About 85 people braved the late-afternoon freak hailstorm to attend the 2014 annual meeting of the Brewster Conservation Trust at Ocean Edge Resort on August 7th. Ocean Edge donated the ballroom, its staff and hors d’oeuvres for the gathering.
BCT’s 31st annual meeting was held jointly with the 28th annual meeting of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, our non-profit land trust federation and advisory staff.
BCT President Hal Minis welcomed the crowd and highlighted BCT’s successes over the past year, including 120 acres of additional protected open space and the cooperation of AmeriCorps in helping to create 30 accessibility improvements at town parks and beaches. He noted the Trust’s support for the nascent Brewster Ponds Coalition work to enhance pond water quality.
Vice-President Bonnie Newman thanked the several dozen volunteers who provide stewardship of BCT’s properties and conservation restrictions. She noted the help from professional volunteers such as archaeologist Fred Dunford, vernal pool investigator Jim Van Baalen, botanist Don Schall and others.
BCT Treasurer Peter Soule showed a financial summary for 2013, a good year for the Trust. He pointed out that 86% of the expenses were related to land purchase costs. Pat Bertschy, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the recommended slate for board members, all of whom were voted unanimously:
- Pat Bertschy
- Bonnie Newman
- Joe Masse
- Dirkie Van Antwerp
- John Lamb
Finally, Hal Minis and Peter Johnson presented the BCT Conservationist of the Year Award to recently-retired board member Beth Finch. Beth served as President in the turn of this century, truly bringing the Trust into a new age, infusing the group with new energy and activism to seek out lands to preserve and increasing the sophistication in acquiring them. She has also been a valued member of the Town Pathways Committee, served as BCT’s delegate to The Compact (and served as Compact Clerk), and helped to produce many issues of the BCT Newsletter. She reached across the waters to Dennis and advised the Dennis Conservation Trust in its successful pursuit of 70 acres at Crowes Pasture for conservation. She was also active with the Brewster Ladies’ Library and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Beth, all of Brewster salutes your past work and the many ways you continue to help our town.
Our thanks again to Ocean Edge and its manager Bob Newman for hosting our successful joint meeting.