UPDATE…..?

It’s been a long time since we have posted an update, so here it goes……

We are still working with Ekistics on the Master Plan and we are still trying to get the boundary line settled.  As for the boundary line dispute with Department of Innovation, it has been a long and frustrating road and we may be making some progress.  We will post something when we actually have a resolution.  

The Master Plan Draft was reviewed with a presentation by Rob Leblanc.  Overall it was well received by the board, but many changes are still required.  I’m really not sure when this process will be complete.  Stay tuned and thanks for your patience.

 

 

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17 Responses to “UPDATE…..?”

  1. Paul Trewin Says:

    will members have an opportunity to review the (Draft) Master plan before it is finalized? It was said, earlier in the process, that there would be “extensive consultation” with the public. To date there has only been one meeting, that was open to the public, with the consultant.

  2. uptonfarm Says:

    Thank you for the question.

    Ekistics of Halifax was engaged to create a Master Plan for the Upton Farmlands as public green space.
    The accepted proposal called for one public meeting at the beginning of the process, which was very successful, and with that input laid the groundwork for the work to be done.

    The day after the public meeting Ekistics did short interviews with a person in the various offices of identifiable groups, that helped procure the land, other groups such as Island Nature Trust, as well as government agencies that will play a role in financial sustainability of the operation of the green space. These interviews were done the day after the public meeting.
    Further, on August 27th, 2013, Ekistics held a meeting arranged by Board member Heidi Hyndman and two dog walkers (Grant Johnson and Cory Micalef).

    The contract called for only one public meeting, where the workshop format provided information for the work Ekistics were to do.
    This study has taken longer than anticipated, but the final report should be ready shortly.
    Thank you again for your interest.
    Kirsten Connor,
    Chair

  3. granitize Says:

    Thank you Kirsten,
    Can you be more specific about ‘shortly’? Are we talking days, weeks or months?

    Is there anything the membership can do to improve our position or help move things along?

    Crowd power is very effective.

    Grant

  4. granitize Says:

    Hi Kirsten,
    Thanks.
    Can you elaborate on what shortly means?
    Is there anything the membership can do to inform or streamline the process?

    Grant

  5. granitize Says:

    Hi Kristen,

    Are there any dates that you can provide the membership for the completion of the plan?

    We are really quite interested.

    Thanks

  6. uptonfarm Says:

    Hi Grant. Sorry for the delay.

    We have received the completed Master Plan. I believe an opportunity for public input will be provided prior to adoption. I will post the details on this site, when I have them.

    Heidi

    • Grant Johnson Says:

      Thanks Heidi,
      I know people are really interested, and am surprised at the secrecy of this process! Some additional input to ward off unexpected problems would be great.

      Proactive disclosure should be incorporated into all organizations working for the public good. This helps to build good working relationships, makes use of crowd power and helps to avoid cynicism and mistrust.

      It’s what I expected when joining this organization.. but haven’t seen.

      Please pass these concerns on to the board.

      Thanks

      • Javier Alarco Says:

        As a frequent user of Upton Farmer Lands the disclosure of any and all information i. e… the master plan would be greatly appreciated in a timely manner to fully understand the explications and or benefits of this proposal. I look forward to reviewing the plan at grest length prior attending this meeting that I hope is open to the general public.

        Thank you

      • uptonfarm Says:

        Hi Javier. Our next board meeting is next week, on the 29th of April. This is on the agenda and I will update when I know the answers to your questions.

        The Annual meeting is tentatively scheduled for the last week of May. Exact date will be decided shortly.

        Heidi

  7. Cory Says:

    Hi – Since Master Plan is completed, is it possible to share it or provide a clear and detailed picture? This would allow time to absorb the information and think things through prior to a public meeting. Some people need time to process information and then come prepared to discuss at the meeting.

    • granitize Says:

      I agree Cory,
      This would be a really useful communication and would begin the relationship building process for a public space.

    • uptonfarm Says:

      Hi Cory. We are planning to present the plan prior to the meeting but have not determined how/when/where to do it (even though final report was received, there will most likely be changes still).

      As soon as we have a date/place/method, I will post on this site as well as on FB. Thanks for your patience! It has been a very long and challenging process. Our next board meeting (had one yesterday) will be on April 29th. The Master Plan is the focus of that meeting. We should have this resolved then. We have a lot of other issues that we are dealing with (taxes, NAPA, boundary line, legal matters, south side plans, and the list goes on.)

      Thanks
      Heidi

  8. Kathy Kennedy Says:

    Reading so many times about the Royal love of dogs, don’t you think Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla would love to see the wonderful proximity to the City that Upton Farms provide? It is very close to the school that she will be visiting..should be a great visit.

