March 9, 2001
2000 ANNUAL REPORT
PRESIDENT: Ronald Sloat PRESIDENT-ELECT
(2001): Joanne Ellsworth
SECRETARY/ TREASURER: Nichelle
The first thing to notice in this
years Annual Report is the change in the Council name. With
the expansion of the Ontario Lake Plains RC&D Area to include
Erie County last year, the Council made a decision to change
the name of the Council to Lake Plains Resource Conservation
and Development Council, Inc. The process
to accomplish this is discussed later in the report.
The Lake Plains Resource Conservation
and Development Council, Inc. (Lake Plains RC&D) is a local
grass roots organization serving a six county area in western
New York. The six counties are Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Niagara,
Orleans, and Wayne
Our vision is a prosperous
diverse community that is effectively utilizing, conserving,
and sharing the natural resources of the region.
Our mission is to bring together
people of diverse cultures and backgrounds who share a common
concern for the natural resources of the region, so that, working
together, these citizens may form an effective strategy to develop,
enhance, and preserve these resources to the benefit of all
present and future citizens of, and visitors to our region.
The Lake Plains RC&D Council,
Inc. is an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization directed
by local citizens. A 501 (c) (3) is an organization designated
by the IRS as a "Charitable Organization"; donations
to Organizations with 501 (c) (3) tax status can be tax deductible.
Activities During 2000
- In a letter dated October 1, 1999 to the USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service State Conservationist, then RC&D Council
President Tom Goodwin wrote "We were very happy to receive
the recent news that our request for expansion to include Erie
County has been approved. I feel this is an appropriate time
to officially notify you that with the expansion of the Ontario
Lake Plains RC&D Area to include Erie County, the Council
has made a decision to change the name of the Council to better
reflect the geographic area now covered by the Council. We are
currently in the process of officially changing the Council
name to Lake Plains RC&D. " Actions
put into motion at that time included a revision of the Council
Constitution and By-laws, and a revision
to the Articles of Incorporation.
Amendments to the Constitution
and By-Laws - During 1999 and 2000 the
Council went through the process of updating and amending the
Ontario Lake Plains RC&D Council Constitution and By-Laws.
This included changing the name to Lake Plains Resource
Conservation and Development Council, Inc. At the February
23, 2000 Annual Meeting a motion was made to recommend the
approval of the changes to the By-Laws and to poll all members.
Final results of the poll was the unanimous approval to accept
the "Lake Plains Resource Conservation and Development
Council, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws As Amended 3/01/2000".
Amendments to the Articles of
Incorporation - With the approval of
the amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws the next step
was to complete the process to amend the Articles of Incorporation.
At the June 15, 2000 Council meeting a copy of the draft Certificate
of Amendment was reviewed and discussed. A motion was made
to approve the amendment to the Articles of Incorporation (name
change and adding Erie County) and to allow the Executive Committee
to make the decision on the process for filing the Amendment.
The Executive Committee reviewed the Final Certificate of Amendment
and other necessary letters of transmittal to the State Attorney
General, State Supreme Court, and NYS Department of State. The
Officers of the Council signed the Certificate of Amendment
on July 26, 2000. The final Certificate of Amendment was approved
by New York State on 10-17-00 approving the name change and
adding Erie County. The Council can now do business as
Lake Plains Resource Conservation and Development Council,
Council Organizational Activities in 2000
The Lake Plains RC&D
Council held regular meetings during the year 2000. The Council
conducts official meetings six times per year. The meetings
are open to the public and are currently held at the Genesee
Community College – Orleans Campus Center, 456 West Ave., Albion,
NY 14411. The members of the Council represent the following
sponsoring organizations: each of the six county legislatures,
each of the six county Soil and Water Conservation Districts
(SWCD), and at-large members from each county.
In addition, there are regular ex-officio members representing
such groups as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Service, Farm
Service Agency, Rural Development, New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), various
private organizations and groups. A copy of the 2000 officers
and membership list is on file in the Albion RC&D office.
Officers for the year 2001 are as follows: President - Joanne
Ellsworth (Niagara), President-Elect - Tiffany Boas (Wayne County),
Secretary/Treasurer: Nichelle Billhardt (Orleans County). The
Council wishes to thank those who have previously acted as Council
Officers, your time and efforts are appreciated.
