Emails re Montview Farm | Agriculture | Conservation

Gmail - [Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Suppo...

Mary Serreze <>

[Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Support Montview Thurs. 5pm
3 messages Libby Reinish <> Reply-To: To: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Hi All--This is a reminder that we need your support at the Conservation Commission meeting on Thursday (tomorrow) at 5pm. We need your help to protect the future of a beloved neighborhood farm. See below for background and details. Hope to see you tomorrow. Dear Friends of Montview Neighborhood Farm, On January 12th, the City of Northampton plans to delegate decision-making power over public conservation land, home to Montview Neighborhood Farm, to a private, member-only organization. This act could mean dramatic changes to the 6-year-old neighborhood food project. Meadow City Conservation Coalition and the Conservation Commission have negotiated this arrangement with no public input. There is growing community concern that this deal would not be in the best interest of the public. Will you join us at the Conservation Commission Meeting on January 12th at 5pm to ask the Commission not to transfer control of the Montview Conservation Land? The land in question has been home to Montview Neighborhood Farm for the past six years. In that time, volunteers have transformed the space into a vibrant permaculture-based food forest, community-tended annual vegetable garden, and sustainable education site. Fruit trees, berry bushes, perennial vegetables, honey bees, a flock of laying hens, and a community compost program are all being cultivated on the 3-acre site, which also boasts a protected wetland. Montview Neighborhood Farm is admired throughout the North East for its exemplary application of permaculture principles on public land. If you care about Montview Neighborhood Farm and want a say in its future, please come to the January 12th meeting and ask the City to put the brakes on this proposal. Here are the Details: What: Conservation Commission Meeting When: January 12, 5 pm Where: City Hall, 210 Main St. In the hearing room on the second floor Why: Show your support and give public comment. The public comment period is first on the agenda so please arrive early if possible. Our message is simple: The Conservation Commission must not transfer control of the Montview Conservation Land to the Meadow City Conservation Coalition. If you are unable to come to the meeting please call our public officials and ask them to delay the vote and to schedule a public hearing.

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1/13/12 12:54 PM

Gmail - [Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Suppo...

Sarah LaValley (413) 587-1263 Conservation, Preservation and Land Use Planner Conservation Commission, CPA and Historical Commission Wayne Feiden (413) 587-1265 Director of Planning and Development Mayor David Narkewicz 413 587-1249 I hope to see you on the 12th. Sincerely, Libby Reinish -You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "grow food in northampton" group. To post to this group, send email to To unsubscribe from this group, send email to For more options, visit this group at Wayne Feiden <> Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 6:24 PM Reply-To: To: "" <>, "" <>

I need to set the record straight on in response to a couple of points that have been raised in GFN postings.

1. CONTROL: The Conservation Commission is not transferring control of any land. If this Memorandum of Agreement is signed, the Conservation Commission will remain the owner and manager of the property.

2. PUBLIC CONSULTANTION, NOT PRIVATE DECISION MAKING: The proposed MOA would transfer day-to-day maintenance of the property from a few private individuals, the past license holder, to a non-profit organization with strong neighborhood participation and a requirement for extensive neighborhood consultation.

3. NEIGHBORHOOD EMPOWERMENT: The MOA approach is part of the Conservation Commission’s two decade old approach of signing MOA designed to empower neighborhoods. This was discussed at multiple public hearings on the Open Space plan last year. This exact approach with formal MOAs has resulted in amazing management with the Broad Brook Coalition at the Broad Brook-Fitzgerald Lake Greenway. The same approach with more informal handshake MOAs has resulted in amazing partnerships with Leeds Civic (Roberts Hill Conservation Area and Mill River Greenway in Leeds), Friends of Saw Mill Hills, and Friends of Mineral Hills.

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1/13/12 12:54 PM

Gmail - [Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Suppo...

Wayne Feiden, FAICP, Honorary WMAIA Director of Planning and Development City of Northampton 210 Main Street, Room 11 Northampton, MA 01060 413.587.1265

directions (Google map)

From: [] On Behalf Of Libby Reinish Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:44 PM To: Subject: [Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Support Montview Thurs. 5pm
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City of Northampton email messages are public records except when they fall under one of the specific statutory exemptions.
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Marianna McKim <> Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM Reply-To: To: "" <>, "" <>, "" <>

Hi Wayne I will be late for this meeting and may not arrive during the public comment segment. You have stated your point of view below, but please address my concerns and questions at the meeting this afternoon. I believe the neighborhood has been empowered because of the programs, creative process and management of this 3 acre parcel by the people who operate Montview

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1/13/12 12:54 PM

Gmail - [Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Suppo...

Farm. Montview Farm has promoted this area to the neighborhood and city; as well as being recognized throughout New England. They have been managing this property with due diligence using permaculture and sustainable practices for the past 6 years. It is my understanding that this proposed MOA is being made without public input which is contrary to what the Open Space plan recommends as well as the intent of any of the other MOA arrangements that have been made within the past two decades.
Here are my questions that will help me understand the the reasoning behind the MOA with the newly formed Meadow City Conservation Coalition: Has the city negotiated this arrangement with no public input? Were the current license holder notified of these negotiations and the effect it may have on their programs? Did you consider the current license holder to hold the MOA and if not, why? Thanks for your clarification. Marianna McKim

From: Wayne Feiden <> To: "" <>; "" <> Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 6:24 PM Subject: RE: [Grow Food Northampton] REMINDER: Come Support Montview Thurs. 5pm
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1/13/12 12:54 PM

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