For the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
This past year was our 18th year of ownership of Valley Falls Farm. And this past year was also my first year as President of the Friends of Valley Falls. This new role has given me a much broader perspective of the organization and its responsibilities. I am pleased to report that this “big picture” view from the President’s seat is looking very good for the future of our organization. I have also come to appreciate all that this organization has come to accomplish since it took ownership of the Farm in 2001. Again, I would like to thank Ginny Gingras for her many years serving as President. I also would like to thank our Board of Directors for all the tasks they have taken on during this past year. I would like to share with you that we have a great team!
Financially, we are debt free and in excellent shape. The two rental units in the farmhouse provide a stable source of income, and we have great support from our membership and the community.
Moving forward, the organization will place more emphasis on community outreach. We are excited about the opening of the Heritage Center in 2019 in the stable, and we are exploring other means of expanding our presence in the social media environment. Plans and dates for this venture are currently in development.
Valley Falls Farm:
Stewardship of the property is a never-ending job. We repair, replace, restore and repaint the buildings–and then, we do it all over again! This year we finally completed an upgrade of the kitchen in the front apartment of the farmhouse. In April, we had a serious setback when lightning struck one of the two large Norway spruce trees near the icehouse. The woodshed and the icehouse were damaged. Repairs are completely covered by insurance. The work will be done in October.
Valley Falls Park:
We continue to provide support and advice to the Vernon Parks and recreation Department in their care of the park and the Red Barn. We allotted $40,000 of our $150,000 grant funds for improvements to the barn. The funds were partially used for the installation of a septic system and water supply source for the new bathroom, which will also function as the restroom facility for the Heritage Center.
Finally, I want to thank you, our members and contributors. Your appreciation for our work in maintaining this historic place gives us the wind in our sails.
Joe King, President