New York Federation of RC&D
Councils Annual Meeting March 29, 2000 -
The meeting was held in Syracuse at the NRCS Office Wednesday
29th 10a.m. - 2 P.M. Ron Sloat and Tom Goodwin attended
the meeting representing the Council. Ron participated in the
election of new Officers, and participated in the discussion
of administrative issues such as the annual budget. During the
meeting Ron offered to host the next meeting of the Federation
in the Lake Plains RC&D Council Area.
Mid-Atlantic RC&D Association
Meeting, September 12-14th, Atlantic City - Neither
Joanne Ellsworth nor Ron Sloat could attend the meeting. Sheelagh
Baily of Greater Adirondeck RC&D voted by proxy for us.
Sharon Ruggi of the Greater Adirondack RC&D was selected
to serve as President of the Mid-Atlantic RC&D Association.
The goal of this meeting was to complete the Strategic Plan.
A final document will be sent out for review this winter. The
main focus of discussion was to identify what the role of association
was, and to look at regional goals of Mid-Atlantic Association.
and its’ role in helping local RC&D Councils.
National RC&D Conference –
June 19-22, 2000 in Ogden, Utah – Ron
Sloat and Robert Remillard attended this conference. The Council
wants to thank Paul Blazak of the Drafty Barn Enterprises at
10813 Ridge Road, Medina, NY 14103 for donating three butterfly
boxes to be given away at the New York State RC&D Booth.
Information concerning the New York State RC&D Councils
was available at the NYS booth.
New York State RC&D
Booth at the National RC&D Conference
Information concerning the Lake
Plains RC&D Council activities was available at the New
York State booth.
Lake Plains Web Site - On
July 18, 2000 we received notice that we had been approved for
a web site to be hosted by Genesee Gateway Rochester Free-Net,
Inc. We want to thank Genesee Gateway Rochester
Free-Net, Inc. for this free service. The Council approved funding
to support the development of the web site information and have
begun to post information. Visit our web site at
Lake Plains RC&D Member Handbook - A
draft council member handbook was developed in 2000. This handbook
covers many different areas including: What is RC&D, organizational
information, financial policies, Council member responsibilities
and much more. This handbook will be revised and improved as
needed over the next year.
Area Plan Development - The
Lake Plains RC&D Council is in the process of updating our
Area Plan. The Area Plan is intended to be open-ended and establishes
the direction that the Council wishes to take; it outlines goals
and objectives and identifies strategies and problems associated
with these goals and objectives. Currently the RC&D Council’s
application for authorization is being used as the preliminary
area plan. The preliminary plan can be used for up to three
years following authorization. We are in our second year of
authorization. During the last two years the Council has revisited
the needs and priorities of the RC&D Area during a number
of meetings. Over the next few months we will bring all the
information together to develop the new Area Plan. We expect
to complete this process by the next annual meeting in February
Area Plan Special Planning Session -August
17, 2000, Godfey’s Pond
The Council continued to operate
utilizing membership dues as the sole source of income. The
annual dues is $1,800.00 ($300.00 per county). The only significant
expenses for 2000 included: the $800.00 payment for D &
O Liability Insurance, State/Regional/National RC&D membership
dues $550.00, other membership dues or registration fees $150.00
and travel reimbursement to attend the National RC&D Conference
$854.00. Final balance for Fiscal Year was $5,635.63.
The Council has begun to pursue
grant funding. During 2000, the Lake Plains RC&D Council
assisted or was involved in the development of 20 grant proposals.
Council Administrative Issues
Council of Community Services
and D & O Liability Insurance -
A committee was formed in 1999 to determine whether we should
acquire liability insurance. The committee felt that the most
critical issue was the protection of our Council Officers from
frivolous claims and the need to cover potential legal fees
to defend our Officers. The final recommendation was to join
the Council of Community Services of New York State, Inc., which
offered Not-for-Profit Organization’s Directors and Officers
Liability Insurance (provided through Capital Risk Associates,
Inc.). The D&O Liability Insurance became effective 11/18/99.
The Council continued with this membership in 2000.
