautify Brewster clean up day, where BCT Volunteers cleaned up the most nips! Hal also spoke about BCT's youth education program and partnership with the Eddy Elementary School and the Mass Audubon. In 2022, BCT hosted Eddy Elementary's 3rd grade at the Windmill Meadow, 4th grade at Hay Conservation Center, 5th grade at the Eddy Sisters Trail, and 6th and 7th grades from Nauset Regional Middle School at Bakers Pond Trail. Youth education programming covered a variety of subjects including tree identification, decomposition, soil layers, invasive plant species, vernal pool science, and pollinators. Hal went on to report about the successes at the 2022 Brewster Conservation Day, where there were over 750 participants, 35 exhibitors, and several local business sponsors, Brewster Conservation Day's theme was Our Water Resources, and was sponsored by BCT, Town of Brewster Natural Resources Department, the Brewster Historical Society, and new sponsor - Brewster Ponds Coalition. Hal noted that BCD was also supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
BCT Trustee and Treasurer, Peter Soule, gave the 2022 Financial Report. Peter provided detailed information that illustrated BCT's 2021 operating expenses, income, and land acquisition totals. The financial report was formally approved by BCT members in attendance. (see link to slides, below for detailed financial information). Bonnie Newman presented the slate of Trustees nominated for re-election. There were no other nominations made from the floor. All BCT Members in attendance, both in person and virtually voted. The following trustees were re-elected for 2022-2025: Beth Finch, Debra Johnson, Peter Johnson, Tino Kamarck, John Lamb, and Rosemary (Dirkie) VanAntwerp.
Tino presented the BCT 2022 Conservationists of the Year Award to BCT Trustee and founding member, Peter Soule, for his endless support and outstanding leadership to BCT, especially as Treasurer for over 25 years. Tino also acknowledged Peter’s role as a Land Surveyor, which he continues to help BCT with and in the larger community, as an advocate for, and pioneer in, alternative, green energy.
Concluding the business portion of the meeting, Tino introduced our guest speaker for the evening. Paul Anderson, Superintendent of Brewster's Water Department was the featured speaker. Mr. Anderson talked about Brewster's Drinking Water: Keeping Our Water Supply Safe and focused on where our water comes from and the challenges that Cape Cod, and Brewster in particular, faces in supplying clean and healthy public drinking water. He also talked about how land conservation plays a part in protecting Brewster's drinking water.