UPDATE

UPTON FARMLANDS UPDATE

October, 2011

Since the establishment of the Upton Trust Inc. the Board has had several regular meetings as well as several planning meetings. We invite you to visit the web site at www.saveuptonfarm.com or www.uptonfarmlands.com. There you will see the posting of the legal papers regarding this establishment, as well as the conditions, by-laws, the Agreement and the Vision Plan. The Vision Plan has been posted on the website for almost four years and became part of the legal papers.

You will note that the transfer of the land was conditional upon it being brought under the Natural Areas Protection Act. To that end, the Board has been and is working with the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry to prepare a plan for approval by the Board that decides on inclusion in the Natural Areas Protection Act. Aside from the condition of transfer, it is a necessity from a financial point. Under the Natural Areas Protection Act the property is exempt from provincial property tax, which otherwise would be approximately $ 30,000 annually.

The Board is also working towards accessing provincial programs for planting and improving the land. As well, the Board is in the process of applying to Revenue Canada for non-profit status, a cumbersome but necessary process. At this point the Trust has no funds. The Board has applied for an operating grant from the Provincial Government for the remainder of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. It appears approval is imminent.

As you can see, there are many time-consuming details to see to in setting up this Trust. In closing I would like to say that it is a privilege to serve with and be part of such a dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer group, (notice by-laws: no honorarium) who spares no time or effort in carrying on the business of the Trust and fulfilling the Vision Plan in a speedy and responsible manner. The Board welcomes thoughts and ideas and invites anyone to let them be known to the Board.

Greetings on behalf of the Board and myself,

Kirsten Connor, President, The Upton Trust Inc.

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9 Responses to “UPDATE”

  1. paula mackinnon Says:

    I have looked at the photo of the Board and none of the people use the Park. Heidi used to. The only time I have seen the members there is with bIue prints walking the property discussing their plans to “develop” the property.

    This past week I have asked many different people at the park whether they have any knowledge of what is being done with the Farm. No one does. When I tell them of the proposed plans as I understand them, no one is in agreement with them.

    I suggested to Mrs. Connor last fall that they hold a public meeting and advertise it in the Guardian so that she can have feedback from the users. She said they would not be.

    This website is apparently the only means for anyone to find out about this development. I will therefore be writing to the new Minister of Innovation to review how this is being managed and ask him to establish a represenative board with a mandate to manage the property to maintain its pristine state which is what protection under the Natural Properties Act means.

  2. uptonfarm Says:

    Paula,

    While I appreciate your comments, I wanted to clarify a few things.

    First, when in the province, I use the park about 5 days a week. I also take every opportunity to talk with other users and keep them informed.

    Second, The Upton Farm Trust now owns the property, not the PEI Government. The Provincial Government is, however, represented on the Board as per our bylaws.

    Third, the reason that the land is available for public use is only because of the YEARS of work of the Upton Farm Preservation Network, led by Kirsten Connor, who worked tirelessly with Canada Lands and the Provincial Government to make this happen. Otherwise, you would be now be looking at apartment buildings. I’m not sure people realize how much time, effort and tanacity that went in to making this a reality, and by a group of volunteers.

    Finally, as per your comments on the plans for development, there ARE no plans for development. Our primary mandate is for the preservation, under the Natural Areas Protection Act, of the land. We do hope to improve walking trails and maybe place a bench here or there. Otherwise, we only plan to enhance the current natural features of the property. For now, all of our time and efforts are getting the land protected under this act. It is a long and arduous task, but we feel it is the most important one.

    I apologize for the lack of communication. Typically we only update the site when there is news. I will attempt to improve this as it sounds like there is some misinformation being circulated.

    We have always planned on having a meeting in the late spring that will be open and we encourage everyone to attend.

    The best hope for Upton’s future will be having a passionate group of people who love it as much as we do.

    Thanks,
    Heidi Hyndman
    Board Member
    Upton Farm Trust

    PS. All pertinent information, such as our mandate, all legal documents, deeds, by-laws, etc., are on this site.

  3. mbelvadi2 Says:

    Hi, I can’t find any contact information for anyone relating to the Farm Trust. I am a frequent dog walker there and would be happy to support the Trust, and also I’d like to inquire about possibly donating a park bench for the park users, but I don’t know how to contact anyone. If the information is on this site, it is well buried. Could someone please direct me to the appropriate information?

    • uptonfarm Says:

      (reposting email)

      I have been out of email range for a few days. We have a meeting coming up in the next month or two, and I will pass your message along. You are right, there is not a good mechanism in place for contacting the Trust members and we hope to improve on that in the next year. I know things seems slow, and in the volunteer world, they are!

      As I’m sure you have read on the website, our main focus this first year is just getting the legal stuff looked after…..taxes, insurance, easements, and mainly getting the land protected under the Natural Areas Protections Act……this takes forever.

      Once all these things are looked after, we will start to look at things such as benches, etc.

      I will post on the site the time and location of our first annual meeting, and we will be looking for people like you to join the Upton Farmlands Trust.

      Thanks for your interest,

      Heidi Hyndman
      Board Member
      Upton Farm Trust

      ______________________________________

      Thank you for the reply, and thank you for the work you do for the Trust. The Farmlands is a wonderful community resource and there are a great many of us who appreciate your efforts.

      M

      _______________________________________
      Hey M…..thanks for the nice comments. Much appreciated. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have. I’ll do my best to answer them.

  4. Jenny Likely Says:

    As one of the at least 200 off-leash dog walkers that currently use the park , I am wondering when and how we can have some input as to how the off-leash usage might continue and be included in your plans. It is important to us because it is the only off-leash walking spot we have.
    I met Kirsten at the park several months ago and she mentioned that we would be restricted to one large field. Unfortunately , this would not work because the dogs would gather together in a pack. Non-dog owners on your committee might not appreciate the necessity for dogs NOT to be allowed to become a pack … it brings out the worst in them !!
    The present system works because while we walk down the pathway we are separated from other dogs for most of the time. As we meet another dog they greet each other , and then we move on.

  5. uptonfarm Says:

    Hi Jenny.

    Thanks for your comment.

    We will be having a General Annual Meeting in the next few months, and will post details on the site about the time and place. Input is essential and most welcome.

    As I have stated in previous posts, we are not at that stage yet as we must finalize the NAPA designation process first.

    Thanks.

  6. Paul Trewin Says:

    Now that Upton Farms falls under the responsibility of the Trust, who is responsible for emptying the trash barrels?

    I know that the City did it last year, but it is quite apparent that no one is doing it this year. All three barrels are overflowing with garbage all over the ground. I was there this morning and noticed that by the last barrel on the paved road, someone has dumped the remains of an old bike.

  7. Barbara Roges Says:

    I would suggest that your first mandate is to post signage……….The committee is worried about dogs ruining the habitat but on a daily basis lately there are vehicles driving down to the beach through the habitat doing much more damage than any amout of dogs.
    I attended the annual meeting and fully agree with Jennie Likely that we still need a large off leash area for the reasons she has sited. As to people who are afraid of dogs……whether they are on leash of off they will still be afraid! As a faithful dog walker we are more than considerate of the habitat and most dogs follow the trails as we do!

  8. Melissa Belvadi Says:

    I would like to echo Barbara’s comment about vehicles, including large heavy pickup trucks and SUVs, just driving straight across the fields to get to the river, doing far more damage in a single drive than a whole lot of dogs do in an entire year. I actually took photos of one, complete with license plate, parked at the edge of the river (where the little wooden stairs are), if anyone wants to try to track down the owner. They were apparently clam-digging at low tide – no reason but laziness that they couldn’t have carried their stuff from the road.

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