NY FARMS! Membership - After
participating in a number of activities sponsored by NY FARMS!
the Council passed a resolution authorizing membership in this
organization. The Council feels this membership is a good way
to meet and work with other groups with similar interest. NY
FARMS! supports a vibrant, profitable, and diverse agriculture
and food system that meets the needs of farm families, consumers,
and the environment. The Council continued with this membership
Agricultural Committee Development
first meeting of the Lake Plains RC&D Agricultural Committee
took place on July 28, 1999. A number of people have brought
a lot of energy to this Committee which has met a number of
times since then, during these meeting we have tried to develop
and refine the scope and objectives of the Ag Committee. As
a result of these meetings the Committee has identified the
following as key areas of interest: Tourism/Marketing, Information
Education, Technology Transfer and Development, Grazing Lands
Conservation Initiative and Farm Land Protection. The committee
made it clear from the beginning we do not intend to duplicate
efforts already underway by other organization(s). The Ag Committee's
role would be to work with these other groups, support them
where needed, invite them to partner with the RC&D Council
to meet mutual goals and objectives, to pool ideas and knowledge.
Mr. James A Ghent Jr. took over the position of Chairperson
of the committee in the year 2000. We want to thank past Chairperson
Greg Tessmann for his efforts in starting the committee.
Council Project Measure Activities in 2000
Each year the Council develops
a list of projects they hope to accomplish or assist others
to implement, the following is a brief summary of 2000 Project
Springdale Farm -
Springdale Farm is a demonstration farm, which is open to the
public year round. The Farm is located within Northampton Park,
Monroe County New York. Heritage Christian Home, Inc. operates
the farm. This non-profit agency as part of its farm operations
serves people with developmental disabilities by giving them
an opportunity to work in a farm environment.
They host a number of festivals
throughout the year and also offer tours to school groups. Last
year they had over 40,000 visitors, approximately 10,000 were
children grades Pre-K through 2nd grade.
Visitors to Springdale Farm
enjoy a visit with the farm animals while waiting to take
a Forestry Education Hike with the Lake Plains RC&D Coordinator
on July 26th.
The Forestry Hike program included for 4 tours with approximately
60 people attending
Springdale Farm is interested in developing
a strategic plan to address the needs of the public while also
providing a quality education program focused on agriculture
and environmental conservation. Potential activities include:
construction of an Education Center with classroom space, improved
farm demonstration areas (fields, crops, greenhouse, chicken
coop, milking station, field test plots, and forestry) improved
tours, and improved trails. Lake Plains RC&D has been a
very active member of the Springdale Farm Advisory Group.
With the assistance of Lake Plains
RC&D, Springdale Farm received a New York State Urban and
Community Forestry Grant. The $7,500.00 grant will be used for
the design of the Forestry Demonstration Project. The Lake Plains
RC&D also helped identify the National AmeriCorps program
as a potential resource for the Farm. An AmeriCorps crew of
eight people worked at Springdale Farm from June thru August.
The Lake Plains RC&D
helped identify the National AmeriCorps program as a potential
resource for the Farm.
An AmeriCorps crew of eight people
worked at Springdale Farm from June through August.
Forestry Related Activities
Agroforestry at Springdale Farm
- Using the information available through the USDA National
Agroforestry Center, the Springdale Farm Advisory Committee
would like to develop and display agroforestry practices that
are suitable for the site. These demonstrations would be incorporated
into the overall agricultural, environmental and conservation
education program at the Farm. Springdale Farm offers many opportunities
to present agroforestry management practices in a typical western
New York setting. To help accomplish this goal the RC&D
Council supported the development of a grant proposal that was
submitted to Northeast Region SARE program. Although the grant
was unsuccessful the Lake Plains RC&D Coordinator assisted
the AmeriCorps crew with development of an agroforestry demonstration
plot (woodland mushroom cultivation) and assisted the AmeriCorps
crew with development of a natural trail at Springdale on June
Visitors of all ages enjoy a
Forestry Education Hike with the Lake Plains RC&D Coordinator
at Springdale Farm
The Lake Plains RC&D assisted
with a tree-planting program on May 3rd, approximately
65 Xerox employees volunteered to help plant 65 saplings, and
Mark Gooding a NYS DEC Forester supervised the planting
which was funded through a NYS Forestry Tree Planing Grant ($5,000).