  9. Wenda Pitre Says:

    Hi,
    I too would like to see the”masterplan”. Perhaps it could be put in the Guardian in point form so all are made aware of the potential impact on the using public. I would be disappointed if the plan did not include the dog park component as it goes way beyond just a dog park. The current state of the type 2 diabetic epidemic pulls in the health and wellness component of the human side of the dog park, in that for some people, they would not be out and about if they didn’t have a dog to walk and a place to do it. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Thanks
    Lily’s owner (Wenda)

  10. Mirella Says:

    Hi – It is so important that the board appreciate that this is as much about the people as it is the dogs. It is impossible to imagine not finding a compromise to satisfy everyone.

    It means so much to so many. Mirella ~

  11. Reg Walsh Says:

    This was a letter to the editor that appeared in The Guardian August 1, 2014:

    Editor,
    I do not want to have a running dialog, but would like the opportunity to thank the President of the Upton Farm Trust for the quick reply and directions to the website. (Re:July 9 & 11,2014)
    “Upton is a nature reserve first and foremost,–“ is a reassuring and welcome statement.
    To live up to this, the Board will have to find the spine to curb temptations, created by good deeds from governments (as mentioned), to not sell out and allow signs and other things that do not belong in a nature reserve. Education among ‘peers’, even the board members themselves, would go a long way to not even receive or consider such requests.
    To comply with the goal of creating a ‘nature reserve’, and asking for designation under the Natural Area Protection Act, the Ekistics Plan seems to have missed the target completely. At a cost of as much as $ 50.000.- I am told.
    Giving 37 acres for an off-leash dog park (unfenced), plus 86 acres for on-leash use (123 acres total), means there is no wildlife sanctuary space anywhere.. This should make serious environmentalists and others question the title ‘Nature Reserve’ ( above numbers stated on page 91 of the Master Plan at http://www.uptonfarmlands.com).
    Creating a ‘Nature Reserve’ is a very large responsibility and entails more than just saying the words.
    Before going for NAPA designation perhaps the Board should hire an unbiased, uninfluenced (free of political connections) expert to guide them. The name Gary Schneider comes to mind.
    Cabinet needs full understanding of the request for NAPA designation, before considering it’s merit and implications. I would think consideration of general public use and access to ALL the beautiful areas, along with a reasonable size and location of an off-leash fenced dog park would be one of their tasks, as well as looking at the least expensive implementation and operation. They should consider to what extent all Island taxpayers should subsidize dog welfare in Charlottetown and especially in competition with the Humane Society.
    In closing I wish to thank the President and Board for serving us all in this important job of creating a Nature Reserve, that all can use and be proud of.
    If I may, perhaps a name like “The Upton Farmlands Nature Reserve”, would help in the general public’s understanding of what the intentions are there.
    R. Walsh
    Cornwall P.O.

    • uptonfarm Says:

      Mr. Walsh,

      Thank you for your comments. I will respond to several of them.

      The term ‘nature reserve’ has many interpretations. I used the term not in a formal sense, but an informal one. The Upton Farmlands (the official name of the property) will soon be designated under the Natural Areas Protections Act. The technical committee has been consulted with at length and are well aware of our plans and are onside. Our goal with Upton is that people have a place within Charlottetown to enjoy a natural area. This can be achieved in many ways.

      The board has not nor will it ‘sell out’ to anyone. The board will continue to make decisions on behalf of the Upton Trust as it was mandated to do.

      As you are not currently a member of the Trust you may not have attended any of the many meetings, or planning sessions that have been held. Many of the issues you mention have been decided upon long ago after a great deal of consideration and debate.

      The Provincial Government insisted upon a Master Plan and one was completed. During this process the public was consulted and a public survey completed. The overwhelming majority were in favor of off-leash space within Upton.

      As for the off-leash area, the vast majority of this area is not on Upton Farmlands, but on an adjacent vacant property owned by the Province. Less than 7 of the 138 acres of Upton is designated off-leash. The “86 acres for on-leash use” is no different than any other public space in Charlottetown. All of downtown Charlottetown, Victoria Park, all public streets, parks and spaces are ‘for on-leash’ use. This is in accordance with City Bylaws. All of Upton is open to the public.

      With regard to taxpayers subsidizing ‘dog welfare’, more than a third of tax-paying Islanders are dog owners. As taxpayers, we all subsidize all services, the ones we use and the ones we don’t. Hockey rinks, ball parks, tennis courts, skateboard parks, public pools, etc. are also subsidized. This access to a great variety of activities and amenities makes Charlottetown a great city to live in and visit.

      If you wish to stay informed and involved in the activities of the Upton Trust, I encourage you to become a member and attend our Annual General meetings each year.

      Yours truly,
      Heidi Hyndman

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