Wood Products Manufacturing Focus
Group - The first meeting of the focus group was held July
16, 1999 at the office of the Empire State Development Corporation
in Buffalo, NY. To support this effort the Lake Plains RC&D
Council development a proposal titled: Promote the Niagara
Region Wood Products Manufacturing Potential. The proposal
addressed development of a marketing plan, which could be used
by groups such as the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise Council, aimed
at supporting forest industry in our region. One result of this
effort was the Wood Products Industry Leaders Conference on
May 31, 2000 at Holiday Valley Resort in southwestern New York.
Western Erie Canal Heritage
Corridor Planning - The Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor
is the newest of the States 17 Heritage Areas. The region contains
all or parts of Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, and Wayne counties.
An 18 member planning commission will oversee the writing of
a management plan for the heritage area over the next three
years. While each heritage area has its own organization, actions
and theme, they all strive to promote preservation and recreational
use of natural and cultural resources, local and regional heritage
education and economic revitalization. The Lake Plains RC&D
supported the development of the Planning Commission in a letter
dated May 28, 1999. We also offered the assistance of the RC&D
staff and members to support the development of the plan. The
Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor Planning Commission is
currently setting up Task Force meetings to help with the development
of the plan. The Lake Plains RC&D will participate as a
Task Force member and assist with development of the plan as
The Lake Plains RC&D Council
submitted a letter to Senator Maziarz's Office on May 28, 1999
offering our support: We feel strongly that the RC&D
can be of assistance in the development of the Western Erie
Canal Heritage Corridor Plan. The Lake Plains RC&D Council
is willing to offer the assistance of the RC&D staff and
members to support the development of the plan.
Science, Mathematics, Agriculture,
and Related Technologies (SMART) Center
- A proposed regional year round science education center, focused
to teach all aspects of science education using agriculture
and environment issues as the theme. The SMART Center would
be a premier facility that will be designed as an education
center for all ages. The proposed location for the SMART Center
is the Genesee County Fair Grounds east of Batavia, New York.
Martin Culik, Executive Director of CCE is spearheading this
effort. The Lake Plains RC&D has offered our support for
Envirothon - The
RC&D Council provided support and participated in this educational
program during 2000.
Niagara-Orleans Regional Envirothon
– The Lake Plains RC&D was asked to help with the Envirothon
program at Bond Lake on May 4th, assisted with the
monitoring of tests at the forestry table.
Pictured above the Lyndonville High School winners of the event.
Watershed Enhancement Projects
- The Council is supporting the Village
of Lyndonville (Orleans County, New York) in its efforts to
develop a restoration plan for Johnson Creek Pond area. Pictured
below are representatives of the Village, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, and the NRCS. The meeting was part of the
efforts by the Lake Plains RC&D to help begin the projecting
Recent activities include development of a number grants.
These grants will help with the planning and assessment
needs for the project. The restoration plan will identify
and evaluate the feasibility of actions to improve water quality
in the pond and in Johnson Creek, remove contaminated sediments
from the pond, remove barriers to fish migration, and increase
recreational opportunities at the pond and Johnson Creek. The
project will help to protect, enhance, and restore the water
quality and fish habitat of Johnson Creek, a designated Significant
Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat.
Johnson Creek Pond Project - Johnson Pond Dam site
Caring for Creeks II Watershed
Symposium The Lake Plains RC&D introduced
the Johnson Creek Pond Project and helped Orleans County SWCD
put together a display for Johnson Creek/Oak Orchard Watershed
Projects at the Caring for Creeks II Watershed Symposium held
at the Genesee Country Village, April 28, 2000. Lake Plains
RC&D members attending the meeting included Ron Sloat, Nichelle
Billhardt, George Squires, Robert Remillard and Esther Leadley.
New York Grazing Lands Conservation
Initiative The Lake Plains RC&D entered into a contract
with the NRCS to provide Grazing Land Technicians/Advocates
who make contacts with area farmers to promote grassland farming.
The contract amount was $20,625.00. This is the second year
the Lake Plains RC&D Council has provided this service to
the local community. The contract covered eight counties in
western New York. In addition to providing four Grazing Technicians/Advocates
the Lake Plains RC&D has sponsored three pasture walks and
a grazing conference.
GLCI G.O.N.E. Grazing Conference
The Lake Plains Resource Conservation and Development Council
hosted a Grazing Conference March 14th at the Apple
Grove Inn, Medina, New York. The Conference was well attended
with approximately 35 local farmers in attendance. The topics
presented included Economics of Grazing – Extending Your Profit
Margin, Plant Animal Interactions, Animal Health on Pasture,
Maximizing Fat and Protein Production on Pasture, and a Producer
Panel Discussion. The speakers included Jim Grace (Cornell Cooperative
Extension, Extension Educator), Darrell Emmick (Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) State Grassland Specialist), Ken
Gumear (Veterinarian, Middleport New York), Karen Sullivan (NRCS
Dairy Nutritionist), and Don Wild (NRCS Grazing Specialist).
Special thanks to all the speakers, as well as
the Apple Grove Inn for providing the meeting room.
Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative - Pasture Walk - Baskin
Livestock Farm, Genesee County 9/07/00
This program was sponsored
by the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Lake Plains RC&D,
Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Calving Ease, (37
people were in attendance).
Pasture Walk - Brad and
Eric Bentley Farm 9/28/00, Orleans County,
Highlight of meeting was inspecting the September 99 demonstration
planting of 10 varieties of grasses; also covered were management
options, and grazing preference (23 were people in attendance).
This program is part of the Grazing
Lands Conservation Initiative, to promote the use of grasslands
farming through intensive use of pastures for raising livestock.
Through the program more than 200 farmers have been contacted
and 24 grazing plans have been developed.
GLOW Household Hazardous Waste
Collection The Lake Plains RC&D was represented at the
GLOW Household and Hazardous Waste Collection on May 20th
in Albion. They had at least 300 sign ups. Based on the surveys
collected everyone was very happy with the program.
GLOW Household Hazardous Waste
May 20th in Albion.
WESTERN NEW YORK (WNY) "BUY
LOCAL" CAMPAIGN: Our mission is to create awareness,
support, and understanding of the importance of local farms
to our area by local consumers and businesses. We seek to increase
the consumption of locally grown farm products to the benefit
of everyone in the region.
Phase I - Genesee County
Cornell Cooperative Extension received a grant of $5,000 from
NY FARMS! for development of these educational materials for
promotion of local products. Phase I has been completed.
1) To develop an easily identifiable logo for placement on local
farm and value-added products. 2.) To create an educational
package including brochures, posters, and other printed materials
that explain the advantages of buying locally produced farm
products. This material would be for use by local farm markets,
farm stands, grocer, restaurateur, or other marketing enterprises
to promote regionally grown products sold at these establishments.
This was completed in 1999.
Activities to support this effort included a booth at the
Buffalo Convention Center, which hosted the AgriTourism Expo
on March 23, 2000. The Lake Plains RC&D provided $300.00
in funding support for the booth.
Pat LaPoint indicated that approximately
1,300 attendees boarded coaches to visit local sites and view
the displays at the Convention Center. The following counties
were targeted for this Expo: Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans,
Phase II -
Genesee County Cornell Cooperative
Extension and Lake Plains RC&D received a second grant of
$5,000 from NY FARMS! to implement phase II titled Education
Outreach "Our Lakes Make it Local" (Pride in NY Farms!)
This proposal has two components: 1) We will complete a follow
up and evaluation of the promotional material developed in 1998/99
and 2) we will take advantage of relationships developed with
local colleges and universities and expand our outreach into
the food service community. The second phased was approved August
2000 and is currently underway.
The Lake Plains RC&D Council looks
forward to working together with and supporting member sponsors,
groups, agencies, schools, and individuals to enhance the quality
of life and environment for residents and visitors to the area.
Environmental problems do not stop at township, county or state
boundaries and that is where the beauty and flexibility of the
RC&D program comes into play.
participation, and interest in the Lake Plains RC&D activities
would be appreciated. For further information contact Robert
Remillard at the 716-589-5320 ext. 102.
Web site http://www.lakeplainsrcd.org
RC&D is a program supported
by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination
in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin,
sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital
or familial status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for
communication of program information (Braille, large print,
audio tape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202)
720-2600 (Voice and TTD). To file a complaint write
USDA, Director; Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W; Whiten Building;
14th h and Independence Avenue, SW; Washington,
DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (Voice and TTD). USDA is
an equal opportunity provider and employer.